Birds Flyin’ High

They circle above me. I try to ignore the thoughts flitting in the back of my mind as to why they are there. It won’t be long now. My time is running out.

One of them screeches and flutters to the ground beside me. Its patience is wearing thin; waiting on me to die. Its black, beady eyes stare into my own. It pecks at me but I must be too fresh. It screeches once more for good measure and flies up to rejoin its flock.

Birds flyin’ high…

The lyric is but a whisper in my mind. I smile as it floats through my thoughts and I know this must be the end. The pain is a distant memory.

I swivel my head from side to side as much as it allows. My comrades shouts come from all directions. Some are silent and I am almost envious. Their struggle is over.

You know how I feel…

We gave it everything we had, but it wasn’t enough. Now, my entire squadron lies in the dirt of the jungle. Our blood seeps into the ground as bullets fly over us, searching for more bodies to strike.

I wait for the signs. A white light. My life passing before my eyes. Nothing happens. All I see is a blinding ball of fire as I wait for the inevitable.

Sun in the sky … You know how I feel….

My hands reach for my leg but they find only empty space. The heat from the sky boils my skin as the birds continue to screech. They are hungry and my death is taking too long.

I am surprised that I lived through the night. Surprised. Not happy. A medic came at one point in the dark. He dosed me and left as quickly as he appeared. He never returned. I suspect he lies somewhere in the dirt alongside me now.

It’s a new dawn … It’s a new day….

A new day. My last day. I can feel the life flowing out of me with every beat of my heart. I yearn for it all to be over. I am only a boy, playing in a man’s game. I’ve lost everything. They’ve taken everything.

It’s becoming harder to breathe. I cough and feel remnants of my insides spurt out of my mouth. The birds fly a little lower now. Blackness tugs at the edge of my vision.

It’s a new life … For me….

It’s almost quiet now. The battle has moved on. The sounds of the jungle are my only reassurance that I am still of this world. The screams of my soldiers are quiet. I fear I am alone, but it won’t be long. The birds abandon the sky and screech alongside my battered body. My breaths are few and far between. I welcome the black. No light comes for me. But that is fine.

It envelops me and just like that, there is nothing.

And I’m feeling good….

———————————————–
Come get Sloshed at the Speakeasy!

28 Comments on “Birds Flyin’ High

  1. I was imagining the birds as pterodactyls, though I have no idea if they were scavengers or not… 😉

    Great story, Arden! Love the way you used the lyrics. And the vividness of the scene you painted was incredible.

    • Thanks Suzanne!

      At the end, I was like, ‘Crap! I forgot the pterodactyls again!’

      So just imagine this war is taking place in the Jurassic Period. 🙂

  2. Damn, this is great! You balanced the pace so well, and made the scene so visceral without overdoing it. I wasn’t sure the sprinkled in lyrics would work, but they absolutely do. Really well done

  3. Oh, those damned impatient birds! Reminds me of a Hemingway story — Snows of Kilimanjaro (I probably spelled that wrong). I agree with the previous comment that you paced this just right. Loved it.

  4. I imagined the vultures overhead and the dying around him. This was so vivid and just how I would a battlefield strewn with dead and the dying to appear. I personally thought this was brilliant, brilliantly written and executed. Perhaps the best I have read so far. You have really outdone yourself. If my opinion counts for much that is. HA! Regardless, I think this is absolutely brilliant!!!

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