06 October 2010


Bobby felt his leg going cold and warm, all at once.  Funny, he though, it drains out all cold on the inside and warm on the outside.  He attempted to hold still as the medic jabbed his thigh with another styrette of morphine.  Bobby laughed weakly at the tiny pinprick in his leg.  Compared to the supernova in his thigh, that little flash was nothing but a distant star, twinkling in the cooling evening air.

"Hold still, Sack," the medic, a laconic Southern boy by name of Midgett, "I don't want to break off a tip."  He went back to his ministrations.

Bobby willed himself to be still.  A hard thing to do on the shifting deck of the helicopter.  There was a spent cartridge poking him in the back,  and the deck was slick with hydraulic fluid or blood, Bobby couldn't tell.   He gripped the webbing on the bulkhead and feebly wedged his good leg tight against the ammo crate jammed aftwards.  He grunted in pain and a thin line of drool leaked from the corner of his mouth.

"Hurry up, that shit, Midgett.  Hurts."
Midgett looked up, a small grin of sarcasm on his crooked lips.  "Yes, sir, right away sir."
Bobby grinned.  Midgett always was a smart ass, even when the shit was raining down on the ground.  Bobby couldn't recall ever seeing him rattled.

The chopper was pulling away from the drop zone,  backing away in faint hail of small arms fire.  Bobby could see plumes of smoke roiling across the face of the sun, which was setting.  The thick air of Myanmar washed over him while he stared out past the silhouette of the door gunner.  It reminded Bobby of the crows he used to see back home, in summer.

Home.  The thought washed over him on a tide of painkillers, and he surprised himself by shedding a small trickle of tears.  The morphine was making him dizzy.  Bobby blinked quickly, the sun a smeary burnt gold disk scintillating over his eyes.

Jesus H., he whispered to himself, Please don't let the last sunset I ever see be over Yangon.  Bobby's eyes drooped shut, and he passed out.  The chopper held course, a battered raven seeking its nest.


  1. i see it gumbo...the movie in glorious technicolor was playing in my mind; and I hear it...the roar of the copter, the screams, the shouts....brilliant exercise

  2. good on you, this is strong and i enjoyed reading... i hope he makes it.

  3. Well done, Irish. Poignant and moving. Is there more?

  4. Oh WOW -- EXCELLENT imagery!


  5. I hope lived to see many more sunsets in much better places.

  6. war is hell. you've brought it home.

  7. I hate the smell of blood... Perhaps it's the tangible realization of the price paid?

  8. Powerful imagery indeed...


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...