"FIRE!" Captain commanded.
I did as commanded, and fired. British men fell and died. I was horrified, and hated seeing death. The British commanded shouted the fire command to his men. Our front line went down as we reloaded. The Redcoats were able to get another shot. A bullet whizzed by my ear. Richie looked at me, obviously feeling it's wind, "You okay?" he asked. I nodded, "Great. Just a little shooken up is all," I replied. We aimed and fired again, but the British charged. We did the same. I killed Redcoat after Redcoat, blood staining my shirt and hair. I could care less. I would wash it all off later. Redcoats seemed to come from everywhere. I wasn't sure who was on who's team. I felt a jab through my shoulder, and yelled in pain. I was shoved to the ground quickly, and pinned. I looked up to see a Redcoat with a knife raised, about to drive it through me. He jerked suddenly, and fell to the side. Richie stood tall behind him with a smirk, "Need a hand bud?" he asked, outstretching his hand. I smiled and took it. He lifted me up. I nodded, "Thanks man," I said. He shrugged, "Not a problem. You better be more careful with those Redco-- AHH!"
A scream broke throught he air. Everything else seemed to go silent to me. I looked in horror as Richie fell to the ground. A Redcoat stood a few feet back, gun aimed. I looked down at Richie, eyes wide with shock. He wasn't moving or breathing. I fell to my knees at the sight. Richie was on his side, blood spilling from his wound onto the ground. I put my hand on his chest, shaking madly, "R-Richie? Richard? Richie come on... You'll be okay..." I said, though I knew it was too late for him. Richie was gone. I couldn't stop tears. I tried so hard to fight them, but I couldn't. They fell freely. I just stared at the body in disbelief. Richie couldn't be dead. No, it wasn't happening. It couldn't. It was all just a bad dream. It had to be. Well, for a nightmare it felt really real. A pain shot through my body, not just from Richie, but from something else. I reached my hand to the root of the pain, and felt a warm liquid on my hand. I looked where it was. A bullethole was through my shoulder, right were it had been stabbed. Another pain went through me, right in my leg. I fell forward and turned around. A Redcoat towered over me with a glare. I recognized him. The man who killed Josephine. The one who burned down the church. He loomed over me. My eyelids drooped and every part of my body hurt. My vision blurred, and I blacked out.
"Jack? Jack get up! Jack come on!"
I slowly opened my eyes, head throbbing. John stood over me, and sighed with relief, "Oh thank goodness you're okay. We thought you were dead too," he said. I growled at him, "G-Go away..." I said. It hurt to talk. His gaze darkened, "Look, I'm trying to stay in a good mood right now."
"Why is that..."
"We won. We won the war. It's all over."
I was shocked. It was all over? No more fear, death, pain? None? I looked at him, "A-Are you serious?" I asked. A smile grew on his face, "Yeah. No lie. The war is done."
I let out a small laugh. It was done. I could go home to Pippa, and Mother. I didn't have to worry about our home burning down, or losing more family. I looked at my shoulder and leg, seeing both of them had been patched up. I looked to the nurse, who gave me a small smile and nod. I smiled back, flashing her a wink. She laughed and went to work on the other patients. John still looked at me. I stared up at him, "What?" I asked. He shook his head, "Nothing. Nothing at all.... It's just good to have you back Frost," he said with a grin. I smiled and tapped his arm. He chuckled. It felt so much better to see a smile from him now that it was all over. I still couldn't believe it. We had won the war. We were independant. We were our own country and nobody could tell us otherwise. I couldn't wait to get home to Pippa and Mother. Especially Pippa though. It was so exciting. Home.... That was all I could think about. Home.
I wanted to leave. I wasn't sure how much longer I could stand this. I stared at Richie's casket, ready to be burried. The priest blessed him, and spoke a few words. He looked at all of us with soft, wise eyes, "Would anybody like to speak?" he asked. I hated myself for stepping forward. Everyboyd looked at me, some crying and some not. I stared back at them, "I wonder if all of you knew Richie. If you did, you would all be crying over the loss of a great guy. He always knew how to make somebody smile, or laugh when they're down. He knew how to comfort a friend in need. Richie was a great friend. More like a brother to me than anything. I have a feeling I was the same to him. I will never let him go. He'll always be in my heart. I'll never forget his mischevious smile, or playful look in his eyes. He was so fun to be around. Richie had a girlfriend too, which is no suprise being the ladies man that he was," I let out a pained chuckle, but quickly frowned, "He wrote a letter, and never got to send it. If you don't mind... I plan on reading it."
I love and miss you all dearly. I wish I could be with all of you. Emma, I love you more than life and I miss you like crazy. I hope I get to see you all soon. I have a feeling I won't make it through this next fight. Captian Benjamin Martin said it was going to be the biggest one yet, and it would determine if we won or not. I hope we win, even without me. Mother, I want you to tell Emma that I'll be home soon, though I know I won't. Just keep her spirits up. I hate her being sad. Her smile always made me happy. Tell Amanda she can have my dragon stuffed animal finally. Maybe that'll make her smile again. She hasn't smiled since the war started, and I miss it. I miss it a lot. It was so beautiful along with her laugh. Tell her I said that. That will get her to smile too. I am going to miss you all with all of my heart. I hope you guys can keep going without me in your lives. Please, I have one thing to ask of you.
Never stop smiling. Never stop laughing. Live live to the fullest. Follow your dreams and never abandon hope. You are braver than you think, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. I love you guys. I hope you all have a good life. I can't wait to feel your joy of life in my time in heaven.
Your friend, brother, son, and pal
I concluded the letter and looked around. So many people were crying now. Including me. Halfway through the letter, my voice had started shaking, and my heart melted. I looked at John, who had tried so hard to hold his ground. He broke down like I had. I looked over at the open casket and walked over to it. Tears rolled down my face. I put my hands on the edge, and stared at his body. I knew he was watching me. I gave a weak smile, still crying, "I'm going to miss that smile of yours Richie. I really hope we meet again in a new life. You're the best. I miss you already," I said. I could have sworn I saw a small smile grow across his pale face. The preist walked over to me and lead me away from the casket. He shut it and it was lowered into the ground. John, a few other men, and I got to burry him. I knew I wasn't the only one who talked to him the entire time. I kept him in mind with every shovel full of dirt he was burried under. I hated the thought of never seeing him again. His smile would haunt me for life. I will never forget him. R.I.P Richie, the best man that had ever lived. In my mind anyways. I wished it had been me. I wish I had been the one shot and burried. Richie didn't deserve that. He didn't deserve to die. He needed to live to show everybody a good time. He needed to live to make people smile and fill their lives with joy. That wasn't my job. That was his.
That night, I squirmed uncomfortably in the cot. I stared at Richie's empty half of the tent. I was headed home in the morning with everybody else. I couldn't stand the sight of Richie's empy cot. I didn't want to leave and yet I wanted to go home. I was torn. I needed something to remind me of Richie.... I got it. I went over to the cot, and searched through the blankets. There was a rabbit's foot hidden under the pillow. He had always carried it with him. I rolled it in my hands, staring at it. Memories of his voice and smile played through my head. Memories of his face when he was shot... Memories of his dead body... Crap. There goes the tears again. I need to quit with that thinking. It never did any good. I cralwed back over to my cot, and laid down. I set the rabbit's foot down, and curled up in the bed, falling into a restless, painful sleep.