Dying London

Dying London

A Chapter by Pillow Of Winds

It couldn’t be estimated how long the battle had been raging on for, two hours, two days? It was hard to tell. Mercer ducked beneath the destroyed remains of Nelsons Column as a bullet made its way through the air and making another dent upon the pillar that had once stood glorious in Trafalgar Square. Mercer could barely even register his own rage and sorrow, here was London, the city he’d grown up in, the city he’d loved since childhood; and now it was burning; London was burning and he could do nothing.

            The Eastern troops had been parachuting out of the sky like raindrops falling from clouds hovering above the dying city, and they had bought with them destruction, blood ran through the streets, buildings burned and all around could be heard the sounds of distant and close screams. A grenade exploded at the head of the National Gallery and sent a few soldiers flying in all directions. Mercer leant his head up just in time to see an enemy that was running for cover. He took a deep breath and let out a burst from his rifle; the enemy buckled as the bullets sprayed across his knees and chest.

            The greatest difficulty was that it was hard for Mercer’s allies to formulate a defensive strategy when the enemy could land at any part pf London at any time, Piccadilly Circus was close to being overrun and if Leicester Square fell then Mercer’s unit would be flanked and it would be impossible to stop the advance of the enemy into Westminster. Of course, for now, the enemy was reasonably scattered and therefore the enemies in Trafalgar Square were not a huge threat; but all of that could change.

            Running back to the stone steps which led up from the Column, Mercer took cover from the gunfire and picked up some more ammo from a small reserve they had placed there. Next to him an ally was shot through the head, blood shooting onto Mercer’s hands and face. The horror was that as he tried to wipe away the blood it seemed to spread. He shook his head to try and shake off the feeling of nausea that came with seeing so many bloodied corpses and scattered body parts and returned to the heat of the battle.

            Mercer took aim and shot another enemy soldier, wounding him in the side; he went to take another shot but was knocked over by someone running into him. He felt a charge of fury at first, he wanted to strike the person in frustration, but then he saw that it was only a helpless civilian. The person’s eyes were glazed with tears; he had blood on his white Levi’s t shirt and dirt all over his hands; he couldn’t have been much older than twenty. Mercer felt an unbelievable sadness for the man, they had no place here, and yet where could they run to? A young girl, who might’ve been considered very pretty under different circumstances, crouched beside him and hugged him very tightly, her loud sobs drowned out by a bomb that landed just west of their position.

The two embraced each other, visibly shaking though sobs and both covered in dust and rubble. “Get down!!” Mercer yelled

“We have to get out of here!” the woman screamed hysterically

“No!” Mercer yelled in response “stay put and keep down, it’s not safe out…” an explosion overpowered the volume of his speech

“Patrol!” Mercer just made out the bark of a voice from one of his superiors “advance the line, were about to wipe out the enemy in this square!!”

            Mercer looked back at the couple, the despair on their faces as they looked into each others eyes helplessly saw him overcome with pity; he started feeling at his armour and belt for something, anything, that could help them. He pulled a 9mm pistol from its holster and a medical kit from his belt. He turned the man round to face him, saying nothing but offering the items. The man looked down at them, then up at Mercer, wide eyed as though he wasn’t sure what to do. Mercer’s heart sank, the man looked terrified, what if he was too weak to help himself? The man then looked over at the woman who accompanied him; her youthful beauty must have stirred up something in him, as he took the items from Mercer, his features hardened with a determination that can only have come from courage; the need to survive in the face of danger. Mercer felt a sense of renewed resolve in himself, he nodded once at the young man, who nodded back, then patting his shoulder once he ran to rejoin his unit; leaving the couple behind; hoping that they would survive; his prayers now being said for them and the girl he’d left in Enfield.

