The soldier who didn’t shoot Hitler

I can feel my sore wrist from the backfire of the gun I had fired so many times, the warmth and feeling gone from my fingertips, my ears, lips, toes, almost everywhere. I just wanted to go home, a sudden warm line slowly trails down my cheek, over a cut from the snow shooting past, I feel the sting as it stays and freezes up, oh how the boys would laugh if they saw me crying. My arm is raised as I take aim at a young German soldier, he has a moustache and fair skin with dark hair, short just above the ears, as it should be, there is so many emotions on his face I cannot focus on just one. Fear is in his eyes, he doesn’t want to die, I also see a little arrogance which confuses me but I can’t think. He’s slumped, tired. I can see his breath, quick and sharp, he’s nervous. If he had a cigarette I would actually believe he was smoking his breath was so visible

I move my shaking thumb over to the hammer and with some struggle I pull it down, the classic sound, click click click. I used to love it, but it had quickly become one of the many things that made my skin crawl.

A loud boom snaps me back reality, the utter shock of it makes me turn and cower, I peek over my arm and see a massive orange flame not too far, Men lying on the ground, most dead, some are screaming with missing limbs. Horror takes over my face as my chin and bottom lip tremble. I watch is a man takes a gun and puts it to his friends head. Boom. The man immediately silenced and slumps, he then turns it to himself and points at his own head, his hand is shaking so much, then he looks at me for a second and pulls the trigger, I flinch and look at his blood spray across the snow. I feel physically sick, the bile building up in my throat as I bend over and the very little food I had that day leaves my stomach and onto the ground. I take about twenty seconds to compose my self, coughing, I turn to where the man who’s life I was about to take was he’s gone, I see the steps in the snow, I’m not going to follow.

I feel someone roughly grab me and I turn to see another soldier, he pats my back as way of comfort and runs off and so do I in another direction to do what I signed up for.

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