Luckily, even Henry changed. The young boy that ran from the war came back, only his eyes are filled with a different drive. He came back by the grace of god, earning a red badge of courage that would be covered until it heals.
Yet there was something else in Henry, like a hidden beast rudely awakened to find himself in danger. The crimson spilled from his head, but he continued on his rampage. It seemed as if he were in a dream, shooting at the demons in his own imagination. I can distinctly remember the lieutenant say “By heavens, if I had ten thousand wild cats like you I could tear th’ stomach outa this war in less’n a week!” The problem with wildcats is they have no self-control, and unlike the rest of us blue coats, don’t know when to end. Henry almost came back a different person, fully equipped with rage, confidence, and his very own story.
Away from the smoke and the explosions and the crimson, Henry was surrounded, not by the enemy, but by his own. The soldier with the mud paint battered Henry with questions, “Are yeh all right, Fleming? Do yeh feel all right? There ain’t nothin’ th’ matter with yeh, Henry, is there?”
Henry’s throath was throbbing, sweat rolling down to his lip, arms and legs quivering under his own weight, and all he was able to say was “No.” Henry ultimately excluded himself from the crew, and found a cool spot in the undergrowth. I followed him there, with no intentions of…