            Adrenaline coursed through his body as though it had replaced the blood in his system, Mercer went down the stairs, his rifle poised for battle, a bullet zoomed past him and hit a comrade who fell backward and died. A lot of the soldiers and patrols around him all shouted incoherently, as though unleashing their anger and tension would help keep them alive. Mercer took out an enemy with a single shot to the head; a wave of gunfire tore over his head as the men behind him all opened fire in unison and took out a group of five enemies congregating at the foot of the destroyed column. The gunfire from the Eastern troops was growing lighter as their numbers dwindled, but still they put up a fight. A Soviet with a rifle saw Mercer, and Mercer saw the man take aim but couldn’t have done anything quick enough. The gun fired.

            Mercer felt the bullet collide against the armour in his shoulder, the impact felt strong; he fell off his feet and rolled off the side of the stairs, his helmet falling off in the rush. He hit the ground with a powerful thud, he got to his feet and felt his shoulder; the armour appeared to have prevented serious injury; he ran forward to find cover; but was once again knocked down this time by a grenade that had landed not far from him. Mercer could not help but feel the speed at which everything was happening, no sooner had he felt the rush of being knocked of his feet by the explosion than he was suddenly feeling the sharp burn and cutting sensation as a piece of shrapnel sliced into his cheek. Mercer yelled out in pain and landed on his side.

            Panic was now beginning to creep up on Mercer, it was essential to keep composure, but he was on the ground, the most vulnerable possible position, anything could happen, he could lift his head up and see a Soviet standing over him, murder in his eyes. Mercer stumbled to his feet clumsily, still disorientated from the fall, he grabbed the shard, it was not lodged too deep in his cheek, and wrenched it out. “Aarrrgghh”, the sound almost seemed to come from outside himself, his head was spinning so much he barely recognised that he had screamed in pain. Looking around he noticed very little activity from the enemies, in fact some had even surrendered, the patrol, reminding him of the fact that they weren’t official soldiers, shot them down regardless, while the army soldiers stopped them.

            The gunfire now ground to a halt and Mercer walked toward the major who was in charge of the unit. Amidst the sounds of crying from the civilians scattered around as they tended their wounded and mourned their dead, Mercer addressed the major. The major turned around and observed Mercer “Good God son, looks like you took a pounding”

“Nothing that can’t be fixed sir, I’d like to volunteer to join the force heading onto Leicester Square 

“A keen soldier I see”

“I just want to do my bit to protect the city I grew up in sir”

The major nodded solemnly “very well patrol, head over to a medic first and then head out with us in approximately three minutes”

“Thank you sir” Mercer saluted, feeling the stringiness of his long brown hair as it was soaked in sweat and blood.

            The major saluted back and then walked away toward another group of soldiers, Mercer checked his rifle, he was running low on rounds and only had one clip left “s**t” he muttered to himself. Now was not the time for licking his wounds, he felt ok, as ok as one could feel when they were desperately fighting off an invasion of blood thirsty enemy soldiers from destroying the capital city. Mercer decided to check with a medic later, he had to find ammo and weapons; he wouldn’t have time in the heat of battle. That was what mattered now, was combat efficiency, this was the fight for survival, it was the most important battle he had fought up to now and he had to be there; he had to do his bit; what it all came down to was the need to stand and be counted; to fight for his country when it needed him; to fight for everything he had believed in and loved up to this point.

            Mercer looked toward Leicester Square, the gunfire and explosions distant, but also harrowingly close; he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and walked toward the ammo reserve.


© 2010 Pillow Of Winds

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Thank you very much thats my first review on this site :) glad u liked it, i will try and get a new chapter up soon

Posted 11 Years Ago

Put together very well. Real nice description. Also, very easy to follow. Looking forward to more.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on April 27, 2010
Last Updated on April 27, 2010


Pillow Of Winds
Pillow Of Winds

Stirling, United Kingdom

I'm a 17 year old student at Stirling High School and an aspiring writer. Basically i joined this site in search of review and hints from other writers to help me improve and this site seemed better t.. more..

Chapter I Chapter I

A Chapter by Pillow Of Winds