A church steeple exploded and a spray of bullets cut through our men. We had to get to shelter. No time to knock. In the door, in the window, through the Goddamn wall, hello Mr. and Mrs. Kraut, you’re home’s a war zone now. Get down. Get down. Get the fuck down if you don’t want to die.
Is it safe out the back? I’m in here with Duggans, poor kid. He saw McAndrews go down and he looks pretty shook up. He helped me drag McAndrews out of the gutter, but the gunfire was too intense. Now we’ve got to fight our way back to the body. We’ve got to take this town, in order to bring the body home, or we join it where it lies.
At first we’re in the clear, scooting through a back alley under drying laundry. Then someone spots us and the shooting starts again. Someone jumps out from behind a corner and I almost shoot him before I realize it’s Curran. He’s got a couple other boys with him, and a few more join us soon after. We shoot at anything and everybody for a small chunk of forever. The drying laundry gets dirty fast, shredded sheets and clothing whipped around the clotheslines by the bullets into lumps of grey twisted rags.
One Gerry drops from a rooftop. Several of us try to shoot him on the way down. It feels good to see the enemy, good to shoot the enemy. It doesn’t really feel so good once he hits the ground. In the air he was fair game though. They keep shooting at us and we keep shooting at everything until someone spots someone, and then we shoot at that guy.
It seems to work. People stop shooting after a bit. We make our way back to McAndrews, and some of us start packing up his body, and those of a couple other guys who didn’t make it. The leg is lost.
We hear some shooting, distant, from another part of town. Some of us cart off the dead, and some head towards the shooting. We’ve got to join it.
Editor’s note: Remember those who gave their lives this Memorial Day. Too many. Let’s stop having these wars.