"I could see everything and I was scared shitless," said Private Houston to the soldier in white. "But that was like pregame jitters, you know. Once the explosions started to happen, I had to be a man and stay alive, you know."
The soldier in white didn't say a word. He lay motionless in the bed next to the Private; completely encased in gauze and plaster, arms and legs hoisted by chains and straps. A tiny hole was the only opening at the soldier's head where sound could escape. No reply or remark squeaked out.
Private Houston turned to his side and faced the silent one. The sad thought of the soldier's broken body crossed his mind. Keep talking, thought Houston. Maybe it'll make you both feel better. He took a deep breath, taking in the sterile, bleach smell of the hospital.
"Anyways, I'm with the 120th and was the spotter on Hill 317. There were four Kraut Armor divisions moving in, not to mention infantry, lined up all the way to the River See. One tank group fired on us but missed badly. Jeez, I hugged them sandbags tight, you know. My Leiutenant kicked me in the ass and ordered me to spot and call in an airstrike. Boy, that Leiutenant is in a mean son-of-a-gun, so I straightened up quick and did my duty. In a matter of minutes, I could hear the Mustangs overhead. RRRAAARR-VVRRRIIRR."
Private Houston started to act as though his right hand was a plane, zooming through the air. He then whistled, simulating a falling bomb.
"BOOm, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!!! "One helluva fireworks display," shouted the Private with a big grin. But the silence from the soldier in white cut Private Houston's theatrics short. "Anyway, the tank killers took out a whole squad of tanks and a whole unit of infantry."
A small pain shivered from Houston's wound on his hip down to his right knee. He gritted his teeth and concentrated on the lingering taste of onions from his lunch to ignore the pain. Once it subsided, he sighed and continued his story.
"So the Krauts were hoppin' mad. They attacked St. Barthelemy with Panzer's and an SS infantry squad. Our boys held tough and fought back. We also hit them hard with an artillary unit and destroyed one squad of tanks. They ignored Barthelemy and came after us on 317 again. A full squad of Kraut soldiers snuck into a wooded area by our position and the SS Panzers blasted us. We got hit bad. I saw my buddy, Jimbo Peterson, go down." Houston clenched his fist, tightly. "We were pushed back but still had control of the hill."
"Then we got the call from Lightning Joe. Telling us to hold the 'damn hill' as he put it. As a measure of confidence, he called in a barrage from way behind our line and homed in on the Panzers. Now, that was big explosion. There were only two left. But two tanks are still two tanks and they still have shells. We got hit again. They got the Leiutenant and I was the only one left. To make matters worse, I was bleeding all over the place from a piece of shrapnel slicing into my ass."
"Lightning Joe ordered two squads near Saint Hilaire to advance forward but they were far away. By the time they would arrive, I would probably a deadman. They halted their push on my position but easily took St. Barthelemy with the SS infantry."
Private Houston excitedly flipped to his belly, causing more pain to erupt from his wound. After a moment of suffering, he gathered himself and proclaimed his heroics.
"It was my finest hour. I faced the monsters and attacked. I threw grenades, TNT, rocks, you name it...I fired all the bazookas I could grab. And when the dust and smoke cleared, I saw that I had defeated those damn Panzers."
"The Kraut's seemed to have given up. I could've called in airstrikes all day if it weren't for the fact I was losing a little bit of blood. It doesn't even hurt that bad," he said with a slight cringe.
Then a hiss seaped out from soldier in white's tiny hole.
"Hey buddy, are you alright?" said Houston. A moment, even more still and quiet than the still and quiet moments of the afternoon, went by. He scratched his head, "Ummm...Nurse?!"