THE BUNKER IS A TOMB FOR THE LIVING
By Hartley Barnes, Army
Writing Type: Prose
By Hartley Barnes
take cover. You hit the ground or find the nearest bunker. You wait for the all-clear signal.
During that time, you think about your life, your family, and dying. Thoughts
go swiftly through your head as you listen to explosions and rifle and machine
gun fire. A myriad of feelings tracing your life, you are reminded of where you
were, where you are, and where you could be going. Moments of minacious silence
are deafening. Nerves are on edge, waiting for what comes next. Times slows
The sensation of isolation in a bunker filled with people causes the imagination to curdle into outlandish scenarios, all ending with death. As you wait, you make silent apologies to yourself and ask God for forgiveness. Your future is in doubt. The bunker is a tomb for the living. Until you hear ALL-CLEAR, ALL-CLEAR, ALL-CLEAR, the bunker is a mausoleum. Can it withstand a direct hit from a high explosive? With that doubt, I wish to go instantly and avoid the agony of living after.
The splat of bullets on concrete or thud against sandbags are sounds etched in stone. Not all shots had names on them, but too many did. None had mine; still, I’m left with side effects. I walk with caution. Sit with my back against walls. I’m startled by the sound of a pin hitting the floor. I am frightened by my wife, saying hello with my back to her.
I’m chilled by my thoughts now as I did then. I am no longer secure. I left my bunker behind.
Notes: My name is Hartley Barnes. I am a veteran with 27 plus years of service, I have been to three wars, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom. I also worked as a Government Contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan for another six and a half years after retirement from the Army. I am now a writer of short stories and working on publishing my first book. Writing is one of the tools I used to help me to overcome issues I have with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).