I have very little time this week, so I apologise if this little piece is not up to my usual standard. I pretty much wrote it and posted it in a single sitting, which is something I never usually do. I’m sure if I read it again in a day or two I’ll see loads of changes that I’d like to make. It’s more the exploration of an idea than anything else, a moment frozen in time. It’s a piece of imagery that I’ve had in my mind for a while now. I hope you like it.
All kinds of thoughts tumbled through the back of Jaiden’s mind, struggling to reach the surface. The gruelling ass-kicking that went under the innocuous name of Basic Training. Sky-larking in barracks, playing pranks on each other, going out drinking whenever leave was granted. How the combination of hard work and fun had made him feel so alive, given him so much purpose.
The trade he was learning, being paid to get a university degree. Qualifications that would lead to great jobs back in civilian life. How he could never have afforded the education the army was providing him any other way.
He tried to think about Cally back home, how she smiled when she saw him. There was no light in the world like Cally’s smile. Something he wanted more than anything else in life was to see that smile on the face of a child. Their child.
Try as he might, all these thoughts were gossamer visions, background music for a still frame in the movie of his life. He tried to think of something else, anything else. But he was only going to have one thought for the rest of his life. One image in his mind. The gentle twist of smoke curling up from the barrel of his weapon. The identical curl of smoke rising from the hole in the chest of the man at his feet.