More writing

September 15, 2008

Here’s another bit from another chapter of my book:

I am not sure whether or not Vince is real, but I decide to walk up and take a photo of him regardless.  Though I’ve been told that the Army employs civilian amputees to heighten the realism of new soldiers’ experience of war casualties, I’d previously only seen lifelike  dummies, and at the angle I’m looking at Vince (from above and behind him), it’s hard to tell, at first, whether or not he’s human.


What’s also confusing about Vince is that he’s not moving.  He’s laying on the ground to the left of the blown-apart humvee, his arms spread on the ground, his rifle on the ground next to him.  He has no legs, but where you would expect legs instead there’s a large pool of sticky-looking blood trailing away from his torso in a wide, slight curve.  There’s a fake leg (from about the knee downward) laying a yard away from the other end of the blood arc.  The leg has its own little pool of blood, and the bone is clearly visible, protruding from a rosebud of shredded red flesh.  On the other side of the humvee, there are actual dummies laying in the road, their mouths gaping open and their eyes shut.  Both the dummies and Vince are wearing the standard US combat uniform, complete with body armor and patches from the unit that’s visiting the Army’s National Training Center this rotation—a brigade from Ft. Riley, Kansas.


I’m pretty close to Vince and I’ve already taken his picture and am just openly staring when the head of special effects for this particular training exercise comes up and nudges Vince in the ribs with his foot, calling his name and telling him to wake up, that it’s time for another convoy to approach.  Vince yawns and stretches, opens his eyes, sits up, and grins.


One Response to “More writing”

  1. Will Says:

    Lovely. This one should be posted widely as a teaser for the
    book. If I wasn’t interested before, I sure would be by now.

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