www.whyville.net Aug 3, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Gray Burlap

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Author's Note: The song "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2 inspired me to write this short story. Try to guess which war and what battle this takes place in.

A man glances to the sky. The clouds swirl. A wind blows across the battlefield. A friend lays across his lap, his gasps for air silencing the guns. A horse whinnies in the distance. A knife plunges into the man's soul.

He desperately searches for a bandage for his friend. His hands grope among the dead bodies. Climbing over a mass of gray and blue uniforms, his body struggles not to fall. Not to become part of hell. Blasts of gunpowder chokes him and he falls. His legs too tired. His hands too sore. His soul too wounded. His eyes seen too many things. The dark earth below him makes a muddy pit as rain falls on the deprived man. A salty tear mixes with the rain on his face as his suffering mind pushes on. His hands fall upon a gray cloth. Burlap. The scratchy cloth is held to the man's chest as he runs to the body of his friend.

The cloth is put to the wound in his friend's chest and the gray burlap is no more, fresh blood dripping into the wet earth. His friend's gasps for air pause for a moment. He whispers, "Save your tears. Save them for heaven." And his eyes become quite still. The body becomes limp. And the blood stops flowing. A shot is heard and the friend is dropped to the ground while the man looks and sees his chest is red also. He presses the burlap to himself. He falls on top of his friend. The burlap falls to the ground. His last look at the world is diminished.

Days later, a woman picks up his body. Unknown, unnamed. He is thrown among 700 other bodies and wheeled away. His soul lies dying in the ground.

A red cloth flutters in the distance.



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