It's Lydia here, yeah I know twice in one day. This piece is also a creative writing homework task, I wrote it about a week ago. But if you could leave me a comment on how it could become better and be improved, that would be great.
“Now Bill, you must speak to me. I am purely here to help you, it is my job,” he said carefully, “It may burst the magnitude of mental tension that has grown inside you.”
I can’t talk about that. I cower from the pain of these relentless thoughts and can say nothing. I want so badly to speak, to form the words, to feel my tongue glide over teeth in the formation. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. Speaking of the horror was reliving the experience all over again. The nature as humans is to stay in the comfort and ease of our warm beds, to feel the purple adrenaline lash through the blood pushing our legs to run away from danger. As soldiers we were forced to fight this chemical, to scream no when our minds said go home. It was what the army indoctrinated into every young man who stood ready in khaki green.
As a boy who had newly turned eighteen when war was declared, I obeyed and was left chained up in my mind as a result.
I watched many people die. But one in particular haunted my thoughts. One afternoon, the Germans were continually pelting shell after shell at us. Each one getting nearer to my battalion, they seemed to scream, “I’m coming for you” then crash and explode as they hit the mud, each one was a growing parasite on my brain. One shell bounced off the cliff of the trench and fell with a clunk. We all waited for the quick death, but none came. It clicked in recognition, that we all wouldn’t join our deceased brothers, but what poured out of the grey can was just as damaging, it flowed like a mustard river, bubbling and teeming in all directions.
“Gas! Gas! Quick boys! Masks on!”
All but one found their mask. We all stood like evacuees waiting and watching. There was nothing we could do. The fog embraced him, crushing his life with invisible force. He fell choking, gargling blood and writhing like a waterless fish. It would be over any second now I thought. He took ten minutes to die. This painful end replayed in the back of my eyes every night, I couldn’t stop my mind from seeing the red foamed lips and yellow stained body. He was the last face I saw until my inner workings were infiltrated by buzzing insects that ate away at my rigid structure, causing the hold on myself to flop and go limp, and my form hit the earth in guilt filled exhaustion.
He and so many more ghosts swarm around inside me asking why I’m alive and they aren’t, and why am I so special that I was granted to live. I simply answer I don’t know. I keep telling them that I don’t want to be here, that I want to die, hitting and slamming my hands against my head to stop the voices.
A conscious keeps reassuring me, but I can’t seem to hear the nurturing voice over the pounding in my brain. In each beat their names are said, Jack, Michael, Jacob, Oliver, William, Robert.
The inner workings of me seemed to twitch, seize and snatch as I recoiled in the memory of each of their deaths.
“Open your mouth Bill. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the sake of your wife and children.” He said more agitatedly
“I have nothing to say.”