Thomas Grdic, Grade 9, Mt Carmel High School
Excellence In Writing Award in the 'Dream Big 2013' competition
Bullets whizzed and snapped overhead as I dived behind the bench and peeled off my helmet. With the rest of my squad dead it wouldn’t be any help. I started fumbling through the pouches on my flack vest, scrounging for ammo. I cursed and peered up over my shoulder as a bullet ricocheted off the bench and flew past my ear.
There are like four of them. I looked down at me feet and laughed bitterly. Part of me hoped I could just sit here and wait to be shot, not wanting to face the flying led front on. But there it was. My commanders revolver, with a handful of bullets scattered across the floor. Gingerly I picked up the weapon, there was a bloody stain on the handle. My fingers trembling I popped out the cylinder, hot empty shells falling across my palm, searing my skin. I wonder how long I will last. I’m using a weapon I have never fired before, I’m fighting at least three guys using automatic weapons and I have, at max, six shots with a caliber I’m not used to.
Crack! A bullet hits the bench right above my head, showering me with dust. I rub my eyes, trying to clear away the grit. Am I crying?
I pluck a bullet off the ground and slide it into one chamber with a definite click.
The gunfire stops for a moment and someone shouted at me in a foreign language. These guys are fighting for what they believe in, and I’m fighting for my life. I wonder if that give me an advantage.
The voice barks again as I load in another bullet.
Maybe they think I’m dead-
The gunfire roars back to life, turning the wall in front of me into Swiss cheese. I press myself harder against the bench behind me. I scratch around on the floor before plucking a bullet off the ground. I try to load it in but my hand is shaking and I fumble, dropping the round on my lap. Cursing I took a deep breath before picking it up again and sliding it home.
The gunfire pauses for a moment and something clanks down inches from the front of my dusty boots.
I leap at it with a shout, grab it and toss it over my head like a hot iron.
The explosion showers me with dust and makes my teeth rattle. I lay on the floor for a few moments, watching as a crucifix slid clear from my shirt and dangled from my neck by a chain.
I wonder if there is someone is watching me. Or if there is a place for a person like me. A soldier, a killer.
I tuck away the necklace, sit back up and slide in another bullet. The gunfire barked back to life. I was oddly calm as I loaded the last bullet, spun the cylinder and slammed it home. I wasn’t sure how this would end, but I knew how it would begin.
I leapt to my feet, whirled around to face the enemy, peered down my sights and squeezed the trigger.