Author: Myworksofwonder PM
This is a continuation of the short story, "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, the category was not in the subject selection. Set in the Irish civil war a republican sniper found out that his downed enemy was his brother.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Tragedy - Words: 1,073 - Published: 09-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7396505
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Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face.
The sniper stared into the lifeless eyes, not accepting the corpse's features, his mother's nose, his father's strong eyes, and the face that kept so still, almost as if it was a statue of flesh. The disbelief and shock was followed by many heavy hearted thoughts, how they drank from the same cup of milk, and just laughing after every sip. The sniper cursed the war, himself, and everyone once again.
He lay there for hours, thinking, wondering, crying; he lay there without moving, tears burning his eyes, overcome with emotion, exhaustion, and pain. His chest felt like it might collapse, and that his whole body would just shut down on the spot. His long train of memories was interrupted by voices, obviously an enemy patrol, they were coming this way, seeking the body of the man who outran the machine gun, or at least a body.
His mind was immediately cleared, carrying the body of his kin, he stood, holding the body with his only available hand. His canteen slipped from his pockets, knowing he could do nothing about it, for otherwise he'd drop his brother's corpse.
The sniper ran, and although the thoughts of his dead brother had surpassed him, tears still stung his eyes as they were generated. The canteen had hit the ground not two steps from the time the sniper began to run. The sound alerted the patrol, the overly stocked patrol followed the clanging, and gunshots were fired, bullets zoomed around the sniper, the boy, as almost as if he were protected by god, on his left was a door that had been left ajar. He flew into it, up the stairs and through the roof window, up to the peak of the house.
The body began to feel heavy on him, and the building was surrounded by the patrol. He was easily noticed on the roof, the sniper laid his brother's body and began to raise up his one useable hand, even if his brother was dead, he had to survive, but as he did this, he caught sight of a revolver pistol stuffed into the back pocket of his dead brother, he stopped his hand in mid raise, his body filled with adrenaline, possibly for the final time. He swooped his hand down to the pocket, grabbed the pistol and with one swift movement brought down three of the men, one whole side was clear, he only had one chance to survive, leave his brother to be buried by the platoon of men far away from where his future grave will be, and jump to the next roof, and hopefully not be noticed. With another swift motion he cocked the pistol, threw it downwards onto the remaining men, as if tossing a grenade into a foxhole, skidded down the shingles of the roof, and jumped.
As his feet left the sturdy building's roof, he heard a cry of pain from one of the soldiers who was on the side he dropped the pistol on, his plan had worked, and if he landed the jump, he'd get away safely.
Unfortunately the wounded man had only been shot in the arm, like the sniper. The rest of the platoon was already running to the sniper's side of the building, and had begun to fire. The sniper caught on to the gutter of the adjacent building of the one he had jumped from, but one of the bullets the enemy platoon had fired hit its mark. Pain surged up the sniper's spine as he lost all feeling in his legs. The sniper fell…
And joined his brother to drink milk from the same mug in heaven.
The two brothers were both buried far away from one another. In fact, the sniper was dumped into the river, which split the town into two sides. Forgotten by his country, forgotten by his government, but not forgotten by his comrades or his family.
In fact, his mother waited for the boy to come home after he was reported missing and his brother reported dead, every day she'd wait by the door after work, and when she grew old she waited on her porch, and when she grew bedridden she waited in her bedroom, for her missing son, her baby, to come home.
She remembered the brothers would come through the door like they did when they were younger every day after school, rushing upstairs to put away they're things, and racing into her room, their arms outstretched, and then embracing their mother, embracing her, telling her the adventures they had experienced away from home, telling her a joke they learned in class, laughing at it, then giving her a drawing each had made had made, or a story or a poem they had wrote. After telling her the adventures they had experienced, they'd go down to do the dishes and cook dinner while singing their very favorite song, about a little frog that got lost and found its way home, then they'd eat dinner, smiling at each other the whole time they ate, then they'd go listen to the radio, there'd be news of a crash or a fire where people died, and she'd start crying, but then the boys would always try to cheer her up, by telling her the people who died were happy and in heaven, and they'd both sing the song about the frog. Finally each of the boys would fall asleep, she'd bring them upstairs, one in each arm, her eyes wiped dry, the radio playing soft, lulling music downstairs, and then she'd put them into bed, tuck them in, kiss them goodnight and sit with them for a while, singing softly the song about the frog who got lost, and found its way home.
Every day when she expected the sniper boy to come home at 3, she began to cry, and she said to herself he wasn't coming home. The bedroom would be empty, the radio silent, and the dishes completely untouched.
She waits no longer. She sees them every day, and they all eat together and tell jokes and smile, but most of all they sing the song about the little frog who found his way home.