Posted by: Caitlynn | January 11, 2010

Genre #5 — Historical Fiction

(For more information on my Genre Self-Challenge, read previous entry here.)

————

“Yes Sir”

————

“Your head is so hard, Blake, that if a Yankee bullet ever hit it, it won’t go in,” Captain Williamson spat out. “Plenty of other men agree with the decision. Why can’t you just abide by the same opinion?”

“No sir.” George Blake furrowed his brow. “Even if the whole world decided against me, my thoughts on this would be unshaken,” he replied. “Donaldson don’t deserve to be an officer. He ain’t done nothing to warrant it.”

“Donaldson is a reliable soldier. At the least, he understands responsibility and regulations. Unlike certain others I could mention,” the Captain eyed George sternly.

This only solicited a scoff from the other man, however. “Maybe certain others just don’t like being run all over, be it a Yank or a West Pointer doing the running,” he retorted. “Maybe they just have a healthy dose of fightin’ spirit. This is a war, after all. I’d of thought that’d be important, but—”

“Well save that spirit for tomorrow,” Williamson said, cutting him off. “And that’s an order. We march into battle then. It’ll be a long day.”

Sure enough, the next day, the infantry moved out. Throughout the ensuing chaos of battle, George hardly even stopped to blink. He fought long and hard alongside everyone else. But in spite of their best efforts, they found themselves hurting badly.

On the second day of battle, worn and wearied, he somehow found himself to have fallen behind. As he was running to catch up, though, he heard Captain Williamson’s voice call out to him, “Fall back, Blake! You’re already injured.” He gestured, “Your shoulder, Blake. The blood is soaking through your shirt.”

George knew all too well about the injury on his shoulder; it had been burning for several hours to the extent that it had almost gone numb. He shook his head, though. “I can’t do that, sir. McKinsey, Johnson, and some others are fighting just up yonder. I need to catch up and lend ‘em a hand.”

Williamson shouted, “Go and get your injury treated, soldier, that’s an ord—”

“No sir!” George called back, running ahead.

Soon enough, gunfire drowned out the voices, and he found himself once more in the midst of battle. Finally catching up to the others again, he rejoined the fighting and stayed there past his own known limits. The wound on his shoulder was soon forgotten about completely, and if he coughed from the smoke and gunpowder, he no longer noticed. He kept on fighting, unable to distinguish one explosion from the next, until one of them finally hit the mark.

“Ah!” he screamed as a blazing hot pain shot through him. “What in the…”

George could feel himself falling to his knees and struggled against it. He tried to lift his gun, but instead, it dropped to the ground beside him. Cursing under his breath, he used all his strength to stand there, determined not to slump down. It was no use, however. Sounds were gradually fading out and his world was rapidly becoming darker. Before he could stop it, his eyes closed, and he collapsed.

When George opened his eyes again, the Captain was standing over him. “Well Blake,” he said with a hint of smile, “that was a close one, but you pulled through.”

“‘Course,” he grunted, moving to get up.

“No you don’t,” Williamson continued. “Conscious or not, you still need to take it easy. Wasn’t long ago you were found half-dead on the field. The litter-bearers almost counted you as dead.”

“Ah, I couldn’t of been that bad off,” he returned, wincing slightly as he leaned back down.

“—How’s the patient?” interrupted the army surgeon, walking over to Blake. “So you’re conscious, then. That’s a good sign. We were worried ‘bout you for a while.”

“I reckon you never needed to,” he smirked in response.

“On the contrary, son,” the surgeon answered, “you’re mighty lucky to be alive. Your forehead was struck by a glancing conical ball. Ran under your skin and came clear out at the back of your head.”

“Wha…” For the first time, George was stunned speechless.

“Like I said before, Blake,” Captain Williamson remarked, his smile becoming more evident, “your head is so hard, not even a bullet could pierce it.” Seeing that the other man remained quiet, he concluded, “Now get some rest. And that’s an order.”

The Captain began walking away. “…Yes Sir…” George muttered, barely audibly, at his back. “I believe I will.”

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Responses

  1. Poor guy. LOL. Love the part about what a thick head-er-skull? he had. Good ending! and I’m glad he’s finally going to get some rest, that was quite a workout!

    • Unfortunately, I can’t take complete credit for the “thick skull” part. I had an ancestor who fought in the Civil War, and supposedly that’s what someone once told him (well, something very similar to that, anyway).


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