Virtual Reality 13
WAR AND PEACE
RELENTLESS heat, stifling humidity, sticky flies, Sully lay uncomfortably on the hard stony ground overlooking one of the many desolate valleys in Afghanistan. His platoon was stretched out either side of him. They could not see the Taliban, but they could hear them as their rifle fire came in regular staccato bursts, aimed directly at Sully and his men.
Twenty seven year old platoon sergeant Ben Sullivan, better known to all as Sully, was leading his men on a sortie into No Man’s Land, hopefully to wipe out the Taliban contingent firmly ensconced amongst the sand dunes and sparse vegetation on the other side of the ridge. At the moment, the Dune Coons were winning.
Sully believed in what he was doing. He had volunteered after the love of his life, Mia, had been killed in a car accident some four years earlier. He had lost her and the will to live, but rather than drown his sorrows in alcohol, he decided to head for the war torn areas of the world and see if he could make a difference.
His Dad had died when he was ten, which was devastating for Sully. He eventually got over it though only to lose his Mother five years later. At least with his Mum, they knew it was coming for she had had terminal cancer for six months or more, whereas his father had died from a sudden heart attack.
“Bloody, stinking, camel rooting Arabs” he muttered to himself, “they’re all alike, you can’t trust any of the bastards.” Before coming out on patrol, Sully had heard the news that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in Kabul, taking a pile of civilians and a couple of Sully’s old mates with the arsehole.
There was another suicide bombing in Baghdad at around the same time that took out eight Iraqi policemen and two Yanks. Sully had been stationed in Iraq before being posted here and it was a tossup which hellhole was worse.
He reluctantly admitted to himself that he had maybe met a few decent ‘Towel Heads’ in his time here, but not too many. Most were brainwashed by those dick shit Pakis over the border that harboured and protected those Islam fundamentalist pricks. “The Pakis should be shot too” he mused.
‘Zing’- a bullet screamed across that gap between Sully and Bazza, the soldier to his left. Sully looked across in trepidation, Bazza was not moving. “Christ, he’s been shot!”
Suddenly, Bazza lifted a weary hand to brush away some of those god forsaken, annoying bloody flies and Sully heaved a sigh of relief. The Towel Heads had antiquated weapons and were poor shots most times, This time they had missed thank Christ, luck was on their side.
Sully never heard the shot that killed him. Out of the blue, seemingly in slow motion, his chest exploded in a bright crimson spray. “What the hell? Who’s blood’s that all over me?… Christ, it’s mine… I’ve been friggin’ shot!… I’m dying!… Christ Almighty!”
Suddenly a spasm of terror spread through Sully’s body like an icy tornado as he realized that this was the day he thought would never come to pass – not here in this god forsaken arsehole of a country anyway. But his number had come up, he was well and truly stuffed and he knew it!
He stood up, feeling slightly light headed, “maybe I’m not dead after all” he murmured still in shock. Sully looked down at the crumpled, bloodied body that lay motionless on the ground in front of him. “Poor bugger” he thought, “looks as though he’s had the carrot… Wait a minute… isn’t that’s me?”
Sully/Sol took one last look at the battleground where Sully’s ‘Unknowing’ was ending and quietly and smoothly transitioned to the ‘Knowing’ of the Spiritual Plane…
Dan’s Quote: “All of the wars that mankind has ever fought
_____________are only the ego’s futile battle to become real.”- Danny Brand
Top photo: Australian army Lt. McLeod Wood, a troop leader for 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Mentoring Task Force 2, Combined Team Uruzgan, maneuvers across the rough terrain in an Australian service light armored vehicle through Tangi Valley, Afghanistan.