A collection of Short Stories from merry to macabre, to meaningful from thought provoking, to smile evoking. From obtuse to slap you in the face there are hopefully a couple at least that should tickle your fancy!
Excerpt from A Casualty:
The almost mystical image of those silent tracer lines arcing brilliantly to earth, criss-crossed the darkened horizons of his eye lids. A muted visual display before the cacophony of battle was heard. And slowly the sounds and smells intruded as an artist brushes in the background in hazy streaks around the fore-ground’s sharp image to complete his canvass. He could now smell the damp earth and rotting vegetation mingling with the acrid smell of cordite and exploding mortar shells, the thud of bullets and the aura of organised fear. The shouts of angry, scared, agonised and hurt men of battle. The ’thwack’ of rotor blade slapping the invisible, unforgiving air; like giant mosquitoes with bulbous, metallic bodies zero-ing in on the fire-base to evacuate the wounded. Those tired, bloodied, dirty statistics of battle. The gut-wrenching lift-off; the guttural chatter of heavy calibre machine gun from the out-riders precariously saddled positions on either side of the Chopper. The magnesium bright flash and explosion as the floor and tired prone bodies of soldiers were blown away. The feeling of being pushed and sucked simultaneously out of the gaping side panel of the fatally wounded carrier. The feeling of falling, of being pulled towards the darkness of the unforgiving earth below.
The sights and sounds of the battle, of the chaos were all objectively viewed. As though he was not participating but looking at the disjointed images on a television monitor.
The horrific fire-fight, the scramble to evacuate all taking over 6 hours with the constant threat of being over-run by a hugely outnumbering force of North Viet regulars.
Also by Peter C Byrnes on obooko: