(Un)Justified

(Un)Justified

A Story by Undying Glory
"

Another story about war that I wrote. Featuring the song "M.I.A" by Avenged Sevenfold. About a guy regretting his actions in a war...

"

(Un)Justified

 

As the night claimed the world, a lone figure stood at the edge of the big lake.


As he watched the water eddy and ripple throughout the lake, and admire the moon’s reflection off the black, cold water, he reached into his pocket.


Her face stared back at him, her beauty preserved forever in that moment, as he held the photograph in his hands. The light of the moon was so bright, bright enough for him to see her face without a streetlamp or any other source of light.  He sighed softly and pressed the photo to his face. His trembling hands reached out, and he stroked her face in the photograph with his thumbs.


It was the closest that he would ever get to holding her now. He reached into his pocket, and withdrew something else.


The nickel-plated .45 pistol shone brightly in the moonlight. For a weapon, it was a brilliant piece of art, beautifully crafted, and as deadly as it was beautiful. He fingered the pistol and looked for the thousandth time at the small engraving on the butt of the pistol.


SOMMERFIELD


It was an old family heirloom which he had inherited on his nineteenth birthday. His great-grandfather had fashioned the gun himself, and throughout the generations his family had maintained the pistol well, cleaning and oiling it regularly, ensuring it could still fire properly, and now it was his.


He was so proud the day he received the gun. He had sworn to himself that he would never use it for anything bad, only in self-defence or to save someone.


Eventually, he could not keep that promise.


He sat down at the jetty and placed the gun next to him. In the circumstances he had been in, killing would have been more than justified.


It would have been a necessity in his case at the time. However, nothing, nothing at all could ever have justified what he had done. It was only a matter of sheer luck that they had decided to reduce what he had gotten. He let his mind drift away, carried away by the hypnotic flowing of the water, the silent howl of the wind and the rustle of the leaves, the moon hanging silently in the sky. His mind spun slowly around himself, spiralling inwards.


It finally settled on her. As her face came rushing back, so did all the bad memories. Memories that he had tried, vainly, to bury in the past. He looked up, vaguely remembering a song by Avenged Sevenfold.


The song was titled “M.I.A”. As he watched the moon, he heard the song, as clear as day, in his head. As Synyster Gates played the opening riff of the song, he almost felt his vision blur, as he was sent back in time to those days, the days he was in the war. And the first day that he met her.


She was so beautiful in his memory, with wit as sharp as a blade and really smart, who could memorise entire textbooks and recall them word for word. She had a sweet smile and she never failed to get his heart pumping a million times faster.


And to top things off, she was also his comrade-in-arms.

She was a soldier, like him, and she also had the same rank as him. Her weapon of choice was a sniper rifle, and she had always been nice towards him. Through army camp, they had drawn closer and closer to each other, despite strict anti-fraternization rules, making out by themselves in the dead of night, cherishing the other in a special part of their heart. Their squad mates had mocked them mercilessly, being “star-crossed lovers”, and it didn’t help that her name was Juliet. They had fought in bloody wars together, always backing each other up, never letting the other out of their sight.


Sommerfield listened as M. Shadows began to sing.

“Staring at the carnage,

Praying that the sun would never rise,

Living another day in disguise...

These feelings can’t be right,

Lend me your courage to stand up and fight...

On...tonight...”


As Sommerfield clutched the photo of Juliet to his face, he swayed his head to the music. The beat soon picked up as the other members of Avenged Sevenfold joined in. The bridge played, and at once he remembered the war, as he and his squad had stepped on the foreign battlefield for the first time. The once-beautiful land had been ravaged, and now it lay smouldering in the midst of artillery, landmines and rockets.


“The fighting rages on and on...

To challenge me you must be strong...

I walk your land but don’t belong...

Two million soldiers can’t be wrong...”


He had been sent to overthrow a terrible dictator in a country whose name he couldn’t pronounce properly, in a land full of people he never knew, who spoke a language he had never heard of in his life. All the civilians feared everyone with a gun, and the slightest hint of gunfire sent everyone scattering in all directions.


Sommerfield, along with his squad, had at first been stunned by the civilians. Shouldn’t they be happy that their days of terror were over? They had come as their liberators, as their saviours. Finally, they met an old man who understood English.


“You say you bring peace and security to our country. Yet all we see is more and more bloodshed. How can we believe anything we are told now?”


As the chorus played, Sommerfield couldn’t help but realise the truth of the man’s words.

“Fight for honor, fight for your life,

Pray to God that our side is right,

Though we won, I still may lose

Until I make it home to you...

I see our mothers filled with tears,

Grew up so fast, where did those years go,

Memories won’t let you cry

Unless I don’t return tonight...”


As the bridge played, Sommerfield remembered the nights he had spent with Juliet, under the dark skies, in a world slashed by war. He could still remember how it had felt with her in his arms, murmuring softly in the darkness, him holding her close, her running her hands along his face, and how they planned to marry after everything was over. He remembered his mother hugging him, crying softly, and praying that him and Juliet would make it through the war.


