Friday, April 20, 2018

The Encounter

Now both men watched in perfect clarity.  Al could see the dirt streaked on the front of her white button-up shirt. When time does strange things, Al remembered his own white shirt from first grade.”

Running as fast as her little legs could move, the tears running down her cheeks told of the terror that filled her heart. As another explosion moved closer, the two men watched as a woman was trying to catch the child. She had come from the shops and was just seconds behind the little girl.

Williams moved around the back of Al, screaming in his ear, “I’m gonna’ go grab her, stay here.” Al, glued to the corner of the bunker, had his camera ready. He wanted pictures of the marine. Al heard Williams, “Dear God, protect us.”

When time cannot be measured, as Williams was moving behind Al, the deadly metallic projectile headed towards the bunker. In the millisecond before the concussion of the blast threw Al and Williams backwards, the small girl in her dirty white shirt with tear streaks on her cheeks, vanished in a red mist.

               Trying to move on the ground Al could sense something warm in his ears and on the back of his neck. Yelling at Williams, “Where’s the girl? Where’s the little girl? Where in the hell did she go?”  Williams, lying next to Al, was yelling back, “She's gone! She's gone! Dear Mother of God she's gone.” Al didn’t hear Pfc. Williams.

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