Avatar Author: Bob Liddil I am an author of science fiction, general fiction short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. I have been published in several genres, including fantasy and poetry, as well as non fiction. At one time I published my own c... Read Bio

A bright white light flashes. A jarring quake of thunder shakes the bed in which I awaken in the body of the boy I used to be, sweating profusely from fear or fever, I do not know which. Darkness sears my eyes. Incandescent spots float diagonally across my field of vision. I open them wide and stare into a jungle. Bullets pepper the ground on which I lay, as I desperately try to become one with the mud. Peripherally, I can see one of my best friends falling, face forward, three bright red spots staining his chest. As morter rounds begin to pop, darkness falls.

I shout, “Medic!”

Something is beeping. My room door opens, a light flashes on and a nurse enters. She has a stern businesslike face, set in a grimace. She frumps over to the IV dispenser and smacks it on the top as one might an errant coke machine. The beeping stops. She turns on her heel and leaves without speaking, clicking the light switch as she goes, plunging the room into darkness.

A gentle wave washes over me. A bright white light flashes.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Lighty

    The repetition here is perfect. I love how the line before changes it from being something harsh.

    The two sections segue very well. I think they make a lot of sense while fulfilling the ‘broken’ requirement of the challenge.

  2. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Very tragic and a nice description of the in and out reality of really bad PTSD. Lots of contradictions, some of which work (darkness searing his eyes) and some that don’t (falls face first but you’re seeing the stains on his chest). Overall the feeling of helplessness comes through nicely.

  3. Avatar Kihd

    It reminds me of those dreams that we all have as a kid, when you’re sick and fevered and nothing makes sense.

    I can’t decide whether he is dying at the end or just falling into another dream. I’m happy with that. A little ambiguity never killed anybody.

  4. Avatar Tina Murphy

    Wonderful wordplay Bob! I really enjoyed the frumping nurse. lol
    Even though it took us to a wierd and wacky place like we took morphine.

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