Sep 23, 2010


By Shanzae Asif

I hear him bellowing commands in the corridors, in my room. I hear every word echoing through the walls and I can’t escape because no matter where I run, every sound reverberates in my head. It haunts me and follows me everywhere screaming drill instructions menacingly. Sometimes, I hear the deafening exploding of bombs. Screams and shots being fired everywhere and it all returns in a flash. Blood. I bathed in it yesterday before going to bed but I guess I forgot to turn the tap off as my bathroom floor was flooded in red. Well, I’ll just use it to paint the walls of this room as they look pretty bland any way.

Most nights, I hide myself under the covers, nearly suffocating my breath to elude him for he might hear the sound of me breathing. I lie frozen like a rock, not moving an inch because he might sense me. The putrid odour of piss and the damp mattress make me nauseous under the sheets but I have little choice. If I move the sergeant will find me. He patrols the corridors all night, waiting for sounds he might catch, poor souls to take back to the war. That bastard rejoices in death, I once saw him make love to the corpse of a Vietnamese whore in Saigon. I know he’s come to take me back but I won’t go. I won’t go back to hell. I won’t go back to Vietnam.

I feel strangely light headed right now, there’s a new voice which seems oddly familiar. Oh it’s Major Richards, finally! I know he’ll protect me! Old Richards is a good man but how did he find me? He’s shouting my name; he will save me so I must do as he says. I must lock and load my rifle. I must shoot myself now.


Annoushka said...

hmmm...I didnt really like this.
I mean nice the idea of war alot but it didn't seem like the character the sense that he was WAY too afraid to have been a soldier.
And the thing with blood, it kinda contradicted the idea that he was afraid of going back to war again. If he didnt wanna go back, why would he be so comfortable with blood and use it as paint for that matter?

Pooja Lakhwani said...

I think I agree with Annoushka. I liked bits of it, and I liked the whole theme.. You phrased it well.. But the end part - the part which makes the reader think he is a solider - that didn't click with the whole monologue for me :)

sama said...

It's gripping. I like the part about how he goes on about the blood.It adds a theme of horror and how disturbed this man is. Just by the way, is this the influence of the Vietnamese War we're doing in history class by any chance?

Dhiya said...

i really like it. its like going inside the mind of private pyle. :D
The end was a bit confusing. is he imagining it or is there someone there? Also, is he in a mental hospital or still in vietnam? A little setting would have made it more interesting.

Shanzae Asif said...

He's hallucinating because he has lost his sanity after fighting in the war also that's why he can't make sense of the blood.

Nikhar Riaz said...

Intense, Shanzae. I think the idea was great, with a little more structure it would be even better.
But good job, Madam!;)

Post a Comment