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A Russian's Agony & A Soldier's Cry

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Old 03-24-2016, 05:01 PM
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Default A Russian's Agony & A Soldier's Cry


By Fiorenzo Arcadi

We had no choice but to separate ourselves from the regimen. Even though the earth was ruined, I was fortunate that the weather had been wet; no different from the brutality, punishment, and flesh surrounding Sevastopol. The small hill gave us life; as long as we crouched down they could not see us. The only way we could get back to our regiment was by escaping once the sun went down. After the hill, the land was wide and flat with few places to hide from the incoming fire.

I knew there was going to be a small tactical patrol unit on an intelligence mission. They are a sophisticated group of soldiers that detect targets. I just need some time with my comrade to remain undetected and avoid capture by the routine enemy surveillance. I leaned over my comrade, grabbed his shoulder, and told him, “Dig a pit so I can bury myself.” My comrade’s stench seemed to stay with me forever; he had nowhere to relieve himself. Nothing but stale bread and dirty water. The ear-shattering noise, the vibration, and the dust shaking loose could have made him half-deaf. Even though I knew he was the weakest, he was now the strongest.

I instructed my comrade that we would kill the soldiers and grab the documents. Remember comrade, “Properly do what they ask you to do, make sure you smile, and know nothing. Always look at the enemy’s eyes, no where else. Once we kill them, we will get the medals and I will let you keep them. The commander will give us better rations, better water, and medical attention. Whatever we want they will give to us, remember that comrade. I taught you to have courage in the face of defeat; even a dying animal has courage.”

The comrade nodded his head. We continued to dig and my comrade continued to dig faster than me. From the distance we could hear movement. I instructed my comrade to take off his coat and bury it somewhere. I positioned myself on the small grave; the only thing I worried about was my rifle getting jammed with all the mud, ironically resulting in this turning out to be my final grave.

I grabbed my comrade’s hand and squeezed it tight. I told him, “They will not kill you. Raise your hands up in the air and show fear and compassion. Cover me with the slimy mud and make sure to grab some shrubs to hide my face. I will hear everything. If I hear them raising their voices, getting emotional, getting nervous, then I will get up from this grave and kill them all. Do you believe me comrade? It’s our only way out. You will get all the medical attention you need and finally be reunited with your brother. A great soldier, just like you.”

The comrade finished the job and automatically raised his hands when he saw the three incoming soldiers. Two of the soldiers lowered their guns and asked the comrade if he had any weapons. The comrade fearfully shook his head. One of the soldiers proceeded and searched the comrade. The soldier looked at the commander and shook his head.

I could only see the silhouette of one of the soldiers, and that was all. The only sensibility I had was my nose distraught with the lingering stench of excrement, sweat, and dirt. I knew I made a mistake. I instantly sensed the soldiers when they stood behind me, perhaps meters away. If I rise up I know I’ll get shot in the back. This would leave them no choice but to gun down my comrade as well. But my mind was playing tricks on me, it could be a situation where they will leave him alone and not kill him. I did the same thing; I let the other soldier live because I couldn’t kill him. Yes, that will happen, I know that now. Because of my kind act God has blessed me with this opportunity. I don’t want to kill these soldiers; I don’t care about the medals. As long as both of us come out alive, it will make my day and we will sneak back to our regimen once the sun goes down. As long as I smell the soldiers I can not move.

The commander took out a piece of bread and water and handed it over to the comrade. He watched the comrade eat and drink. When the comrade finished his meal, the commander silently walked behind the comrade, put his hand over his mouth, and snapped his neck. Un-phased, the soldiers watched as the body collapsed into the commander’s arms. He gently laid the body onto the ground and brushed the hair away from his eyes. He ordered his soldiers to march on.

15 minutes lapsed into the march. The two soldiers heard an eerie cry followed by a single shot. The two soldiers turned towards the sound and started marching. The commander ordered the men to forget about the shot and continue marching forward. The commander used the sleeve of his tattered jacket to wipe away his tears. He knew that under the same circumstances, he would’ve made the same decision.


Last edited by Torontohockeyre; 03-26-2016 at 05:06 AM..
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:15 AM
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Are you writing regimen and intending regiment?
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:06 AM
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Thanks Nick it was changed.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Torontohockeyre View Post
Thanks Nick it was changed.
What of regimen in the opening line?


Not lookin' to bust your hump here, pal (bust/ hump - what the hell does that cliche expression even mean?). I simply cannot take serious a man's writing if he ain't, himself, interested in it enough to invest the time needed to proofread it.

I know, I know - I'm old fashioned.

Hey, whaddya expect from a guy that started off this Saturday morning by handloading .45 ACP cartridges and is now finishing up this little missive so he can go to the range for some 1911 paper perforatin' activity?


Think of good spelling as good bullet building.
No one gets points for blowin' up their gun because they used too much powder (or not enough - squibs cannot be cleared with a next round without damaging the machinery- wanna guess how I know that?).
Noticed and talked about, yes. But no points.

Point is if you get your spelling tight (you are Canadian, yes? English is a language you are familiar with, right?) I will find myself irresistibly drawn into your story.

Have you read The Battle of Stalingrad?

The Germans were using the frozen legs of horses stuck in the snow to show pilots where the runway was for landing.

Now dems some fightin' conditions.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:36 PM
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"I could only see the silhouette of one of the soldiers, and that was all.*" and you describe the whole situation , yet you could only see the silhouette of one of the soldiers...? -Not passable
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:26 AM
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The subject matter is topical and gripping but the others are right, it needs more polishing. Read more and take heed of constructive criticism, then try again. Its acceptable to post more than one draft of a story here, and its a rare author who has never been criticised.
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:13 AM
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Hi, just read your story draft. Have read many war, war-type stories and believe this has possibilities -- perhaps a bit of polishing and clarity checking would make a difference. I really can't get a handle on where this is going, who got shot (if anyone) and where it is. miki
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:41 AM
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Miki, the one who shot himself was the father . Kristijan is correct the silhouette was not possible. He was buried, he can only smell the stench emanating from his sons clothing. The mind does play tricks. I will review the sequences and the clarity.Thanks, I will accept the criticism

Last edited by Torontohockeyre; 03-28-2016 at 11:44 AM..
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