In The Eyes of Fate

Submitted into Contest #58 in response to: Write a story about someone feeling powerless.... view prompt



“Enemies ahead! 2 o’clock!” 

“Watch out! Watch out!”

Chaos, chaos all over. The endless roars of the gunshots, the loud booming sound of the grenades, the scream of the helpless, and Julian Rue was somehow in the middle of it. His hands gripped his Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk-1 as if it's his lifeline. The agony of killing another human being were drowned by his desperate wish to live. He wanted to stop, leave everything behind, and pray for mercy from the Saint above. Yet, in the midst of the devastation, none of that could happen.

Julian shot and shot, trying to ignore the guilt that overwhelmed him every time his bullets were lodged in someone’s body parts. His comrades’ voice were muffled by the sound of gunshots around them, but he could hear some of them shouting swear words while they were shooting and avoiding the other party’s attack. 

Suddenly, it all happened so fast, too fast that even Julian Rue could barely register what had happened until he felt it in his stomach. One moment he was firing at the enemies approaching, and the next, he was thrown back with a force hard enough in his intestines. Apparently, a bullet had chosen to embed itself there. 

“Shit! Rue!” One of his brothers-in-arms yelled, eyes shifted from the foes ahead toward Julian.

“Not the time, Allen! Focus!” said another brother of his, probably James Luther, while loading bullets into his rifle.

“But we gotta hel—,” Allen’s words did not finish as a bullet entered his skull, spraying blood all over Julian who’s lying near him. With a thud, Allen fell still beside him. 

Julian did not even scream, did not even say a thing. He wanted so badly to mourn for Allen, for other comrades of his who had also fallen to their demise near him. However, he could not. He was too focused on the grievous pain in his stomach. 

Julian gasped for air, trying to stifle his cry. The pain was burning, his left hand tried to hold his wound and he could feel the blood pooling. 

“Oh God,” he whispered to himself. 

He let his eyes traveled to his surroundings for a bit, and though blurry, he managed to see his friends who were still alive. He wanted to ask for help, but at this point, it seemed like a selfish thing to do since all of them were fighting tooth and nail for their lives. To ask for help would just add to their burden. 

So, trying to ignore the burning pain in his stomach, Julian resigned himself from his surroundings. He looked at the sky above, dull grey sky, and let his thoughts wander. His mind ventured to his mother. Her gentle touch, her soft voice, and her pleas for him to not go to this war. He felt his heart shattering when he remembered her crying at their last moment together. I’m so sorry, he thought.

Slowly, he could feel his consciousness slipping away. The dull grey sky became even more blurry, the scream and roars seemed more distant. He mustered enough strength to think of one last person. Jeanine Carter. The girl who had stolen his heart entirely and wholly. The girl whom he left without further notice. The girl whom he hoped would lead a better life than the one he could ever give her. He held on, picturing her warm brown eyes, soft pink lips, and her melodious laugh. 

“Oh God, merciful God, please forgive me for my wrongdoings,” he mouthed then took a small gasp of air, “Please let my mom and Jean know that… even in my very last minutes… I think of them still and—,” he let out a ragged breath, “love them just the same.”

He knew, he knew that his hands were too bloodied, his mind too corrupted with immoral and selfish thoughts. Despite all that, he still hoped that the world would accept his apology and The One Above would want to cleanse him of his sins. Selfish, selfish wish.

Tears trickled down Julian’s eyes, washing away the dull grey sky from his vision. With that, Julian Rue took his last breath and escaped from the misery of the world.


After an excruciatingly long time of exchanging blows with each other, the foes were retreating. It was strange because the foes were definitely not losing, but in that particular moment all James Luther could think of was it’s a miracle.

Thank God, he thought.

“Soldiers, try to find the survivors!” With a command, the remaining soldiers scrambled from their positions and approached the wounded to help them.

James looked at his right, where two dead bodies lay. Julian Rue and Allen Brown. He remembered that minutes ago the two of them were still moving, breathing, and talking to him. He also remembered the last thing Allen said before he was shot. He noticed, of course he did, and yet there was nothing he could do but continue shooting at the enemies in front. 

Rest in peace, brothers, he thought and closed both of their eyes tightly. 

He then trudged among the fallen soldiers and tried to search for anyone who gave any sign of surviving. As his eyes caught hold of someone whose chest was rising up and down, he quickly went to him and said, “Hey, hey, I got you!”

The soldier, Neil Forman--according to the dog tag James had found, struggled to form a word so he brought his left hand pointing to his right shoulder. 

“Yes, yes, I know,” James said and yelled at the others to help him. 

The soldiers truly thought they survived and they were in any place to help others. Little did they know that the fate had other design for them. James and the others did not even have the chance to think nor say anything when a huge explosion rattled and decimated everyone in the area, leaving no souls behind. A tragedy to those who had fought so hard to live as they were all powerless in the eyes of fate.

September 07, 2020 09:24

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