Happy Labor Day! Today I am participating in the Red, White & Blue Makes Purple blogfest, hosted by the fabulous Melanie Schultz.
Here's how this blogfest works:
1. Sign up on the Linky over at Melanie's blog and you receive 1 tally with your name on it (in a hat). Yes, a literal hat.
2. Post a short story of 500 words or less on your site on September 2, 2013, with a military theme, good for 10 tallies.
3. Post about this blogfest/contest on your blog sometime in the next week. - 1 tally
4. On September 2, visit those who have posted stories and leave a comment on their sites- 1 tally
5. On September 2, mention Melanie's blog- 1 tally
All the stories entered will be complied into an anthology and put into an e-book available on Kindle. All proceeds will go to Operation Purple, a great organization that sends children of our military to summer camp, free of charge. And if that's not incentive enough, one randomly chosen entry will win a $50.00 amazon gift card, as well as a signed copy of Melanie's book, The Newstead Project. Win, win, all around if you ask me.
Here's My Entry:
One, two, three. I count off in my head. Calm it down. You know what to do. Stop and slow your breathing. Who cares that you just ran a hundred feet at full tilt with shots fired at you in every direction? Too stinking bad you ripped every last bit of skin off your arm sliding into this prone position; none of that matters. Suck it up Marine!
My instincts and training snap into place. I focus on my breathing and go absolutely still. The air around me is hot, stagnant. I’m sweating profusely, which causes these little grains of rough sand to stick like glue to every last inch of me. I block out all the chaos around me until I hear absolutely nothing but the sound of my own breath. Four, five, six. The pain in my arm, disappears. There are no more uncomfortable bits of sand sticking to me. I do not feel the sweat dripping down my back or the blood flowing down my arm. The intense heat of the desert sun burning my skin dissipates. The sand fleas jumping around my ears fade to nothing. My pulse slows to a crawl. Seven, eight. Just breathe. In and out. I line up the shot. My spotter has fallen. Don't think about that. You can't think about that. Block. It. Out. Nothing matters but this shot. Snipers don't miss. I close my eyes and my wife's beautiful face, all lit up with that huge smile of hers, flashes briefly in my mind. Failure is not an option. Nine. I take in a deep breathe.
I squeeze the trigger. Ten.
Hope you liked my entry. Now I'm off to go check out all the others! Wishing you all a marvelous Labor Day! ~Jaybird