#88 Hope

by Tonya Backes

Boom! Another torpedo had struck the side of the great battleship. A wave of water surged through the air as if Poseidon himself rose from its icy depths below. Gunner Mate Jason Miller stood at his station, soaking wet. The veins were popping out of his robust arm, more from fear and nerves than physical strain.

His 54 caliber gun mount suddenly ran out of ammo. This allowed him to truly look around for the first time. All the sounds of the battle faded away as his mind drifted. The realization that he truly might die before the day was done brought forth numbness through his body. His eyes absorbed in the organized chaos that only military training can create. Every sailor exactly where he should be, doing precisely what he should be.

In his minds eye he saw his family. At 22 years old he never dreamed he would be in the middle of a war. Never imagined he would have left his wife behind, nor his baby girl for that matter. The thought of her bright azure eyes brought his mind back to focus on the task at hand. He wasn’t going to die. Not here, not without feeling them in his arms again.

The sounds of battle returned. Jason reloaded with a new determination blazing in his eyes. He placed his hands back on the gun mount, found his mark, and began to shoot again.


JRVogt said...

Nice moment of calm and reflection in the midst of military chaos.

Unknown said...

i like the way the calm and chaos exist alongside each other while the prospect of death looms all around, and i found the story very moving. the decision not to die is one of humanities redeeming traits. Great story.