"She f--king killed Caparzo! The little broad! We went to clear the house and she popped out of the pantry a-an-and ran a blade right clean through him. Let's kill her!"
Horvath screamed at Rieben, who aimed a hand gun to her head. Miller was silent while he looked at Wade. Wade looked back at him.
"Captain! This isn't right! She just a little girl. She didn't mean to."
Wade bellowed to his former comrades. The girl clung to his chest as Jackson, behind him, had his arms around his torso, holding him still.
They looked like an odd trio of lovers, clasping on to each other tightly. He stared at Miller. Miller turned his head slightly to Rieben, not taking his eyes off of Wade.
"Kill him too."
Wade's face spread with shock. So did everyone else except Reiben and Upham.
Mellish and Horvath were surprised. "Captain?" Mellish whispered.
Jackson's face changed slightly as he looked at Reiben. "Hey, Reiben....I don't think-"
"Do you want to get 'it' too, hic?"
Jackson losened his grip on Wade just slightly and solemly glared at Reiben.
Upham had not even said a word, just looked interested at blood that was drying on his hands. Wade wasn't sure if Upham really knew what was happening.
Miller walked away from the tree line into the field. He looked down at his feet. The girl sobbed even harder. "Please! I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She ran towards Rieben, holding out her arms.
A banging sound echoed through the trees as Rieben fired. She jolted back from the blow; her knees came out in front of her as she fell backwards on the dirt. Everyone grew silent. Wade stared at Rieben.
"You son of a bitch! This is crazy! I swear Rieben I will tear you apart!" But instead he ran to the bleeding girl, her mouth gurgled as blood flooded her lungs. She tried to speak.
"Don't speak. Try to breath." He fumbled for his pack and horrible realization struck him. He dropped his pack! He found the bullet hole. It had penetrated right under her left rib cage. He cursed and his tears rolled down his cheeks.
"I'm sorry. . . . ." He grabbed her head and pulled it towards him. Her breathing started to slow down. She was moaning with pain and blood kept bubbling on to the ground.
Jackson, who had let go of Wade, looked at Rieben with uncertainty in his gaze.
"This is bullshit...." Mellish said.
"Ya'll got that right." Jackson said, looking down at Wade and the now lifeless girl.
Rieben held the hand gun and was pointing it at Wade's stomach now.
One. . . . .
He now looked at Upham who had his rifle in his hands, totally focused on Wade. A blank stare in his eyes.
Two. . . . . . .
Jackson looked over at Mellish, who had now pulled out his rifle and was loading fresh ammunition. Mellish looked sick.
Three. . . . . . . .
Beside him, Horvath had a luger in his hand and started to aim.
Four. . . . . .
They all looked at Jackson now. He shook his head, then sighed as he cocked his Springfield shooter and looked down at Wade, who was now realizing what was going to happen. Wade stared at Jackson, eyes pleading. "Jackson, come on....you..."
"Make your peace with the lord, Wade. God almighty I'll miss you." He said quietly but so everyone would hear. He aimed at Wade's lower right chest-and prayed -
"Our Father....... . . . ."
Five. . . . . . .
Echoing shots was heard through the trees.
Wade heard somebody say, "Oh, Wade, oh, Jesus Christ," then realizing it was Capt. Miller looking down at the four bullets stitched across the medic's abdomen and the fifth in the lower right chest. Wade was having trouble breathing. Upham, stunned, said,
"They're not supposed to shoot medics, they're not supposed to shoot medics!"
Wade realized were he was. At the satellite bunker they were suppose to take. He remembered going after Jackson when the German machine nest clipped his arm. Jackson went down.
He was so scared he had been hit real badly. He jumped over some bodies to get to him and then he felt the tears in his gut. Horror and shock at this realization! He was on his back, his mouth spitting up blood.
"Wh-wh-where am I?" Wade asked. Miller, his eyes frenzy with panic, looked at him.
"Your going to be okay, Wade. Just hang in there. . . . ."
Mutiple hands, Miller's among them, were grabbing and ripping through Wade's medical pack in a flurry. Other hands were tearing Wade's shirt open, baring the five terrible wounds, and everbody was talking and shouting all at once.
"Sulfa," Miller said to Jackson, who was rummaging through the medical pack with him, "gimme the sulfa. . . ."
"He was helpin' me, goddamn it," Jackson said. "Comin' after me. . . . . ."
Wade looked up at each of their faces, the pain so immense he could not stop his body from convulsing.
