Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)
TITLE: War-Worn Warrior
By Ada Nett
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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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