As fate would have it, only he made it. He listened as M. Shadows sung the next verse of the song.


“So many soldiers on the other side...

I take their lives so they can’t take mine...

(Scared to make it out alive, now murder’s all I know...)

Nobody tells me all the reasons I’m here...

I have my weapons so there’s nothing to fear...

(Another day, another life but nothing real to show for)...”


At those words, Sommerfield remembered the combat, how he and his squad mates had fought bitterly against a battle-hardened enemy, how they had fought outnumbered six to one most of the time. He remembered every rifle shot, recalled the shock waves and blast of every grenade, and each and every one of his friends that died at the hands of the enemy. Every day was the same, killing, killing and more killing. Only unlike civilian life, this was all justified.


The chorus played again, and he clutched the picture of Juliet as hard as he could, until his knuckles turned white.

“Fight for honor, fight for your life,

Pray to God that our side is right,

Though we won, I still may lose

Until I make it home to you...

I see our mothers filled with tears,

Grew up so fast, where did those years go,

Memories won’t let you cry

Unless I don’t return tonight...”


The verse from the intro played again, and pangs of sadness ripped through Sommerfield’s heart. After all, they were so close to making it out alive. The two of them were about to leave the battlefield in two weeks. They could think of their lives together, at last, after months and months. Now everything was gone, scattered like ashes to the wind.


“Staring at the carnage,

Praying that the sun would never rise,

Living another day in disguise...

These feelings can’t be right...

Lend me you courage to stand up and fight!”


He had too much blood on his hands, and he knew that all too well. As the next verses played, Sommerfield looked down at himself almost in shame. Everyone had commented that he was such a polite and gentle young man. Now he knew he was capable of truly horrible deeds.


“Watching the death toll rise, wondering how I’m alive...

Strangers’ blood on my hands, I’ve shot all I can,

There are no silent nights, watching your brothers all die...

To destroy all their plans, with no thought of me,

No thought of me...

No thought of me...”


As the guitar solo started, Sommerfield held his head. Now all he could see in his mind was her, and her last moments of life. He recalled her death with startling and almost disturbing clarity. He almost felt as though he was sent back in time...


The skies erupted in a blaze of artillery that sliced the trees in half, causing the ground to shake under the sheer weight of shells. Sporadic gunfire ripped across the empty lands, and occasionally the explosions of grenades were heard. The screams of the wounded and dying split the air, skin-crawling, almost inhuman shrieks. And through all of this Sommerfield and Juliet crawled, keeping low to avoid the cold-blooded snipers and machine gunners. However, Juliet was struggling to keep up, as the small wound in her thigh had widened, and blood was trickling out, slowly but steadily, leaving a snail-trail of blood behind her.


She grabbed on to him, her teeth clenched, resisting the excruciating pain.


“Oww...Som...it’s so painful...I...can’t...take...”


“Hold on, baby...” As he scrambled for a bandage and a small pack of morphine that the team medic had given him earlier, he turned...


And saw a dark figure behind Juliet, raising his gun.


The air exploded in a chatter of submachine gun fire as Juliet instinctively curled into a ball. Sommerfield ducked low, beneath the gunfire, firing back with the .45. As he reached Juliet, he administered the morphine and bandaged her wound.


Just as he had finished, the enemy rolled on to his back and fired.

His next burst cut right across Juliet’s legs and back.


Sommerfield watched in sheer horror as the bullets ripped into her. Her body jerked with the impact of multiple bullets, and a small trickle of blood began to flow from her mouth. He turned her over. The wounds were simply too many.


“No...no...no...stay with me, Juliet...stay with me, please...STAY WITH ME!”

Even though she was inches from death, she smiled. The smile of one resigned to her fate.


“I...love...you...Som...” The words seemed to require the strength of a superhuman being to say. Her body slowly went limp in his arms, and her eyes glazed over.


He cradled her lifeless body in her hands, sobbing softly. Then he placed her down as gently as he could, and closed her eyes. He raised the .45 and turned, to see the enemy watching them with amusement on his face.


He fired. The man’s eyes bulged as his chest exploded with blood, and he spun away and crashed into a wall. His shallow breathing was all that kept him from death.


Sommerfield glared at him.

“Where do you live?”

The man just managed to say the name of the town before the bullet penetrated his brain.

 

Sommerfield gripped his head tighter. No matter how bad it was previously, much worse was yet to come.

 

As Sommerfield entered the city, he found it deserted and empty. All the enemy soldiers had left the city, before Sommerfield’s army had shelled the city. As the townspeople gingerly left their houses, Sommerfield walked down the main road.

Juliet’s death rang out again and again in his mind. And here he was, in the hometown of her murderer.

Before he knew it, the .45 was in his hand.

...Gunshots...

...People screaming...

...Bodies littering the streets...

...Arrest...

...Court-martial...


He deserved far worse than the jail sentence that he received, and he knew it. He had only been spared death due to his age and he was “clearly traumatized”. He had forever regretted everything he had done.


If only there was no war...

He and Juliet could have been together...


As the solo ended, Synyster Gates played again the riff that had been played at the beginning. M. Shadows sung the last verse.

“Walk the city lonely,

Memories that haunt are passing by,

A murderer walks your streets tonight...

Forgive me for my crimes...

Don’t forget that I was still young

Fought so scared...

In the name of God and country...”


As the riff dwindled gradually, Sommerfield placed the photo of Juliet back in his pocket. He reached out, picking up the gun, admiring the craftsmanship of his great-grandfather for one last time.


He had gone back on his vow. He didn’t deserve this anymore. No one else deserved the gun either. He had oiled it with the blood of innocent people.


He was going to start anew, and rebuild his life.


He got up and walked back. But just before he turned to leave, he raised his arm and hurled the gun with all his might.

The water rippled as the gun entered the lake, and immediately sunk to the bottom. 


© 2010 Undying Glory



Author's Note

Undying Glory
Tell me what you think...please...
Image taken from Wikipedia
Image is actually Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album cover in 2007. The song featured here is from its previous album, "City of Evil", but I didn't want to use that...

My Review

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Featured Review

Although A7X has social social/political attitudes I find seriously offensive,
Your writing had me overlook that. I met many international female soldiers in shooting competitions, so this story makes sense. In other countries the gender line isn't there. In theory male soldiers will take unnecessary risks in war when
they are in love. This story seems to give that theory credibility. This story is
haunting, but the emotions are genuine. The scenes are superb and really detailed. It goes from peaceful to frantic and back again. You created a roller coaster ride of emotion. You had a very wise message about revenge being satisfying for only a moment.

I understand that music inspires you, but I believe it is holding you back.
Your writings are great they would be great of they stood alone. You dont
have directly tie in a song to write a tribute to it.

With all that said and done..Id give you an A+. I believe you are a natural
screen writer/musician. I enjoy your work. It really puts the imagination to work.
Your depictions are in HD.

Posted 7 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Told a sad story, at first I thought he was going to kill himself with the gun! Surprise happy ending! good job!!

Posted 6 Years Ago


I enjoyed this very much. I don't like reading things that are a waste of time, but this was very good (certainly not a waste), and I thought you did an excellent job with this story.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Nice writing. I noticed a few typos. Check the following:
As he watched the water eddy and ripple throughout the lake, and admire(admired) the moon’s reflection(I think you can stop with reflection, it's implied that it is reflecting off the water.) off the black, cold water, he reached into his pocket.

Her weapon of choice was a sniper rifle, and she had always been nice towards him.(Nice to him might be a better choice of words.)





Posted 7 Years Ago


nice

Posted 7 Years Ago


The beginning was so sweet and breath-taking. I love how you describe scene and it totally gets the reader drawn to the boy and the girl in the photograph described so much like the reader shouldn't forget her. This really does get the reader right into it wanting to read more. I love how you describe the flashbacks there very understanding and clear.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Hmm.. I've read quite some of your stories.. and seems you inject songs into all of your stories, and guess what? I like that. I've never seen a writer doing that before (Featuring songs in his writes.).

And that, your stories always has a 'He', a 'She', a 'Love' and a 'Broken heart'.. :) Am I right?

But this time, I didn't guess the ending, it was different and good. I could feel the anguish, guilt and later on, the thirst of rehabilitation.

"He had gone back on his vow. He didn’t deserve this anymore. No one else deserved the gun either. He had oiled it with the blood of innocent people."

Well said mate, well put. Nobody ever did.

Keep writing.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Good write. Even flow from buildup to action. You kept the reader involved and the emotion of this piece pushed through.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Note: For some reason, reading this in Internet Explorer is fine, but in Mozilla Firefox, the text format is atrocious. I haven't tried Google Chrome yet.

Overall the story was quite magnificent. There is definitely alot more you could do with this. Possibly adding more detail to their love life/their experiences in the war, and details about the war it's self, but seeing as it is a short story, none of that is really necessary. Excellent depiction of the complexities involved in love and war.
Btw, I like how well you incorporated that A7X song, but I was pleased to find that I couldn't bring it up from memory, so the lyrics alone stood out. I don't know how being able to hear the music in my head would have altered the story for me, but I can't imagine it fitting in with the atmosphere as I imagined it. Either way, great work.

Posted 7 Years Ago


aweeeeessooommmeeezzzzzz!!!!!! good job, buddy :)
keep it up, and oh, pls review some of mine too :) thkx

Posted 7 Years Ago


For one so young sweety, you have immense knowledge! This is a perfect example, wow! I am dumbfounded! Brilliant piece of work! xx

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on January 26, 2010
Last Updated on January 28, 2010
Tags: war, Avenged, Sevenfold, M.I.A, regret, actions

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Undying Glory
Undying Glory

Singapore, Singapore



About
The average guy you'd meet on the street, only with a hidden streak. Or several, for that matter. Twitter: @EdgeHidhir Age: 20 Likes: Chemistry, Biology, documentaries, computer games, music (al.. more..

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