Into Your Arms Part 1

Into Your Arms Part 1

A Story by Undying Glory
"

The first part of my story, now featuring 'Set The Fire To The Third Bar" by Snow Patrol. NOTE: THE SONG IS IN PART 2.

"

Into Your Arms Part 1


The prison camp loomed in the overcast sky, more foreboding than the dark clouds that reigned above, even with the lightning flashing threateningly, the heartless, biting winds that signalled the coming of winter, and how the clouds had crept down upon the sun from behind, like a cruel, deadly assassin, strangling his helpless victim. The high, threatening fences of the prison stood proudly in the darkness, challenging anyone to try and conquer them. Razor-sharp barbs swarmed the wires atop the walls and the fences, as well as the entrances to the many facilities and watchtowers. The fences themselves were electrified, and carried a massive voltage. The ominous, deep, humming sound the fence made, like a hornet’s nest, served as a reminder to the prisoners of what would happen if they dared to climb it.


The stone-faced guards watched in silence, and made no sound, save for the occasional clicks as one inspected his gun, or the soft squeals that issued from the machine guns manned by some of the black-clad troopers. Some leered at the wretched prisoners, as they grew weaker and more pitiful over time. Others watched on passively, yet no one ever passed up the chance to send a bullet into the brain of any particularly stubborn prisoners.


Day after day, the prisoners toiled, working for the enemy, producing weapons and ammunition. They worked hard, knowing that with every bullet and shell produced, they were probably sending another soldier to his death, but refusal to do so would mean their own.


Night fell early in the desolate wastelands this part of the world had become, and as the guards marched back to their watchtowers and barracks, a lone figure turned in the shadows, in one of the flimsy wooden huts built for the prisoners, like every day for the past 3 months.

The old man next to him smiled, and leant closer.


“Another day in hell, huh?” the young man asked, his face weather-beaten yet handsome. Once, he had been a proud captain, serving in the multinational alliance fighting to quell the massive uprising against the United Nations. Captured in one of the bloodiest battles since Stalingrad, he had been brought here, tortured to within an inch of his life, and left to suffer in silence. His eyes gleamed with silent intelligence, the eyes of one observant, silent and deadly.


The old man smiled.


“Hell is much, much worse than this...”


“Then that’s where those b*****d guards are going!” the young man snarled, bashing his fist against the wall of the hut. Being so flimsy, the hut literally trembled and shook, awaking some of the other prisoners that were crammed in with him.


The old man looked at him, persuading him to calm down with his eyes.


“You said she was beautiful, Leo?’


Captain Leo Strayer turned back to the old man, his brown eyes suddenly softening greatly. He reached into the pocket of the pyjamas he, like everyone else, wore all the time, and withdrew a perused, crumpled photograph.


The old man stared at the photo, intently, through wizened eyes. The beautiful girl stared back at him, her face full of life and joy, her deep eyes shining brightly in the silent candles that lit the huts. Her jet-black, silky hair seemed to ripple, perfectly frozen in time forever, as she placed a tender kiss on Leo’s cheek, and her soft, tender hands were wrapped tightly around him.


The old man nodded approvingly at the picture, smiling.

“Aye, she is. A real, breathtaking beauty. Like my wife, a long time ago, before she passed away a few years ago. She was so beautiful in her youth, and though we grew old, she never lost what made her so special.”


“I’m sorry...” Captain Strayer’s voice dropped to a whisper. He turned to face the old man, his eyes grim.

“I’m gonna do it. Get back to her...She’s waited far too long for me.”


The old man nodded.


“So we’re going ahead with the plan?”


Captain Strayer nodded grimly. Death or glory, he thought. In the parts where the fences weren’t electrified, the bodies of caught escapees were left there, as they rotted away over time, filling the whole camp with the grisly scent of death, until they could not even be recognised as human beings anymore, and then they were burnt in the furnaces of the camp, to keep the camp warm during the winter.


Captain Strayer smiled and motioned two men over. They lumbered slowly, under the weight of the massive barrel they carried, as their punishment for shouting back at the guards. Strayer turned back to the old man, who by now was wheezing, tired as he was.


“We’ve screwed up their ammo. Their rockets, we added in the manganese dioxide in with everything else, as well as some sand, and omitted the saltpetre completely. They’ll be lucky if their rockets even fly straight, let alone explode. We can’t do anything about their bullets now, but we’ve already planned how to take care of them. I’ve asked everyone, and everyone’s agreed. We all know the risks, and we’re prepared to take them. We must strike now.”


In the candles that lit the hut, Strayer’s eyes glowed silently with quiet determination. The old man nodded, smiling, his wizened eyes gleaming almost in reply.


As the old man drifted off slowly to sleep, another man walked over to Strayer. Tall and wiry, his eyes, deep icy blue, darted left and right, for any sign of the guards that might be still awake. He turned and smiled at Strayer, grinning despite the dismal conditions all around them. Strayer nodded, smiling in reply.


“Any news from Natalya?” Strayer’s eyes deepened.


“Hey, I’m not her boyfriend, Leo. You are.”


