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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)

TITLE: War-Worn Warrior
By Ada Nett


It was quiet now, the fighting had ceased while he lay in a shell-shocked stupor beneath the jeep. The hush was disconcerting, almost more frightening than the sounds of battle had been earlier. Pulling himself out from under the jeep Sergeant Saunders stood and wiped the grit from his weary, red-rimmed eyes. The fatigue was like concrete poured into his bones, with all his heart he just wanted to go home. Summoning a superhuman effort, Saunders stumbled out onto the road. The surreal silence ended as the angry blast of a hidden landmine shattered Saunders legs and flipped him wildly through the air and into a pit beside the road.

When he awoke it was raining and he was crying. Rivulets of water ran down the walls of the pit and collected around Sergeant Saunders' body. He was huddled in the fetal position and his tears were mixing with the rain and turning the dirt beneath his cheek into salty mud. His ears still rang from the thundering landmine blast, yet slowly the ringing in his head became a real sound. Out on the road above him someone was ringing a bell.

Saunders tried to sit up but the internal load was heavier now, like cold gray stone he lay and listened as the ringing bell came nearer. The sound stopped above the edge of the pit, a man's voice called out.“Hello, anyone here?' Saunders' heart rumbled under his ribs and his throat closed so completely he couldn't breathe, he convulsed and loudly gasped for air. The bell rang again and the voice called out “I hear you, I'm climbing down.”

Soggy soil began to avalanche and scatter from the mouth of the hole. Saunders saw the soles of mud-caked boots descending above his head. Then uniformed legs followed the boots and finally the entire body of an imposing military soldier slid the final few feet into the pit and stood above him. Saunders hesitantly reached up toward the tall powerfully built man . The big soldier grasped the outstretched hand and squatting down, he gently lifted Sergeant Saunders across his back. Rising to his feet he stepped forward to climb out.“Wait, I don't have a weapon” Saunders cried as the man began to ascend the wall. “Its okay you won't need one anymore,” the man spoke in reply. Then effortlessly, the strange soldier clambered out with Saunders securely anchored over his shoulder. Reaching the top, he lifted the broken soldier from his shoulder and set him down upon his feet. As Saunders feet touched the ground he stood tall, strong, sturdy and light. No longer did the heavy feeling of fatigue weigh him down.

The bell began to ring again and with it other bells began ringing until the very air itself cracked open, and became a doorway from which a very fine pure white mist was drifting out around the two soldiers. With the mist came a fragrance unlike anything Saunders had ever encountered. It drew him him toward the threshold . The heavenly soldier beside him began to sing with a voice laced with notes heard only by redeemed hearts and as he sang, the mist grew brighter and brighter. Saunders stepped over the portal into eternity. The singing quietened to a rapturous hum. The scent intensified and suddenly Saunders was changed, he instantly knew deep mysteries and glorious thoughts, his vision was different, the mist had faded into pure light revealing God in all His resplendent glory. Love itself enveloped Saunders in an eternal embrace and the heavens sang his homecoming song.

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This article has been read 511 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/12/12
Wow - this was so powerful and intense! It was well written, particularly the ending describing the soldier going home. Great job with this relevant entry.

Thank you.

God Bless,
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/12
This is a wonderful story. You grabbed me right from the beginning and held my interest throughout. I can't imagine anything that would make one weary more than war. You enveloped the topic in this gripping story. The end took me by surprise and that doesn't happen very often. At first I thought you were going down the mysterious stranger road but I was pleasantly surprised with the direction you took.
Glynis Becker05/14/12
Beautiful, sad and hopeful all at the same time. Loved the descriptive phrases you used and I could feel the MC's weariness lifting by the sentence. Great job!
Laury Hubrich 05/15/12
So, so sad. You did very well with your descriptions.
lynn gipson 05/16/12
a beautiful way to describe the going home of our brave heart troops. This is a subject very near and dear to my hearts, our troops at war. Just took by breath away. God Bless
Graham Insley05/17/12
Very well written with an ending that is the perfect answer to all weariness. No matter what we have been though, that will be the day it all falls away.

Blessings and thanks.
Hiram Claudio05/17/12
Congratulations on your 1st place finish and welcome to the Advanced level!
Amanda Brogan05/17/12
WOW!!! This is amazing! As always, you have such a poetic and engaging way with words. And the fact that you've been honing your craft is obvious with this piece. Faithwriters has a way of drawing out the very best in a writer. :)

Huge congrats on your Editor's Choice! So proud of you.
Ada Nett05/17/12
I am so close to what I have written that I have no perception of how it will be received by my readers.Honestly, I thought this piece wasn't very good, I thought maybe I had over-worked it. Am I surprised?You bet I am. Thank you all for you encouragement!
C D Swanson 05/17/12
Congratulations. God bless~
Donna Wilcher05/17/12
Congratulations..and welcome to Level 3!!!
Ellen Carr 05/18/12
Congratulations on your 1st placee. This is really moving and well written.
Deborah Engle 05/18/12
This was gripping. I found myself holding my breath to get to the end and see the glorious hope become true.
Michael Throne05/18/12
This is exceptionally well written. The segue from life to death is done so seamlessly, the reader experiences the understanding right along with the protagonist. Great story. Congratulations!
Denene Humphrey05/19/12
Sharon Eastman05/20/12
Thrilling . . . the ending says it all!
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/21/12
Ah, the ultimate rest. Very well done. The only red ink I'd give is that the explosion didn't pack as much punch as I would have liked it to. But other than that one line, this was very well done.