WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


A Soldier's Vision Quest

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-24-2015, 10:47 AM
longknife's Avatar
longknife (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 753
Thanks: 115
Thanks 89
Default A Soldier's Vision Quest


This is an excerpt of a novel I am working on.

Sergeant Ray Daniels is suffering from PTSD, a selective amnesia that has taken away all memories of who he is, where he came from, and what horrible event took place to so severely injure him.

He has met and is being helped by a Papago Indian elder and his family by putting him into a state induced by various herbs and plants to find his Totem – his Spirit Guide – and to find himself. Jackrabbit has become that guide and he has selected the name Brave Rabbit as his secret name from hearing a lot of Indian myths and legends where the creature shows great determination and bravery.

He is in the midst of his Vision Quest.

Brave Rabbit follows Jackrabbit until they are once again in the desert. Jackrabbit turns and gazes at him for several moments before saying, “You must go alone from here. Climb Baboquivari, where the remainder of your dream awaits.” With that, he turns and speeds away.

The climb is difficult. Brave Rabbit slips and falls several times, scraping his knees and hands. For every ten paces he climbs, he slides back at least five in the loose soil. He feels the pain and wonders how such a thing can be. Is this not a dream? How is this happening?

His throat is dry and pangs of emptiness knot his gut. He struggles to move and wonders if he has the strength to continue the climb.

“Be strong, Grandson. You will complete this. I have faith in you.”

The comforting voice gives Brave Rabbit the strength he needs to continue.

At last, Brave Rabbit stands upon the peak. He sees far beyond the desert, past the hills and valleys of his homeland and across the great ocean to the east. He views the dark green forests where he’d trained with his units, hearing the happy music of German bands and the laughter of pretty Fräuleins. He shares difficult tasks with members of his unit. He proudly stands in front of a large assembly of soldiers as the three chevrons of a sergeant are pinned upon his sleeve.

“It is time for you to be strong, Brave Rabbit.”

Brave Rabbit spins, seeking the voice.

An old, wizened man sits upon a nearby boulder, a small eagle feather hanging over his left ear. He has on a buckskin breech clout, boots, and jacket, showing sun-reddened skin.

Brave Rabbit doesn’t need to ask. He knows it is I’itoi, Spirit of Goodness.

“Remember. There are those who care greatly for you. You are not alone. What is done cannot be undone and you must go forward with your life.”

The old man disappears. A small pebble, blue green, speckled in gold, lies where he’d been. Brave Rabbit picks it up and places it in his medicine pouch.

Strong hands lift Brave Rabbit upon the back of a huge raven. The ebony bird spreads its wings, lifts into the air, and flies east, crossing the wide ocean filled with raging storms. Brave Rabbit soars above an inland sea, looking down at ships, including a huge American aircraft carrier and its escorts. Beyond that, the bird wings its way over a great trackless desert. Brave Rabbit knows he’s served there at one time, even viewing the area in which he’d fought terrorists.

Mountains eternally capped with snow grow before him. They tower over a country where life barely survives, a land more barren and backward than he believes possible.

An agonizing pain streaks through Brave Rabbit’s being as he understands what is to come. He desperately wishes it away and struggles to leap from the raven’s back, considering the endless fall to his death preferable to what he knows lays before him.

The bird lands high on a mountain and Brave Rabbit tumbles off, struggling to stand. He reaches out to support himself against an icy boulder. Below, a rugged road leads to a huddle of crude buildings made of dried mud. Women in long robes that hide their faces and figures go about their chores. Small children play in the dirt, all gaunt and sad. Men in long robes and keffiyeh move out of the village, each carrying AK-47s and several rocket propelled grenade launchers. Others carry crates marked in Cyrillic letters. Brave Rabbit knows them to be Russian mines.

They don’t appear to be evil men. Their life is hard and each has a light of something in his eyes that Brave Rabbit thinks might be belief in their mission. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t understand what drives men to strap bombs on themselves and die in order to kill those they believe are those who do not share their spiritual ways.

However, there is something about this particular group of men that says their only goal is to kill those they believe threaten their way of life - no matter how barbaric Brave Rabbit feels it to be.

“Oh, Dear God! No! Please take me from here.” Brave Rabbit turns to find the raven gone. He is stranded, with no choice but to watch the horror to come. He tries to leave his perch, to rush to the east where he knows his base camp is located. His feet will not move. He cannot lift them from the dust.

The men below prepare their ambush. Brave Rabbit tries to scream a warning, but his mouth does not open, his voice remains muffled. He struggles to run to warn the soldiers in the base camp twenty-five kilometers away, but his feet are cemented to the ground.

Even from such a distance, he can make out someone who looks like the face he sees in the mirror. The man wears the stripes of a staff sergeant and sits in a tent among other men. They listen to Captain Jamieson telling Second Lieutenant Carlson, the platoon leader, of their mission. The company translator has received word from the Afghan company co-located with them that Taliban activity has increased in the area. They are going to make a recon-in-force to see if it is true.

It’s a trap. They are sucking you in. The entire company needs to go with aerial backup.

As hard a Brave Rabbit tries, they cannot hear his shouts. Except - he sees himself look around as if hearing something.

Brave Rabbit stares at each man in turn.

Good Lord! I can see their faces!

And, outside the tent, the members of his squad sit around doing what soldiers always do before a mission - cleaning and checking their weapons, turning to their comrades to ensure they too are prepared.

There's Willie Jefferson, a brother from the slums of Chicago. He’d broken from the sad, hopeless life of the ghetto to get a high school diploma and enlist in the army. He is taking online college courses and plans to be the first in his family to get a degree.

