A gasp of breath.
A rattle of air expelled from dying lungs.
Let the air flow through you, clensing, washing away your sins and memories as you wash the dirt from your body.
The battlefield's cold wind gusts through the valley, chilling the fighters to the bone and beyond, their very souls frozen.
Clear the sounds from your mind.
A grenade blast not fifteen feet away, the pressure wave blowing out the young soldier's eardrums. He's deaf, he can't hear-just a loud ringing, and soon, even that died away.
Draw within yourself, to find your inner core.
Another soldier lying on the ground, his white winter coat stained with dark blood, trying in vain to hold himself in one piece, unable to do more than that as he sits in shock.
Find your peace.
The dead sergeant's face, peaceful at last, in its lack of movement.
Jacob frowned, sighing, the memories of the battles coming back to haunt him again. He couldn't find the peace that he needed, he couldn't just forget, he couldn't drive the images away...
The stench of blood and gunsmoke pervades the air as Jacob frowns, a small M3 submachine gun held in his hands. His squadmates behind him held an assortment of weapons ranging from Thompsons, M! Garands, and M1918 A1 BAR's in their hands, to the pistols holstered at their belts, the grenades chinking in pockets on their chest.
He shook his head, stepping inside. He'd tried enough for one day. Tomorrow, he'd probably repeat the same events, only to find himself disturbed again. Such was his life. He reached up to the cupboard in his kitchen, pulling out his cereal, pouring himself a bowl, robotically moving through the motions of getting himself something to eat.
Slowly, jerkily, almost robotically Jacob pulled himself through the remnants of the small town that they'd been fighting in. Rubble littered the streets, cartridge casings gleamed and rolled around on the ground...the moans of the dying and the dry sobs of their friends pervaded the air, assaulting his eardrums with their melancholy sound.
Sitting at the table, Jacob morosely stirred his spoon in the cereal bowl, only taking one or two bites in the next three minutes. The memories were assaulting him again, coming back in full force, as they always did, forcing him to relive every last moment of the war.
"Hands up," one of the soldiers growled, his bayonet jabbing in the German soldier's back. Jacob's M3 was trained upon him, as were his fellows' weapons. He stood there, baring his teeth like a mad animal as they led him out to join his fellows, tossing him a shovel.
Jacob closed his eyes, leaning back from his barely touched cereal, and rubbing his temples. Always, always headaches came with the memories. Always having to remind him of the physical pain he had felt, then, always forcing him to close his eyes, to view the memories as though on a movie screen on his eyelids, always making the headaches stronger.
"Bitte, bitte!" The German cried, staring in horror at the bodies of his fellows, having fallen into the elongated holes they'd dug. "Schaden Sie mir nicht!" Jacob stood back, his M3 held loosely in his hands as the sergeant, having ignored the small man's plea for mercy, read off of a short sheet, a crude mockery of a court martial sentence.
Slowly he stood, turning down the hall, ignoring the news on the TV-talking about some victory or another back in Iraq, where the new boys were fighting. He could care less-they'd feel the same as he did, some day soon. He was certain of it. It was inevitable, really. It apparently always happened to the more normal ones.
The sentencing done, the sergeant stepped back, ignoring the blatant, unhidden terror on the condemned soldier's face. Nathaniel lowered his rifle, and a single shot was all that was needed to end the German's life. A spray of blood flew from the point of impact, splattering Jacob across the face. He didn't even care enough to wipe it away.
He stumbled into his bedroom, stepping over to the table he had at the side of it. Pulling the stopper from the bottle he took one more swig, finishing the contents within. It burned like sandpaper going down, but that was all that Jacob needed to fortify himself for what he was doing next.
A quick burst of gunfire, and another man went down, Jacob continuing through the streets, his weapon raised, bullets qiuckly spurting out and taking down any enemy soldier he saw. He ducked behind cover, staying put by Erin. He looked up, checked the streets, and gave the all clear. Erin rushed out, to the next piece of cover, only for one last fighter, one last German soldier who'd been lying in wait for him stepped forwards with a bayonet. Erin would never breathe again.
Find the right key, find the key, end the memories once and for all. Ah, there it was. Jacob, his hands shaking now, pushed the key into the lock on the large, metal safe before him, a single twitch all it took to unlock it and open the door. A moment after that and his shaking hand reached within, grasping a small object and pulling it out.
Jacob didn't even yell. He stalked forwards, quietly, aiming to surprise the soldier. He could already hear his breath. A single step more...the German popped out, bayonet ready, but Jacob was prepared for that. He deflected it by throwing up his M3, catching the bayonet in the stock of his weapon, and a simple twist and pull was all he needed to remove the German's weapon from him.
In the cabinet, there it was. A single magazine, shiny, gleaming new. Jacob pulled it out, looking at it with a dull, uninterested glance, before he set it down. He moved up his thumb, popping several bullets out of it, until one was all that was left.
Jacob gasped, bending over as he was kicked in the stomach, his weapon ripped from him as well. He looked up to see the German pointing a pistol at him, a sneer on his face, before Jacob sprang forward. The latter soldier tackled the former to the ground, the Luger falling a few feet away.
He slid the magazine, with its single .45 caliber bullet, into the handgrip of his M1911. The one souvenir, after his scars, he'd kept from the war. The only thing he owned that he could expect to work perfectly every time, never to fail him. And the magazine fit perfectly, just as it always did.
Jacob headbutted the German soldier in the face, again, knocking his head back to the ground, dazed, bleeding from the now-broken nose. Just as he began to come to he would see Jacob standing above him, his M1911, already just as battle scarred as Jacob was himself, pointed for his forehead.
Pull back the slide, disengage the safety.
Robotically, in almost slow motion, Jacob pulled back the slide of his weapon, a bullet clicking into place, and with the thumb of his other hand he disengaged the safety on his weapon. It was ready.
Make sure you had your target ready, pointed straight for the brain. A quick, clean kill.
A slight adjustment in his aim and Jacob's pistol barrel was pointed right at the spot in between the German's two, bright blue eyes, which were simultaneously glaring at Jacob and glancing apprehensively at the pistol he held. Just a moment longer, savour the victory...
Pull the trigger.
Pull the trigger.
Edited by The Otter, Dec 22 2012 - 03:48 PM.