I'm getting ready to head out to the battle field, a messenger beckons to me. My package has been sent, I am relived for a moment, but then a sense of dread develops as I head out.
Shots echo through the blood-filled air. The horrid stench of decaying bodies fills my nose. The ground shakes constantly, as if having a massive seizure, explosions racking the soldier's eardrums. The blood rushes to my head causing me to feel dizzy. I fall, a mixture of red liquid and salted mud mixing together on the ground beneath me. The thing that shakes me the most is the fact that it isn't my blood; I gag at the thought. I have a brief thought of just staying here, laying, waiting, but as quickly as the thought appears it disappears. I push myself up, remembering that we're to shoot the bodies just in case. A hand grabs my shoulder; it is Jake he is dying. As I try to help him, I fell my chest being stabbed, ripping in two, once, twice, three times. It takes my brain longer to process what happened as I hit the rotting, yellow earth yet again. I have been shot. I feel a heavy weight on my chest and I find it increasingly harder to breath. I am dying. I try to shut my eyes but they a glued open with blood. I picture my sister, Julie.
We are kids again; I went outside to catch a butterfly, so Julie can see it. She loves nature but can almost never get up. She is ill. I walk back in with the butterfly in a jar. Julie is coughing. She coughs and coughs until she bleeds, I rub her back crying.
I take my last breath; my eyes forever open, frozen in terror. Julie.
We regret to inform you that Eric Parker has been killed.
Deepest sympathies, The Canadian Army.
"No not my brother!" Julie screams when they tell her. I am a ghost witnessing the tragic aftermath of my death along with the war. I was shot 1 hour before the war ended; on the 11th day of the 11th hour of this horrid thing we call war.
For days and days my sister cries for me, I wish I could hold her and comfort her. But I can't, I'm dead. I can't stand to see my innocent sister cry, especially for me. So, I leave. I walk the streets, I see men of all ages returning to their loving families. I also notice other ghosts lingering in the background with sadness in their eyes. I am filled with jealously and boiling hatred, nearly 9.7 million men were killed over some bloody assassination! I am one of them, one of the lost souls. It kills me to smiles on the smug faces of lucky bastards; I will never understand how they could possibly manage to smile after that bloodstained massacre. They should never be allowed to forget! They should be forced to remember, remember us, the fallen. I sit on a bench; it is dedicated to a soldier, at least one of us will be remembered. I cannot feel the cold, icy metal beneath me, I am dead. I have to find a way to let Julie move on but not forget, she needs it more than anyone.
"Mom! Dad!" I scream as they are shot to the ground. Julie is sobbing hysterically. She clings to me. "Eric, please let's just go, I can't bear to see mommy and daddy like this." She tells me holding back a cough.
Oh, if only I could hold a bloody pencil, then I could write to Julie. But I can't, I am no longer among the world of the living, I have no heartbeat, no pulse and no air enters my lungs.
I stand up and decide to pay my respects to my brave, fallen, comrades. I walk to the cemetery. As I arrive I see many names, some of the friends, others enemies. I am filled to the brim with sadness, those poor tortured souls, am I one of them? In the back of the cemetery, in the corner, by an old oak tree, I see a grave, it is isolated. I cannot stand to look at it as I step on the freshly dug dirt, I run away.
Gone too soon
As I run in the house, I see my sister. I call to her "Julie!" But she cannot hear me. I am the whisper in the wind, the dust on the floor, the background in a forgotten picture. I am dead.
I turn my head and look at Julie, sobs and coughs wrack her porcelain frame. She looks so pale and fragile, almost like a ghost. The sound of her cries echo in my head, bounce in my ears, pound in my mind and torture my heart and soul. I hope my package arrives soon. Maybe then, just maybe, Julie can move on and finally be at peace. Her coughing snaps me out of my thoughts. I run to her and rub her back, even though she can't feel me. As soon as the retched coughing stops, she visibly pales, she looks exhausted as black circles appear under her eyes. It's not fair! I am….I was her big brother, I am…..was supposed to protect her. I let painfully silent tears roll down my transparent cheeks.
The doorbell rings. Julie gets up with a huge effort. It is the postman. She asks how much, he shakes his head, pre-paid he tells her. He hands her my package.
She opens it my letter falls out. She reads it and cries.
This will be my last letter. We are going into the final battle, before you question me, yes, I am afraid. But I also know that I am fighting for the most important person in my life-you. I am dirty, itchy, cursing and I will be dying, but knowing that you are safe Julie, that is enough. Do not cry for me, I will always be your big brother, even if I'm not entirely all there. Just know Julie that there is far more good in the world then bad.
I love you Julie,
Forever your brother,
"Thank-you Eric, I will always love you." Julie says out loud. She reaches into the package and pulls out a small glass vile. She cries yet again after reading the label.
Medicine for Julie
Julie has moved on.
My name is Eric Parker; I was killed 1 hour before the war ended. I am dead. But my sister will live. I wish I was alive but knowing my sister will live a long and happy life gives me the strength to cross that line.
My name is Eric Parker, I was killed 1 hour before the war ended; I have never been more alive.