Suddenly, the blood stopped pumping from the wound, and just leaked from it. The fear that had filled the eyes staring up at me had left taking with it the sparkle of life. Everything that young soldier had ever been, and everything he might become ended in that moment. There, 7,000 miles from home, he laid in a blood soaked and shredded uniform with a maze of little channels his tears had cut through the talc-like sand that coated his youthful face. War is the playground ground of the young, as only the young are naive enough to imagine there is anything there but misery. Like any child, all he wanted in those last moments was his mother, but all I could give him were meaningless platitudes, and an empty promise of survival. The frenetic energy of futile effort drained from me. In it’s stead, numbness and a memory that I knew would never fade.

Excerpt from A String of Moments
(the book I’ll never write)