Private Carlos Rodriguez, Brave Rabbit’s driver, from the barrios of East LA, checks out his TOW assembly. Corporal Jimmy “Cricket” Rogers and Private Bob “Tomcat” Andress check their M19 belt-fed mortar.

Sergeant Carl Howard, of the second fire team, adjusts his glasses as he finishes putting his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon back together after cleaning it.

Brave Rabbit carefully looks at each member of his nine-man squad, listening to their voices as they banter about the upcoming mission. Memories flood him of the other times they’d faced danger together. He recalls the hours spent in camp swapping stories, showing pictures of their loved ones, and telling lies that everybody knows are just that.

He’d lived with them, shared cruddy MREs, Meals Ready to Throw Up. Before being sent to the Land of No Beer, he’d shared more than a few back in Hohenfels, Germany. He’d met their wives and girlfriends. They are his family. No! More than family.

The sobs start softly. Brave Rabbit fights back the tears as he watches the convoy form up and prepare to depart the base camp. Rodriguez gets behind the wheel of their squad’s Humvee while Brave Rabbit slips into the front right-side seat. Willie stands up behind the big fifty-caliber machine gun, while Rogers and Andress take their place in the rear; Rogers has the radio, while Andress clutches his SAW. Howard and his fire team man the second Humvee.

The next vehicles in the convoy are two Bradleys holding the first and second squads. Between them is the platoon command Humvee with Lieutenant Carson and Sergeant First Class Blackwell, with a radioman, a medic, and an Afghan translator. Two more Humvees hold the fourth squad, bringing up the rear.

“They puttin’ us up front again, Sarge,” Rogers gripes. “If that’s what it means to graduate from pathfinder’s school, I ain’t goin’ to go.”

Brave Rabbit can’t choke back the tears or wipe them from his cheeks.

The ambush occurs as the report related. Only this time, it's no longer words on a piece of paper, disembodied and unreal.

Brave Rabbit hears the blasts, the incoming rounds, the screams of anger, pain, and death. Rogers agonizingly shouts for help, static not revealing whether or not it's on the way. A great searing misery fills Brave Rabbit and he shoves it back into his unconscious, concerned with dragging Rodriguez’s body from the Humvee.

Rogers grunts when the bullet hits and Brave Rabbit grabs his collar to drag him behind the boulder. He desperately seeks ways to save his guys, his brothers, his gut heaving as he sees the first Bradley pouring oily black smoke, the sounds of ammo cooking off from the heat. Willy lies on the ground on the far side of the Humvee and Brave Rabbit crawls around to grab his collar and drag him into the ditch on the far side.

He spots the grenade launcher in Andress’ dead hand, along with the pouch of ammo. Trying to stay under cover in the ditch, he fires round after round up the hill from where he’d seen the first shots. He has no idea whether or not he is close. He just keeps firing.

Another hot thing plunges into his leg. And then, blackness engulfs him.

__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

The history of the California missions


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Life in the military and general ramblings
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-24-2015, 11:55 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

No matter how hard he tries, he can’t understand what drives men to strap bombs on themselves and die in order to kill those they believe are those who do not share their spiritual ways.
this sentence needs attention


Even from such a distance, he can make out someone who looks like the face he sees in the mirror. The man wears the stripes of a staff sergeant and sits in a tent among other men. They listen to Captain Jamieson telling Second Lieutenant Carlson, the platoon leader, of their mission. The company translator has received word from the Afghan company co-located with them that Taliban activity has increased in the area. They are going to make a recon-in-force to see if it is true. it seem that you have promoted Brave Rabbit, to staff, and just a thought, I was in the military and we never distinguished between Lieutenant ranks except in official reports, so to stay in voice you may want to just say Lieutenant or LT

It’s a trap. They are sucking you in. The entire company needs to go with aerial backup. does this need quotes and or explanation marks???

the hill from where he’d seen the first shots. think about using 'he saw'.

as to the story- sounds like you walked around a few battle field after the fight was over and remember your men. good realistic story.

however I have never heard of a m-19 belt fed mortar.

I may edit this post with that in mind.

other wise, good read and keep writing

Max

mk-19 , a very cool weapon, just looked it up and wish I had one from time to time back in the day all we had was those single shot 40 mill under the barrel things. they worked but... the m-19 looks like a heavy weapon that may be why I never saw one.

nice info I can use for a made-up story,

thanks max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 04-24-2015 at 12:04 PM.. Reason: m-19
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-25-2015, 08:30 AM
longknife's Avatar
longknife (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 753
Thanks: 115
Thanks 89
Default

Thanks, Max. Appreciate the comments.

This is the second go-through and I will definitely go through another before I submit.

Check out my draft query and synopsis in Members Only
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

The history of the California missions


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Life in the military and general ramblings
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-28-2015, 03:03 AM
IanG (Offline)
Word Wizard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 514
Thanks: 18
Thanks 113
Default

An intriguing mix of ancient folklore and contemporary issues. I like the way you summed up the soldiers at the camp.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to IanG For This Useful Post:
longknife (04-29-2015)
  #5  
Old 04-28-2015, 03:36 PM
Writingfan27 (Offline)
Word Wizard
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oak Park Michigan, United States
Posts: 501
Thanks: 26
Thanks 63
Default

A quest of self-reclamation from a spiritual point of view, a very interesting plot idea.

Good job.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Writingfan27 For This Useful Post:
longknife (04-29-2015)
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
vision quest max crash Non-Fiction 0 03-23-2015 12:04 PM
Unbeatable Soldiers ImplicitDeath Fiction 9 11-15-2013 01:07 PM
Fall of Heroes (word count 3534) impisus Fiction 0 09-29-2010 11:29 AM
Here is chapters 5 & 6 JRFleshmen Fiction 3 06-08-2008 04:28 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:15 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.