A Shot in the Dark Essay

Submitted By Howard22
Words: 1113
Pages: 5

A Shot in the Dark Nightmares invaded, they always did. Every night they came, plaguing everything in sight, never once stopping to even rest. Ben had long forgotten what it felt to have a peaceful sleep, filled with all pleasant dreams imaginable. “Pleasant dreams”, he remembered his mother saying night after night before tucking him into bed. “Sweet dreams, my brave little one...” Realising what would happen next, he awoke and shot straight up, menacing fear threatening to strangle his heart, to swallow his mind whole. His heart rate began to slow, as he looked round at his fellow comrades, stirring in their sleep as he surely must have been. The war had begun to mess with his mind, planting images of death that he never thought possible. Night after night he was haunted by nightmares of his mother repeatedly shooting herself. But her last letter had assured him that all was well at home. He thought about the promise he made to his mother before leaving the safe comforts of home, the oath he swore to protect his king and country. It seemed like a lifetime ago. A naive, unknowing boy back then, he imagined himself eliminating his enemies equipped with only a rifle, always running to save the lives of his comrades. He could never stop dreaming how at the end of the day, no matter how ugly or horrendous things became, he would always emerge as the champion, the hero of the day. All his fellow soldiers would be clapping him on the back, cheering as they chanted his name, each chant becoming louder and louder. He always thought this was how war would end, with the good guys winning and walking into the sunset, and the bad guys running home, tails tucked between their legs. Now, after experiencing a horrifying journey to hell and back that no man in their right mind would ever dare take, he was not so sure of winning anymore. Thunder clashed and roared across the night zone and the wind whipped and whirled through every tree, every branch and every leaf, leaving absolutely nothing untouched. Lightning slashed through the midnight sky, as though trying to tear apart all creation. Ben shuddered at the thought, he believed that war had done enough damage, nature had no reason to contribute as well. The whole team had been living in the trenches for the past week, forced to stay in the cold wet mud, day and night, and for what? To keep watch in the event of an ambush or bombing. After living a fearful life for so many gruesome months, doubts started to creep into Ben’s mind, whispering lies and encouraging him fear for his life. “Give up,” they never stopped saying. “Give up now and your death will be swift and painless. Otherwise, you’ll suffer a horrid death.” Until now Ben had succeeded in keeping those thoughts and whispers at bay, but after seeing how he was living like an animal awaiting predators, he soon began to listen to his fears. Suddenly, Ben heard footsteps in the dark. He twisted his neck at the direction of the noise, waiting for whatever that made the noise to appear, but at the same time hoping it was only his exhaustion and paranoia playing deceitful tricks on his mind. Before he could gather his thoughts and pick up his rifle, bullets were fired at the camp. Bullets pierced through the sleeping bags as if they were made of nothing but crinkled paper. Ben screamed at the top of his lungs and without thinking of checking his friends or even take his rifle, he jumped to his feet and ran for his life. He fled as if the devil himself was arriving to collect his soul, cackling as he drew nearer and nearer. Harsh cries echoed through the air. General Steadman called out to him, hoping his voice would give Bem the courage he needed to make one final stand. But terror had exploded in his chest and its deadly touch had taken control of his mind, causing Ben to think of virtually nothing but fear, panic for his own life. More bullets were fired from the attacking enemy and