“But you’re her brother, Wesley. And you write to her often. Every day, in fact...”


The man, Lieutenant Wesley Samuels, brushed his hair, matted with sweat and dirt, and nodded back.


“Maybe...Anyway, it’s not like she’s not replying. Those guards here give fascist pigs a bad name. Still showing that picture of her to everyone, I see? I hope they’re not getting jealous.”


“Either way, let’s make sure everything turns out well tomorrow. I mean, there’s no way we’re ever going to make it back to her if tomorrow doesn’t turn out well.”

“You said it, man. I’m getting to sleep.” Samuels trudged back to his side of the hut, and Strayer was alone once again. Like every night, he hummed a soft tune, a tune he had sang with Natalya before he went to war again. As he stroked the picture, kissing it softly, he continued to hum. The soft tune barely penetrated the deep silence that enveloped the hut, yet it stood proud and strong, the only one that dared to resist against an overwhelming force.

 

 

The slender, beautiful girl turned over in her bed, her deep green eyes shining brightly in the darkness. Yet her eyes were tearful, and as she clutched her pillow close, her heart’s anguish never abated.


She thought of the two most important men in her life, now prisoners of a heartless enemy, hell-bent on conquering what was left of the world. She thought of the life she had had, before the war took everything away from her.


She brushed her long dark hair out of her face, clutching a small photograph to her bosom, as she walked to the old grand piano in her living room. The handsome man, and her brother, stared back at her, clad in their Army dress uniforms, and she, looking absolutely spectacular in her black evening dress, had her arms around them both.

For the umpteenth time, she read the words on the photograph.


Keep this, so you can remember us when we’re too far away.

We love you so much, baby.

Leo Strayer and Wesley Samuels

 

 

The next day went by quickly in the bitter wastelands. Unlike other days, while the prisoners worked reluctantly, now there was a distinct atmosphere of tension in the air. Today was a day of penultimate importance, planned months ago. Now everything boiled down to this.


Strayer opened the door to his hut silently. The doors were never locked, as the doors were too flimsy for locks anyway. As he and his fellow prisoners followed, Strayer opened the barrel the two men had brought earlier. He opened it, and the old man stared inside, his eyes wide with shock.


Strayer drew an RPG launcher from the barrel, and hefted it onto his shoulder.


“Didn’t you say you screwed up their rockets?” the old man asked, surprised.


Strayer smiled.


“All...but three...”


He lifted the RPG launcher and fired three times.

The rockets whooshed through the air, smashing violently into the electrical generator of the prison camp, the ammunition dump and the barracks of the guards. The three explosions rocked the entire camp, and fire blasted in every direction, in a massive inferno. The guards rushed out in disarray, some rolling on the ground, engulfed in flames, others utterly bewildered. Shouts and screams filled the air, in many different languages.


Strayer and the other prisoners saw none of this, as they charged forth, their freedom beckoning at last. Climbing up on the roofs of the huts, they leapt just as the huts collapsed from the concussion waves, which rattled and shook the ground violently. They gripped the fence for dear life, no longer electrified, but high enough to seriously injure them if they fell.


The prisoner in front of Strayer raised his hand to cut the barbed wires, five long, vicious lines stretched in front of them. Three wires snapped, but just as he was about to finish the job, a machine gun rattled, and the man fell like a rag doll, his body riddled with bullets. Strayer swore, and as he turned round, the guards were bringing their weapons to bear, high-powered submachine guns and pistols, and bullets ripped the air. Prisoners fell all around, some in the act of beating the guards with shovels and sticks.


“Goddammit!” Strayer yelled, as men, all around him fell, like marionettes with their strings cut. Before he could do anything, Samuels threw himself across the wires, wincing as they cut into him.


“There! Climb over me!” he yelled, to the bewildered prisoners and Strayer. One by one, they climbed, and Strayer was simply blown away by his friend. Who knew how brave he really was...


Strayer leapt up and over Samuels, and scaled rapidly to the ground. He looked up, and saw Samuels had not moved, but was yelling at other prisoners to climb over him. Samuels turned to Strayer, grinning, when Strayer turned, and to his horror, a guard was swinging round, machine gun in hand, his eyes narrowed with evil intent.

Samuels turned, mouth open in shock and horror, as the guard squeezed the trigger, and was flung clear of the fence, as the .50 calibre machine gun bullets slammed into him, before crashing down hard on his back, his blood soaking into the cold, hard ground. Strayer gasped, and ran over, but being a medic, he knew when someone was too far gone, when he couldn’t be saved. He never thought Lieutenant Wesley Samuels would ever fall in that category...until now.


“Wesley...look at me...keep your eyes open, man...”

Samuels smiled, as some blood trickled out of the side of his mouth,


“Better me killed than you, man...If you’d died, everything would have failed. Better me killed than you...”


His chest heaved one last time, and his eyes glazed over.

With his stomach knotting feverishly, Strayer realised his best friend had passed away, in an utterly selfless gesture. As he looked around, no one was with him. Ice crept down his spine, as he realised that he was the only one who had made it. Bodies littered the ground around him. He hefted Samuel’s body on his shoulder, and started into the dense forest, the ground crunching beneath him.


