Disclaimers: The following story is a work of fiction that will...at some point... contain sexual content between a man and a preteen boy. If this is not your kind of story, if you are too young to read this kind of story, or if it is not legal for you to read such content where you live please do not read any further.
Legal stuff: The following story is the property of me the author and may not be reproduced or posted to any other site without the consent of me, said author.
Contact info: If you want to write to me you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org This is my first attempt at writing a story like this, so all hate mail or "flame" mail will be ignored so don't waste your time writing it because I won't waste my time replying. If you have something constructive to say please feel free to contact me. This will not be one of those short stories with sexual content in the first few seconds of it starting. Instead it will be somewhat longer building up to a loving and mutual sexual relationship between 2 of the characters. I hope you enjoy it.
And now we continue the story...
Fields of War
Truth Be Told
Finally finding some kind of facsimile of sleep, I am once again facing the same darkness that I was prior to waking up. Gone is the light that I saw before. Gone is the running water. Gone are Joey's humming voice and his loving presence. This...void in which I am now standing has no love in the atmosphere.
For a moment I fear that maybe I have died...that this is where I'm going to spend eternity, because unlike other dreams, that I remember, this dream is nothing but infinite darkness. I hold my hand up and slowly bring it to my face until I feel it touch, but I never see it. I jump, and when I "land" I feel nothing under me, and my feet make no sound, making me unsure that I've landed on anything at all, and just when it feels as if I'm going to be here in this nothingness forever I hear the laugh. A very maniacal, hideous, evil laugh that echoes both towards, and away from me in every direction booming in my ears...in my head just as the Colonel's voice did. It gets louder until it feels as if my eardrums are going to burst and any moment, then after what feels like forever it stops, slowly echoing away from me, and as the last of the echoes fade away, the voice speaks to me saying, "So Captain... tell me...do you think you have proven to me that you love Joey enough to leave the fight?" Knowing that, judging by the laughter I've just heard, I am now dealing with someone or something that isn't mentally stable I decide to take a more diplomatic attitude and answer, "I feel that I have shown you that I love Joey more than anything...and that the love we share takes precedence over the fields." Instantly the voice shows anger because it fires back, "I didn't ask you what you feel I asked you what you think! You are able to think aren't you...or has this boy clouded your mind? After all, if it weren't for him you wouldn't be wounded now would you? Let's face it, truth be told, you wouldn't have been so close to that wagon when it exploded if it weren't for him. And now you're future is in turmoil because of what you've told him. Tell me, why do you love this boy that has caused you so much trouble and harm?"
Instantly I feel the fire of my anger boiling in my veins making me want to run into the endless dark until I find whoever or whatever is taking such a callous attitude towards the boy that I love...to find it and rip out whatever passes for its heart and shove it down whatever passes for its fucking throat! Again it starts laughing its insane laughter making my blood boil even more. As I'm getting ready to run into the dark to search for and destroy whatever it is that's laughing at me I feel a hand take my arm, and I hear Joey say, "No. It wants you to be angry. It feeds off of anger and the more you feed it the stronger it gets. The only way to kill it is to deny the very thing it needs to exist. It doesn't know what love is. It only knows pain and suffering and anger." At the exact same time that Joey finishes what he's just told me, the laughter stops, and at that moment I feel the anger evaporate as water does from a caldron over a camp fire, and just as in the last dream the only thing that matters is Joey...here...now...with me. I turn and bend down to feel for him in the darkness. Finding him, I take him in my arms. I kiss him and say, "You're right this is what matters." I turn with my boy in my arms and say to the dark, "You want to know why I love Joey? You want the truth to be told? The truth is this is what matters. This is what's real. Not you. You need my anger...my fears and doubts to feed you...to make you exist. Nothing that's real would need so much pain to live. That's why I choose Joey over you. He's real. You're not." Thundering out of the darkness the voice shakes us as it shouts, "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS! THIS IS NOT OVER!"
The gun shot and the ricochet of the bullet shock me out of my sleep. Beside me I hear Joey ask, "What was that?" I put a finger to his lips and whisper, "We need to stay quiet. Someone's shooting at us." Anderson brings the wagon to a halt, and at the front of the wagon I can hear Murray whisper and ask him, "Where did that come from?" Another shot is fired and ricochets off of the wagon, but not before I see the muzzle flash in the fog. I whisper to Murray, "Eleven o'clock high." Taking aim as best as he can, Murray fires off a round and seconds later we hear a distinct thud in front of us as the body falls from where it was to the floor of dead man's pass. "Nice job, but there might be more. If we move they'll hear us." Anderson whispers. "So what do we do?" Murray whispers back. Anderson says, "I got an idea. Get down off of the wagon, quietly, find a stone, and throw it. If anyone fires at the sound we know that there are more out there." Murray does what Anderson says and at the same time I keep watch as best as I can for more muzzle flashes. As the rock lands and makes its noise I spot five more muzzle flashes as dead man's pass fills with a short burst of gun fire. Trying to keep track of where each muzzle flash is located I wait until the last of the gun fire echoes away before I whisper, "Ten o'clock high, twelve o'clock high, one o'clock low, and two at three o'clock high." It's then that I realized what I've just said. We are more or less surrounded, and for all I know there could be more behind us making us completely surrounded. "Shit, we've rode right into an ambushed and we can't see them." Murray whispers as he climbs back up on the wagon, but we could all hear and feel the panic in his voice. Staying as calm as possible, Anderson says, "Here's what we're going to do. We're going to jump off the wagon to keep the gunfire away from the Captain and Joey. I take left side, you take right. We'll each keep firing until we get to the guy at twelve o'clock high. Stay low and keep moving. Ready?" Murray lets out an unsteady sigh as the adrenaline starts running through his veins and says, "Ready." Anderson says, "Ok we go on one. Three...two...one!"
