The tourniquet had done its job and stopped the bleeding, but the damage was already done. Wes was going to lose the foot, if not his leg, if not his entire life. It was probable that he was going to die right here in this quagmire called Vietnam.

Even though that was the case, his arm was strong and it held his pistol steady. The enemy was coming and he wasn’t going to let them take him alive. He knew what happened to POWs.

His back up against a tree, he had gotten three already, though he could only confirm two.

Another appeared and he released a bullet. The enemy vanished in the leaves. Dead or sent to ground, he couldn’t say.

“Come and get me, you vicious bastards,” he muttered as his eyes darted around.

A shot rang out and Wes felt heat in his side. He yelped and swung around. His eyes met another’s and he fired. The eyes closed.

His side was wet, and Wes felt anger and relief. It was impossible for them to take him alive, now. Still, he thought of home and those who wouldn’t see him again.

He didn’t even know why he was there. Who did he just kill?

There must be a good reason for it all, he told himself as he shot haphazardly at another person. This is important. This war has noble origins…right?

His arm lost its strength and the pistol fell.

The writing prompt today is “Rotten.”

Photo by David Riaño Cortés from Pexels

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