Short Story

The rain eased to steady drizzle as the train screeched to a halt at platform 6, but the grey sky reflected my mood. Ten years earlier I had left from the same station but now things were different. Now, I was a successful army sergeant. I had nothing to prove. Except to my parents. Thet’s why I was back. Thoughts were running through my head. “Will they forgive me? How will they react? ” surely it wouldn’t be that hard, afterall I had been through a war. I stepped off of the train, minding the gap which existed between it and the platform, then made my way out of the station.

Five minutes later I found myself walking down Green Street, towards my parents house. I was gathering my thoughts and trying to think about what I would say to my parents when they opened the door. Why was I worrying about what they’d say and how they would react? They were my parents, John and Pat Patterson. However it wasn’t that easy. Ten years ago there was a fatal accident within the Patterson household. I was eleven years old and obsessed with army-men, and all I ever wanted to be was a soldier. My grandfather had been in the army and had died, but despite this it did not put me off, I still wanted to be a soldier.

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In a way I wanted to do it for him, to make him proud. I began to think about my memories as that eleven year old child and my time in the war…. Both of my parents had gone out and had left me alone to look after the house, but I got bored of it and decided to go out into the garden and play with my football for a while, but then a thought came into my head. I knew that my father owned an air-rifle (incase of a break-in or something like that) and I was alone, so I grabbed my chance and went to get it.

I then proceeded to take it out into the garden with me. With the gun I felt like a real soldier and there was only one more thing for me to do. I set up a small target which sat just above the garden fence and started to fire shots at it. I focused my eye just above the barrel of the gun, aiming for the dead centre of the target. In the next garden was our next door neighbour and she was standing just to one side of the target, watering her plants. With my finger on the trigger I was ready to fire, when a low flying helicopter came overhead.

For a split second I lost all concentration and looked up at the helicopter, but at the same time pulling the trigger. I watched wide-eyed in horror as I saw the bullet eject rapidly careering off to the right and catapolting into my neighbours neck, piercing a hole and then ricocheting off the wall behind. This was the reason to why I was forced out of my house, left to fend for myself. My parents did not give me a chance to explain what had happened and so I got on a train and headed off to a carers home in Kent, not knowing what had happened to my neighbour.

When I was sixteen years old I went to train as a soldier at a camp and by the time I was nineteen I had past with flying colours and was prepared and ready to go to war – if there ever was another war. Unfortunately there was a war against Iraq, in a bid to kill Saddam Hussein. The next thing I knew I was on my way to Iraq in a Black Hawk helicopter with many Chinooks following behind. Our objective was to kill or capture Saddam Hussein. This is what I had trained for three years for, sweating, battling, sometimes even crying. I was not going to fail myself now!

The helicopter touched down and we was straight into the line of fire. Bullets were being fired every which way but loose. They were coming at me from infront and to each side of me. Our grey and green camourflage suits didn’t really help me and the rest of the men in a wide yellow desert , but we carried on fighting, even if we were obvious to our enemies. We fought for hours and bombs were dropped by our country on the Iraqi’s killing them instantly. I arrived back at camp in a state. I had never seen so much blood and missing body parts in my life. It was hidious, but in the army we are taught to ignore stuff like that.

Over a period of days I noticed that I hadn’t seen my Sergeant and that he was missing from the camp. He had been killed by a mass of bullets fired into his legs and died instantly. Due to this sad event it was my duty to take his place and become Sergeant in place of him. Over the next few weeks everything carried in the same, lots of deaths and complete carnage. I had been directing my men closer towards Saddam’s hide-out. We had to be on our guard now. It was 2. 05am and so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I signalled to some of the soldiers to fire one of our biggest, most leathal bombs because we were sure that we knew where Saddam was.

Within seconds the pitch-black sky was lit up a bright orange and yellow colour as the ‘XXX14’ missile was launched. The sound was absolutely deafening and the damage was unbelievable. People would say that I was ‘sick in the head’ and that witnessing something of this nature would poison my mind. I ordered my men to run over towards Saddam’s bunker. I went too. Gripping tightly to my AK47 and trembling with fear to whether or not we had killed Saddam, I continued running. Then I recieved a call to my radio from a B52 bomber pilot telling me that we had indeed acomplished our objective of killing the Iraqi leader.

Our ‘XXX14’ bomb had completely desimated Saddam and everything within a mile radius. ” We’ve done it boys… Mission acomplished! ” I sent this message out to every radio reciever on our countries side. The Iraqi people were free from their brutal leader. I was then sent back home to England with all the other hundereds of thousands of troops, except there was only one home I hadn’t visited, and that was ‘my home’. So this is why I came back, to see my family and to find out what happened to my neighbour. I arrived at the front door and rang the bell. “Jimmy… Jimmy you’re back. Mum said with a tear in her eye. “I’ve heard about you and the war. We’ve been watching it on the tele. ” I stepped in and sat down. “Hello son, we’ve missed you so much,” dad said. I began to tell them about my time in the war. I had survived and so to had my neighbour whom I had accidently shot. She was now living in a home with her family. We had both survived our injuries from gun shots, but I could now safely say that my aim had improved! After ten long years away from home I was finally reunited with my parents and I also knew how happy the Iraqi people must have been to be set free.