Every step sent a jolt of pain, from the deep wound in his leg, every breath made him stagger, from the shock of seeing Samuels die, yet he pressed on, to reach the nearby base camp. He knew where exactly it was, and the plan was that everyone would make it there. In the end of course, only he did.


He reached the gates of the camp, standing proudly, shining in the morning light like the gates of heaven. He stopped suddenly, as the sentries lowered their guns, realising he wasn’t a threat. Strayer put a hand to his leg, realising how much blood he had lost, and collapsed face down.

 

The light shone, the herald to the coming day, and Strayer woke. His leg was bandaged, as well as several other wounds, and he felt groggy from the chloroform they had used.


“We had to do a blood transfusion while you were still unconscious. You had lost quite a lot,” the nurse explained.


Strayer nodded, unable to speak from his fatigue. Just then, the door opened slowly.

“Ten-hut!”


Everyone who could stand in the hospital ward stood, striking a salute, as a tall, burly man in full army dress and peakcap walked in, and his uniform covered with medals. Beside him, a young, eager woman followed by, also in full army dress, her rank that of a First Lieutenant, her eyes brimming with excitement.

Strayer’s jaw dropped, and he struck a salute too.

The legendary General Valentin Becker, who had led the United Nations army to many victories over the rebels, and his daughter, Lieutenant Michelle Becker, returned the salute. General Becker walked over to Strayer, with his daughter in tow.


“We heard of your breakout from the prison camp. You’ve done much as a leader, as well as a soldier. We’re pulling you out of the front lines for two weeks, just so you can recuperate.”


“Thank you sir...”


“Oh, yes, and one other thing. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have noted your impressive leadership skills. We would have liked to present your reward to you when you had fully recovered, but...” He gave a rare smile. “Michelle here insisted on doing the honours. “


The ward erupted in approval. Michelle Becker, an attractive first lieutenant with blonde hair and stunning blue eyes, passed a box to him, smiling.

Strayer opened it, and two golden oak leaves stared back at him. He stared, pleasantly surprised, yet still feeling sad.


“Congratulations...Major...” Lieutenant Becker saluted, her eyes glowing in happiness. He returned the salute to the general and her, just as the whole ward broke out in applause.


Yet the happiness did not last, and Strayer was alone once again, his heart still mourning the death of his friend. He got his friend killed, and he got promoted. What a joke...


The golden oak leaves rested on the side of his bed, as Strayer tried to find some solace in sleep, and dreamed of Natalya's soft arms again.

© 2010 Undying Glory


Author's Note

Undying Glory
Image taken from Wikipedia
Sorry if it's long...
For those of you who didn't read the description, the song is in the next part. Will be posting it soon...
And here's the link to Part 2! Though you'll have to copy and paste into the browser bar...
http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/mhidhir94/571317/

My Review

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Featured Review

Good chapter. It flows well and the characters and scenes are good and pretty visual. I might suggest just a fade of some sort when the scene changes. It might just be me but once I stopped and went back a few lines and realized the day/ scene may have changed. Great write.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Waaah I enjoyed reading this! I've never been a book reader for almost all my life, until now that I've started browsing through Writer's Cafe! Being a girl and stuff, war isn't my interest, but the detailed description of the prison fences unconsciously made me frown and cringe at the suffering they were facing.. Also, the escape! All my feels oh goodness.. This first part of the story has really touched my heart and managed to make me feel what the persona is feeling and facing in the situation.. Good job! Oh yeah! I spotted a really really minor grammar error somewhere.. "a tune he had sang with Natalya before he went to war again", should be "sung" ^^ Thank you very much for writing~! //goes to part2~

Posted 7 Years Ago


Good one..!!!

Posted 8 Years Ago


fantastic piece:)

Posted 9 Years Ago


I'm not a fan of any type of war story because they bore me to death, but this is amazing! It actually kept my attention from beginning to end! I look forward to reading part 2 soon. Thank you for sharing. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


Very nice. I was surprised at how good it was. The details really carried me into the story. The characters were pretty solid and the names were actually realistic. Its a well-developed story. Good job.

Posted 9 Years Ago


A great idea for a story. I was hooked on the first paragraph by how you used words in such a way that it became art. Amazing.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Great! I looked at the length and hesitated because of the late hour and my fatigue, but I decided to read a bit.....then I was hooked. You've done a great job with this. I will definitely read more. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


Awesome! Another war story finally! I just wish that there will be more action in it!

Posted 9 Years Ago


A really great display of emotions and a lot of depth in this, I love it. Superbly written and well characterised, as well as very nitty gritty - it's brilliant. Great job!

Posted 9 Years Ago


This is a great start with fantastic emotions. You really pulled the heart strings and pulled the reader in. It felt as though the ending was a little rushed but it was a great piece. You did a really good job.

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on June 27, 2010
Last Updated on July 5, 2010
Tags: snow, patrol, set, fire, third, bar, war

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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. 24 year old, 4th year medical student, studying in Dundee, Scotland. Never underestimate the pow.. more..

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