The Little Soldier
He pushes onward, his back weary from the burden of his pack of gear, and the goodies his Mom and girlfriend had stuffed in there, and trying to be a man way past his years. His arms holding tightly the killing machine, that is nothing like the guns he wore around his hips just a few short years ago.
He had dreamed of being a cowboy, then a policeman, then a soldier. That is what he was now, a soldier and he was proud, so proud. It wasn't hard to go and train to do what he was here to do and the weight had not been so heavy on his shoulders and on his heart.
He blinks the sand and grit from his eyes as he glances around at all the other soldiers around him, and hopes a tear does not slip down his check, so that they might think him a sissy and weak.

He reaches deep inside his pocket to feel the picture of his girl, God she is so cute, he thought, remembering those shiny blue eyes so full of love and hope as he slipped that little promise ring on her finger, and how those eyes had brimmed when he kissed her goodbye. Mom had made him a bunch of cookies and had even made a scarf, "in case you get cold". If she could only see the sweat pouring off him now, he wore it still around his neck.
He thinks of sleep on his twin bed back there at home across the room from his kid brother, how Mom had yelled on more than one occasion "boys clean your room." If she could see his room now, Ha! He breathes a heavy breath recalling the fresh air that had poured into his room from the open windows, choking on the hot stale air and the stench of men.
He pushes onward. They are humming now, they are chanting as they get closer still to their destination, its really praying, they are doing, its just dulled out by the sound of air craft in the distance and the steady pummelt of explosives on their target.
He remembers the old war movies he and his brother used to watch and how they would jump up and yell "another one hits the dust!" every time a bomb would hit the enemy . He wasn't jumping now, his feet were hurting and his throat was raw. He pushes onward.
He thinks about the time, so soon that he will have to face another face, maybe just like his, just a boy. He is a ground soldier and he was trained to kill, in a personal way. He wonders if he will be man enough to do it when the time comes.
He takes his orders from the man to take cover, and sets himself up to do the job that he was sent here to do, kill.
He wonders for a minute, maybe he should have become a cowboy.
He glances around at his fellow soldiers as they prepare the hole that will protect them or become their grave. He barely hears the order to" Fire!," from the pounding of blood that has rushed to his head from his run away heart.
He hears the sounds now ,sounds that he has dreamed of since he first stepped foot on this desolate land. The screams of bullets and the screams of his buddies. Around him lays the twisted in agony bodies of his fellow men and their blood runs rich in the hole, and the pain in his gut is more than he could ever have imagined. He reaches deep inside his pocket for the picture of his girl, one little peek, and squeezes tight the funny scarf around his neck, funny he does feel a chill. He will be alright if he can just sleep, just rest a minute.
He dreams of blue eyes and Mom in her kitchen making those cookies and a crazy little brother who gets on his nerves.
He hears in the distance a doorbell ringing, as a young girl with blue eyes and a ring on her finger and a Mother collapse in each others arms.

An Angel Orginal
© Copyright 2003 Paula Scola
All Rights Reserved

Graphics courtesy of Doug Kidd