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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

Guilt

By Bonamy Bisson, year 7, Elizabeth College

It’s been 5 years since I left the army...

My name is Bruce Brown. I live a normal life with a wife and a kid. Some might say I should be happy; I own a huge house, have a good job but I’m struggling, struggling with guilt.

I was recently invited to Edward’s brother’s 40th birthday party. We drink and laugh contently, but I’m still feeling guilty. Mike, Edward’s dad taps on a wine glass and as if setting off a chain reaction, all the guests fall silent. “I love you son and wish Edward could be here with us today. If we even knew where he is, that would be a comfort”.

“I have information” I say. Oh no! I’ve had too much to drink. Everyone turns to me and waits for me to continue.

“I felt very proud to represent my country. I worked hard and quickly rose through the ranks. We were all excited to be heading to Afghanistan, arriving in the combat zone by Chinook helicopter.

"After a month, Edward and I were caught in a massive firefight; shots from all directions. I sway my gun to take out multiple targets but my rifle moves uncontrollably, suddenly firing, time stands still as the gun fires at Edward. My best friend slumps forward, clearly dead.

"With tears streaming down my face I finished the scrap with a grenade through the window of the hut where the last of the shots were coming from.

"With rage and guilt I drag his body into the depths of the desert. I staggered with Edward on my back for what seemed like miles. Finally I found the river. I lowered his body in, knees trembling, muttering under my breath, ‘Sorry, Sorry, Sorry’”.

The party guests are stunned. The party is over.

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