"Y-y-you shot me. . . . .You all SH-sh-OT ME!" He started to push their hands away with pathetic weakness. He heard one of them say "HUH?" and "No Wade, the Germans shot you." And "We're loosin' him . . . . ."
He could hear fear and panic in their voices.
"It's Ok. Your going to be fine...."
"Prop his legs up....."
"Wh-where's the girl? I-I-Is she okay?" Wade questioned weakly. No one answered.
"He's hallucinating. . . . .," Upham's voice quavered.
Mellish was trying to hold his hands down on the one wound.
"Shit," Sarge said, hunkered over the bleeding medic, "get some pressure on it. . . ."
"Help me out Upchuck!" Mellish yelled. Upham got down and helped. Jackson was not his usual cool country self. "Oh, God, oh, Jesus!"
"Sulfa, where's the sulfa," Miller was saying.
"Fuck sulfa, he needs morphine!"
They injected the morphine, pouring sulfa, blood everywhere in a blur of help and panic and adrenaline.
It was all just a dream....not real.....his memory.....going bad, maybe fading.
"Wade? Wade? Can you hear me?" Miller said, hovering over the medic. Wade looked at him with distant eyes and a feeble smile.
"How's it look?"
"You're fine," Miller said. "You'll be okay. . . . ."
Wade grabbed Miller's coat with surprising strength. "Don't lie to the Doctor. . . . ."
Miller swallowed the lump in his throat. "Hell, I don't know, Wade. Doesn't look so good."
The morphine taking effect, Wade tried to sit up and see his wounds but couldn't.
"Am I. . . . am I shot in the. . . . .spine?"
They lifted him up.
"exit wound right on. . . .about the size of an acorn."
Wade gulped in air but more of a sob. "I . . . . . can't move," Wade said his voice thinning.
"You're not dead, Wade, goddamn it!" Mellish insisted, working to keep the blood in his chest cavity.
"let me . . . .let me feel . . . ."
They helped him put his finger in one of the bullet wounds. Blood bubbled up past his finger. The half awake Doctor tried to determine the severity of the wounds by feel.
"Any . . . .anything. . . . . bleeding worse than others. . . .?
"Yeah, me and Upham are pressing on it." Mellish said, "I don't think we oughta move our hands."
"Show me. . . . gotta feel. . . ."
Wade's expression was not of pain but of a child holding back tears to be brave. "Oh, God. . . . .it's my liver. . . . my liver. . . ."
"Tell us what to do. Tell us how to fix you!"
Wade's eyes looked at Capt. Miller sending him and his friends an unmistakable message--
.. . ...It's over; nothing you can do.......
His voice suddenly calm, resignation softened his tone. "I could use. . . . .little extra morphine. . . . Really could. . . . ."
Eyes locked, Miller knew exactly what his friend was asking him to do.
"More morphine. . . . .," the captain said to Horvath. Sarge gave him another injection.
"Yeah, Wade?" Rieben reached out and held Wade's blood slimed hand.
"I'm sorry. . . . about what I said to you. . . . .earlier."
Rieben's eyes misted over for a moment then he smiled and nodded at the medic. "Okay, Irwin. It will be alright buddy."
Sarge injected more morphine for the third time into his body. Jackson tried to wipe away the blood from Wade's mouth.
Wade glanced past their faces hovering over him, onto the muddy field. He drowned out the sounds of the people who were trying to somehow save him.
He could see the dead cows lying askew in the tall green grass. He thought he caught a glimpse of a girl, looking directly at him. Maybe she was an angel, he thought.
Yes. I think she is an angel. He remembers what angels were. His mom used to tell him bedtime stories about such creatures. She was very sweet and beautiful.....so kind....
I'm coming, don't worry.
"Jackson. . . ." Wade muttered.
"Right here, Wade."
"Lord's . . . . Lord's prayer. . . ."
"Wade, its not.....don't do this shit to me. You'll pull through...."
Wade, hands stilled by the morphine, grabbed the collar of Jackson's coat. Pulling him closer for him to hear his fading, raspy voice-
"Jackson...nothing, can...just please, for me. I have to go...." They gazed for but a moment at each other.
Jackson drew in a tired breath, knowing now this will be the last time he will get to talk with his pal. He held Wade's face in his hands, as if the southern boy were blessing the dying soldier....
Jackson nodded and began. "Our Father. . . . ."
Well, yeah. It was a dumb ish ending but so? see ya later!