Again the sounds of gunfire echo off the walls of dead man's pass. The fog is lit up with muzzle flashes as the gunfight progresses. Bullets ricochet off of rocks as some of the shots have missed their intended target. All of this happens simultaneously in a barrage of gunfire and muzzle flashes as the gunfight ensues. One by one the muzzle flashes I saw just moments earlier stop as Murray and Anderson take down one enemy fighter after another, until finally the gunfire stops and once again slowly echoes away, and for a moment I hear nothing. Then, faint at first, I hear footsteps coming towards the wagon, but only one set of footsteps. As they become louder I say a silent prayer hoping that what I hear is either Murray or Anderson coming back, and not one of the enemy. As the footsteps get to our wagon I see a shadow pass us and move to the back, and just as I pull Joey to me and try to protect him as best as I can I hear Anderson ask Joey, "Can you help with the tailgate kid? Murray's been shot bad."
After a few minutes they get Murray into the back of the wagon and lay him down next to me. He's conscious, but barely and bleeding bad from his left side. Not only that, but Anderson's been shot in the leg. First we attend to Murray trying to get his bleeding under control and apply pressure to the wound using a piece of blanket Anderson cuts off one of the spares. Next Anderson cuts another piece off and uses it as a tourniquet around his leg. Anderson turns to me and says, "Keep pressure on Murray's wound. We're going to have to pick up the pace and get him to the hospital as soon as possible, hopefully by sunrise. The ride's going to be a bumpy one and I don't know what that's going to do to your back." I motion for Anderson to squat down next to me, and when he does I whisper in his ear, "I can't move my legs. Just do what you have to do to get us there as fast as possible." Anderson whispers back, "How long have you known?" I tell him, "Since before we got to dead man's pass." Anderson pulls away with a look of shock, takes the compass from Murray, and says, "We'll be there by sunrise."
With a loud "YAW!" Anderson whips the horses with the reigns and gets us through the rest of dead man's pass in record time. The wagon lurches left and right, bouncing up and down send shot after shot of pain through my back. As we come out of the fog I look over Murray as best as I can from my laying position. His face is white and his eyes are glazed. As much as I don't want to face the truth, I know he isn't going to make it to the neutral zone, let alone the hospital. Not wanting to let him go I try to keep him from slipping away as I take his hand in mine and repeat over and over, "Just hang on. We're almost there." But regardless of how much I try I can feel him slipping away. My mind plays back so many memories of us in the fields. So many times we saved each other in countless gunfights. Always we looked out for each other making sure that we never left the other in the fields. I could never count how many times we've saved the other's lives. And now, here in the back of this wagon, I know I can't save his life this time. This time death has dug its claws into Murray too deep and is slowly dragging him away. And just as the cold clammy hand of death pulls Murray to the edge between life and whatever lays beyond, Murray leans up and whispers in my ear, "Take care of Joey. Love him always and don't you ever let the dark take you away from him." And then, Murray collapses onto the floor of the wagon and is gone. Shock and grief pulse through my body at what I've just heard and witnessed. My best friend has just died in front of me...and somehow he knew about the dark. He knew about what I faced there. But how? How did he know what my dreams contained? How did he know about the thing...the dark that I fought when I was in those dreams? Is this what the dark meant when it said I was going to pay? As I play these questions over and over in my mind the sun starts to rise in the east and I hear Anderson yell, "I can see the walls of the neutral zone! We're almost there! Tell Murray to hang on just a little longer!" I look up and in my state of shock it barely registers what Anderson has just said. "He's gone!" I yell back. Anderson brings the horses and the wagon to a stop in seconds as he jumps in the back with us. He checks Murray's pulse and immediately starts CPR on him. Again and again he pushes on Murray's chest and breathes into his mouth trying to bring him back. He repeats over and over, "Come on Murray. Come back." But, it is no use. Murray is gone and when Anderson finally realizes his efforts are for not, he leans back against the side of the wagon and just stares at Murray in complete shock. I watch as a single tear rolls down Anderson's cheek and he wipes it away saying, "He was a good man. A damn good soldier. He will be missed." Without saying another word Anderson lays a cover over Murray's body, climbs back up into the seat and gets us moving again. Not wanting to think...to feel...I focus on the wall in front of us that signals our progression as we get closer to the neutral zone.
