It’s been four hundred and ninety two days since I got back from that godforsaken hell hole. Every morning I tap my boots twice before putting them on. Every night I slide my bayonet under the thin pillow and drift back to that place.
When I was a child my grandmother knitted a woollen blanket. Thick. Suffocating. With the wool pulled over your head the world heated up until the sweat pooled around your eyes and you fought for every breath. There was only the enveloping blanket.
That was the closest analogy I could come up with. The jungle was huge, endless. And yet when you were there, living in a foxhole next to the body of your best friend because the enemy hasn’t let up shooting for two straight days for you to start burial detail, that was what it felt like. That was hell.
When I came back, home was wrong. People didn’t look at you. They didn’t dart across open spaces. They were like sheep.
I went back. I needed it. When I was under the blanket I was safe.
And then the war had to go and end. They had to force me onto the transport plane, taking my rifle and shoelaces. They were still out there! Waiting to be hunted. So easy. Just aim and pull, aim and pull, over and over until they stopped popping up and you moved onto the next blind.
Home hadn’t changed. I moved. Endlessly. I found another jungle in the concrete streets of LA. The people here knew danger. The violence had left them with a raw edge, as close as I could come to the blanket.
I got myself a rifle. And a pistol. It’s Summer soon. I can feel the heat building already. It’s time to crawl back under the blanket and watch the enemy fret between trees and alleys.
Prompt originally posted by KodiakAnorak on reddit and received 2 upvotes.