S hifting his behind to find another comfortable position for his artificial legs, he sat there looking at the bright shining stars. The rain was over. It's going to be a good day today, not a cloud in the sky.
L ooking out from his one bedroom apartment window, he could see a change on the misty horizon, which meant daylight would soon be approaching. He spends most of his days now, sitting by the window, and gazing into the busy streets below. The years have caught up to Jack as he nears his 85th birthday.
H is steel blue eyes gazed over at his old oak cabinet, filled to capacity, with gold and silver soccer trophies and medals , tarnished black with age. He smiled to himself as his vision of the huge crowds that would roar and clamor, calling him by name, cheering him to victory.
I n a flash the scene changed.
H e was in the muddy trenches at the front lines in France, facing a determined enemy, it was a quiet night. The stench of death all around him. He wanted to tell someone he would rather be playing soccer than be here, to break the tension.
H e remembered the early morning sun cresting the distant rolling hills. He had just sat down on a wet ammunition box thinking of how nice a day it was going to be, the rain had stopped.
S uddenly a heavy barrage of German artillery fire began to shower down around them. The sky was blackened with smoke, and the acrid smell of gun powder filled the air, burning his lungs. Shells burst around the trenches for hour, after hour. There was no place to run or hide from the violent explosions and blinding flashes of death.
H e reminisced, the fear and panic he felt as he looked at his comrades, laying in pools of blood, their young bodies torn apart. Tommy's arm lay across Jack's chest it was still bleeding and moving. He closed his eyes, blocking out this scene of brutal horror.
H e lay there in the blood soaked mud, hands covering his eyes, listening to the yelling, the screams of excruciating pain, and the sounds of war. Then a warm soft hand touched his cheek. Struggling to open his eyes, he saw a misty figure of a woman in white, she wore a red cross on her breast. Truly she must be an angel he thought. He looked around for the blood soaked trench, and his comrades. They were all gone.
B lurry eyed, he saw the dull gray walls of an old church, lined with rows and rows of beds. He began to feel the biting, tearing pain, throbbing in his hands, arms and chest where bandages covered him. His eyes focused now in absolute terror, at the empty space below his waist. Both his legs were gone. Tears gushed up to surface and spew out for the first time in his life.
B rushing a tear from his eye, he turned towards the window to watch the people shuffling off to work.
Click on the Canada Goose|
and follow it back to the Library