24 Hours

We are in deep enemy territory nearly cut off from all supplies. We took shelter in an old rusting building surrounded by a rather short, barbed fence. I lay near the window talking to my comrades. Then a moment a faint static on the radio came “Do you cop- Brav- do you- “then complete silence again. In a moment of relief that someone heard us, I peered over the only window in the building and suddenly rapid gunfire poured in my direction, my helmet flew off and I lunged immediately falling on the hard concrete floor. For the next minute, the gunfire continued, each passing second felt like a day, we were surrounded with no escape and many prying eyes wanted us dead. 

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Lonely House in which we were stranded

Suddenly, a static burst out of the radio “Bravo team do you cop- we received a request for evacuation, a chopper team will arrive in 24 hours” My men were in joy as their nightmare of being pinned in a lonely house in the middle of the enemy territory was coming to an end. Suddenly, more gunfire, and we could see them moving towards us we fired back relentlessly knowing that we had only 24 hours to survive to become free, my men fought valiantly and then “Click click” sound echoed, they threw a grenade through the window, at this moment I remembered why I joined the army.

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Grenade thrown in from the window

It was a Sunday morning I lay on the sofa staring into the ceiling, my mom rushed across the hall to switch on the television. “A bomb kills 250 people in Downtown City,” said the news reporter, this peaked my attention, I walked towards the tv standing next to mom. Mom seemed worried, “The bomb blast took place in the Gold Trade Building”, These words sent a chill down my spine, I panicked and immediately called the Manager of the Gold Trade Building, My Dad. He did not answer. I took mom immediately to the Trade building. I found my dad among the rubble lying there with no life in his eyes, I rushed towards him in hopes of saving him, but that moment was gone, my dad died in the bomb blast.

Bomb Blast at Gold Trade Building
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My father lying lifeless among the rubble

That fateful day is when I decided to join the military because somehow, I thought it would avenge my dad. My mom was afraid that she’d lose me too, “If you want to go down that path and have your revenge it is your choice” “But remember your dad would not have wanted this” she said but I was too overwhelmed by emotion, and I never listened and I am wrong, I should not have gone down this path, I thought people who took my dad were animals, but I have become them, how many sons and dad have I killed, how many of my decisions led to the killing of others. I have become an animal just like them, A coldhearted killer with no regard for love. My dad died ten years ago, now the only thing that lies before me is a grenade, “I should have listened to you mom” *A flash of light…*

A bright light in the dark

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Grenade sets off

Penned By: Rtr. Priyan Nawamohan (Editorial Member 2021-22)

Edited, translated and published by: RACSLIIT Editorial Team 2021-22

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