"State your business here." the guard says in a monetary uninterested tone as we pull up to the gates. "We have three wounded and one...dead. We need to get to the hospital." Anderson replies in a choked wavering voice. Inspecting our wagon, the guard states in the same tone, "All weapons must be stored here before entering the neutral zone. The only people allowed to carry weapons here are those on guard or peace keeping duty. You will be given an invoice of your weapons. Show the invoice when you leave and you can retrieve them." After the necessary paperwork is filled out for the surrendered firearms we are given directions to the hospital. As we travel through the neutral zone the first thing I notice is these people don't live in tents. They live in large buildings, which I assume are houses. Children laugh and play in front of these structures. The adults walk past each other in the streets giving a smile and wave to those they know. Everyone I see just carries on with their daily lives as if they don't have a care in the world. Instantly I know that this is where Joey and I belong...not in the fields...not anymore. Several times I notice men riding past us on horseback with various weapons, and I assume these are the men on guard or peace keeping duty that Mr. Excitement at the gate mentioned. Before long we find ourselves in front of hospital. Within minutes several people dressed in white surround our wagon as they help Anderson and Joey into the hospital, with me being carried on the stretcher.
As we enter the hospital, I hear one of the people that has helped us from the wagon say, "We've got a possible paralysis case with multiple wounds and burns to the back, a gun shot wound to the leg, and a kid with a busted arm." As the stretcher I'm laying on is set down on top of a gurney I see a grey haired friendly looking gentleman approach. Introducing himself he says, "Hello I'm Dr. Stevenson. I'm the Chief Neurologist here in the neutral zone. And you are?" Taking his cue I state, "Captain Rick Carlson." Smiling a genuine smile Dr. Stevenson says, "Pleased to meet you Captain Carlson. I wish it were under better conditions, my condolences about your friend, but I'm confident we can have you on your feet soon." Hearing this Joey pushes aside the person looking at his arm and comes running over and asks the doctor, "You mean he will walk again?" Letting out a genuine belly laugh Dr. Stevenson kneels down so he's eye to eye with Joey and says, "We have an excellent team here. I'm sure we can have the Captain up and walking again in no time. You know, if this were the dark ages of the 21st century, a man in this condition would have lived the rest of his life in a wheelchair never to walk again. Thank goodness for medical advancement. Now what is your name young man?" With a little giggle my boy says with pride, "Joey McCoy. Rick saved my life!" Letting out another genuine laugh Dr. Stevenson says, "Is that right? So, that makes him your personal hero? I wish we had more people like him in this world. It would be a much better place. Well, Joey what I need you to do is to go back over to the doctor that was working on your arm and let him take care of you. Can you do that for me?" Smiling, Joey answers, "Yep I can do that, but I need to do something first." With a look of amusement on his face the Doctor asks, "Oh? And what's that?" Rather then tell the Doctor what he needs to do Joey hugs my neck and kisses me before he says, "I love you Rick. I think we're going to be very happy here." Before I can respond Joey skips back over to the Doctor that was working on his arm and sits down. With a smile and a wink Doctor Stevenson says, "You're a lucky man Rick. Very lucky indeed." Smiling back at him I say, "Believe me, I know." Getting himself more composed Doctor Stevenson looks over my wounds while saying, "Well now let's get you fixed up, shall we? Of course, a case like yours will involve surgery. We have a 90% recovery rate for spinal injuries. I could bore you with all the little details, but basically what we are going to do is use nerves grafted from a deceased patient to fix yours. Of course that's after we've removed the debris in your back. After we're done with your spine we'll use synthetic skin over the burns, and wounds, and there should be minimal to no scaring. But, first things first we need to take x-rays to see what we're dealing with before we do anything. Sound good?" Finding myself somewhat confused as I try to mentally digest the info that Doctor Stevenson has just given me I still smile at his good humored disposition and say, "You're the Doc." With another laugh Doctor Stevenson says, "It's off to x-ray we go." After the appropriate steps are taken I'm taken into the operating room where I'm connected to the machines needed to evaluate my pulse, breathing, and so on. Doctor Stevenson enters the room behind his surgical mask but I recognize him at once. In a calm soothing voice he says, "I want you to relax Rick. We're going to give you some anesthesia that will make you unconscious. When you wake up you will feel like a new man. Sound good?" I nod rather than speak as the mask providing oxygen to me covers my mouth. "OK nurse let's put him to sleep." Doctor Stevenson says as I watch the nurse inject the anesthesia into my I.V. "OK Rick I want you to count backwards from 10. Don't worry I'll be able to hear you through the mask." I start counting as the Doctor has told me. 10...9...8...7...6...and once again there is nothing...black.