Not left behind

photo credit: Whiskey time! via photopin (license)

photo credit: Whiskey time! via photopin (license)

The cheap liquor shot slammed into the back of his mouth /the RPG slammed into the side of his armoured personnel carrier.

Hand shaking from the memories, he put the glass down and felt heat as fire spread through his throat and stomach / chassis shaking from the impact, he saw men go down and felt heat as fire spread across the cabin’s floor and roof.

Booze coated his hands, his sleeve, the bar-top; slick-yet-sticky, it seemed to be everywhere / blood coated his hands, his uniform, the inside of the APC; slick-yet-sticky, it seemed to be everywhere.

Reaching out, he grabbed the bottle by its neck and dragged it to the glass; almost empty, he held on tight and watched as the last drops of alcohol dripped out / bursting out, he grabbed a friend by their collar and dragged him to safety, too late he held the wounds and watched as the last of the man’s life dripped away.

He gently placed the solider on the ground before heading back into the burning APC for another, shots ringing around him; he would leave no man behind / he gently placed the bottle to one side before signalling the barman for another, shots lining up in front of him; he could not leave this behind.

Five Sentence Fiction (#5SF).

From Lillie McFerrin’s blog:

What itโ€™s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word.

This weekโ€™s word: MEMORIES

You can check the rest of the stories here.

Strictly speaking this is a cheat on the five sentences – one might argue that this is actually ten sentences cleverly (poorly?) disguised as five by a creative (cheating?) narrative structure. If so, I apologise for the excess sentences, you can chew me out in the comments section if you feel inclined. I thought the repetitive mirror sentence structure would work well here as we flip between the ‘now’ – the  surviving soldier drinking, and the ‘then’ – the memories of the event.

This piece comes from a few places, partly some research I’ve done in relation to PTSD (including a great bit on 4 Corners: Bringing The War Home) and partly some of the music I’ve been listening too (hitting some Five Finger Death Punch).

I tried to treat the issue with some respect – hopefully I’ve achieved this. Let me know what you think.





10 thoughts on “Not left behind

  1. KT,
    You know that I love your writing. This, by far, is my personal favorite. However, I am biased. My brother is a Veteran of the Iraq war and suffers from PTSD. You captured it. You nailed it. In five sentences, you are in the mind of a returning soldier. An honor to read.
    The video you linked it too, I could barely make it through. I do hope people will go and watch for not just the song but also the stats.
    Well done. As always, CC

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks CC – appreciate the very kind words, and very glad that I managed to get what I wanted across. The music video is definitely emotive, and I recommend the 4 Corners report – its Australian in focus, but really done well.

      Liked by 1 person

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