Their orders were to raid the buildings and shoot anyone they found, no matter how young or old.  Everyone should be considered a rebel enemy.

The young soldier had arrived in the occupied territory only a couple of days ago and was finding it hard to adjust to the oppressive heat, the blazing light and the sandy, dry air.

For months the town had suffered heavy shelling and not a single house had survived intact. The few people that had remained in the town, holding on to the hope that the conflict would soon be over, had left when the rebels moved in.  Only those too old or frail to move were left when the soldiers arrived two weeks ago.  They had been taken to hospitals or refugee camps.

Four of the soldiers went into a large, heavily damaged house, each going into different rooms. The young solider held his gun unsteadily against his shoulder as he slowly moved across the house.

In a room on the top floor, as his eyes adjusted to the darkness he found an elderly man, with no legs, sitting motionless on a small bed. As the young soldier looked into his eyes he had no heart to shoot.  When he turned his back to leave, the disabled man moved his hand from behind his back, pulled the pin and threw the grenade towards the soldier.


Prompt 11 from The Write Practice: 14 Prompts, by Joe Bunting

“Write a story about a disabled man and a soldier. What do they say to each other? How do they interact?”


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