"Let's Dance"

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: End your story with someone dancing in the rain.... view prompt


Historical Fiction Sad Christmas

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

“Let’s Dance”



Anonymous Field Medic // Bastogne, Belgium Dec-25-1944

Rushed breathing echoed through the trees. Steam fell from his mouth. Snow crushed, the white splattered in red, teeth clenched, footprints scattered, eyes squinted. He stopped. Pupils darting to the opposite tree line. Bullets pierced the breath he just took, the deadly metal barely missing him. Grasping the strap to his bag, he rushed behind a pine tree.  

The three and half feet of cloth in his bag were like gold. The old rags worth more than anything at the moment. Maybe ammo, or socks, could be of more use, but to him? A Field Medic? Grinding his teeth he waited for a pause in the steady line of fire, before sprinting to the next tree.

Guarding the satchel, it would never be enough. No. He knew it too, he knew this wouldn’t be even close to amounting to what he needed. Blood would be shed. His measly bag of supplies was less than what he had in the cupboard under the sink in the kitchen. Oh. His house, an oasis compared to here. The desert of snow lacked the one thing they all desired, heat. 

In reality, he was losing his toes to the powder decorating the ground, but men were dying on the front line, and he was in the numbing cold, thinking about everything else, but his job at the moment. 

Moving again, he reckoned the torn bed clothes from his bag couldn’t even fix a scratch. Was what he was doing making a difference? Maybe. Was it worth a try? Probably. His mind tracing his surroundings almost as fast as his feet, bombs fading in the dense undergrowth. Dirt and wooden fractures occasionally showering the ground, bullets puncturing through the leaves. Sliding into a foxhole, his body shook with the impact of the ground, he ignored it. There were more pressing matters to attend to. Find morphine.

 “Hey Brownie, got’ny morphine?” The kid didn’t respond. His eyes flickered, unfrozen, panic painting the windows to his soul, before weakly tossing a right hook. “O-oh, s-sor-ry doc..” the kid mumbled, the two lenses melting into recognition. The field medic didn’t even have to block the attempt, only shifting to the side. “Hey hey, ‘s alright Brownie. You got morphine?” The man repeated, a bit louder this time, his gaze scanning the boy's face, a quick diagnosis. Skin deathly pale, teeth chattering, eyes cloudy. Had the kid been home he might have been quite the catch, those deep brown eyes not too far from those of a deer. 

“N-n-sorry.” Brownie huddled deeper into the army blanket, as if it was going to protect him from angry kraut bullets. He was shuddering enough to cause the Doc's mouth to turn downwards for a quick second, and he thought about the kid's old life back in England. 

He couldn’t get lost in what could have been, the job of a medic was to try to achieve the possibility of a future. “Don’t worry kid,” patting the boy on the shoulder, he pushed himself off of the cold snow. Right on que, a familiar screech went off around the bend. “MEDIC!”

The trees began to snap.  Leaves torn.  Another wave of bullets. He dodged to the side miraculously. It had always been a talent of his, the seemingly obvious favor of the universe. Bullets had always moved around him, avoiding as if he was something that didn't bleed. Quickly muttering a prayer, he lunged back up, sides heaving. It was always easy finding where the next patient was in a battle. Easy to hear the screams, easy to hear them for the rest of your life. 

Eyes catching a powder covered tarp, he slid into the underbrush. “ SIR! HE'S BLEEDING OUT SIR!” One of the men he recognized as Camo cried frantically, another one of the replacements. His dirty blonde hair falling over his green eyes, freckles mixed with sprays of blood and dirt. “GET OUT OF THE WAY,” the Doc barked in response, pupils tearing to the floor, ripping open the pant leg of a man, and finding various cuts splintered with shrapnel all along his shin and calf. Using that three and a half feet of rags the Doc cleaned the wound as much as possible.

He watched as the red soaked the cloth, wrenching open a white packet from his bag, and then quickly poured Sulfa powder into the red pool. Finishing, he wrapped it in a pack of bandages someone blindly handed him. The Doc couldn’t hear anything, only the breaths of the man he was trying to fix. Eyes quickly darting up and down the body for any other injuries, he rested on the man's face. 

His gray eyes clouded over, blood pouring out of the side of his mouth, eyebrows slightly dipped, lips curled into a small smile. Messy black hair scattered across his face. Mouth parting, the doc recognized a far away look in the man's eyes, and scrambled to look for what else might be wrong with him.

Dirt sprayed on top of the foxhole’s tent, the bombs sundenly deafening his ears. The Doc's eyes locked on the injured man's hand, the hand that covered up the fate he was about to settle with. What looked like two bullet holes decorated his side, and the Field Medic knew there was nothing he could do. Camo screeched, water dripping down his face. “PLEASE! Smokey please, come on, I'll find you some cigarettes, please just wait a little longer-” The rest of the sentence jumbled into incoherent mumbles as Camo balled his hands into Smokey’s shirt. Crying filled the forest,  accompanying the gun fire. “SMOkey!” His voice cracked half way through. 

Helplessly the Doc sat there, watching, as Camo bawled into the man's tattered shirt, and Smokey reached a shaking hand onto the boy's face, before falling still. “....p-please..” Camo mumbled, reaching his own quivering hand up to where he had been touched moments before, and pulling back, now stained red. The medic's eyes met with the kid’s, tears filling his own, and opened his arms. As he embraced him, the cold feeling, even more lifeless than before. 

You never know how much time passes when you're sinking in grief, and now the once gray sky was black. The fire had dwindled since...the incident. Doc had stayed the entire time with Camo, even he himself needed it. He’d gotten almost no words from the boy, but he had learned back in Market Garden that he used to play high school football, and was the team captain, until he was called over.

A sudden creaking shift in the forest snapped Doc out of his tired trance, as if anyone here really ever slept. He seemed to weigh the empty darkness, yet upon climbing out of the foxhole, he knew he wasn’t alone. Rain began to pelt the destroyed forest. He breathed heavily. Soft echoes of disturbed silence whispered back to him. Grabbing an extra rifle, as he still wasn’t very comfortable with a gun, opposed to a Syrette. The Medic crept in the direction of the noise,“...Doc!” Whipping around he was met with Camo’s vibrant green eyes staring back at him. “Wha-” Camo put his finger over his mouth, and pointed his gun forward to the disturbance. Clothes drenched, the snow on the ground dissolving into puddles, they walked forward. The Medic affirmed it and slowly they made their way to a clearing up ahead, leaves spilling water down on them. Reaching the moonlit clearing, they lowered into a crouch, and Doc heard something he hoped he'd never hear, Brownie’s voice coated in fear. 

“H-HANDS UP! HANDS UP! DROP YOUR GUN” The familiar accent shattered his heart, but the voice that replied froze it over.


 The foreign words shook him to the core, and he waited with baited breath for the gun to hit the floor. Wood and metal hit the ground, mixing with the rain. Camo advanced, opening a perfect shot on the German, hands shaking.

 Brownie snarled, words laced with venom, “...English, bastard.” The unexpected attitude scared even the spectators. Rain water falling from Brownie’s hair.  After he made eye-contact with Camo, he lit two cigarettes and threw his gun towards watching the pair. 

Stalking forward, he gave one to the German, whose hands were still in the air, and stepped back again. 

He purred, with a small leering smile, bending his knees, and pulled a knife from his pocket. Eyes gleaming, he circled the Kraut, twirling the blade. Rain soaking his stature, moonlight surrounding them like a spotlight, before breaking out into a predatory grin, “Let’s dance.”





By Adare


Inspired by the series

“Band of Brothers” Season 1, Episodes 5 and 6. 

August 27, 2022 01:05

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