Tom Duncan, Grade 8
You see them but when you open your eyes all they are are FLASHBACKS.
During my time of war constant bickering, blood, pain, regret – most definitely regret. The thought of going up those blood-filled tracks, shivered across my mind like watching another mate being shot, my pressure CRACKS.
From the first to the last step I feel like I'm going to be sick, I can't handle all of this. Mates, no not mates, practically brothers from ten years are gone, they are gone I tell you! As my stomach urges up I force it down, I am far from regaining my peace.
My body feels like a cord tied up, twisted, knotted, weak enough to not try and thrive on I'll fight until dawn.
No one knows the feeling unless they too have experienced WAR.
I am at the top. Finally my body at rest, but to only find out I've just started. My mates are gone, my family is worried sick—sicker than me—but if it means I'm fighting for my country than I can THRIVE. It may take me hours, day or night but I will do this. Just as I said that – well that was my final word before the opposing side had yelled out fire! so vigorously that it felt like they meant it from heart and weren't just trying to follow their leader's command, a bullet straight through my leg barely skimming bone I screamed, you could hear the burning pain through the anonymous sounds I screeched out of my mouth, I saw the light I saw god, i tried to STRIVE, I saw my mates as if all this was a nightmare a horrific real-feeling dream then I felt it a slap on the face, a signal that I'm not going to weaken from a gun shot, a rag on the wound holding pressure and compressing my leg. I got up and ran and I wouldn't STOP, I just ran shooting in no direction as I fell to the ground in agony crying, mud on my face followed by the deep red scratches, so deep you can see bone and so red that you don't know the difference between mud and blood, i had yet escaped reality with a gun pointed at me I said "fire it," if it means I fought for my country just fire it, I am an ANZAC so proud to be know by that name I am apart of Australian New Zealand Army Corp.
I said: do it! and I heard silence then he spoke: no, a man like you with such bravery to show respect to your country—no, i'm putting my foot down—no, and he put down his gun, raised his hand, then solemnly saluted, but that does not mean I was not going to fight back.
I grabbed the gun and fired, shot dead one after the other, of course there was regret, so much regret. but I knew my mindset was in the right PLACE, as I get carried down the hill covered in dead bodies pale as white paper and skin so thin you could rip it, then I saw a familiar FACE my mate came up and just spoke: you deserve all of my empathy. I was known as the egg that just wouldn't crack.