A Soldier

A Soldier
Julian pointed the gun at his head, his enemy trembling.
Julian wriggled his finger lightly, thinking how easy and hard to pull the trigger. He was a soldier and he’d die fighting for his country, like this enemy soldier in front of him. But, beneath the enemy’s helmet lies a youthful face that made Julian forgot he was in the battlefield-
“How old are you?” Julian heard himself ask. Though his instincts screamed at him to kill the enemy, he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Not yet.
“Fifteen.” He responded and Julian almost choked. His daughter, Sofia; safe back home-safe from horrors of the war going on, was also fifteen. 
He’s just a boy, Julian thought.  So brave and young.  I should hate to have to–
“You’re my enemy.” Julian uttered.
“Then stop hesitating!” the boy snarled; Julian saw fear in his eyes no matter how hard he tried to hide it. Even brave men fear what lies upon after death. “Make it quick.
He ignored the guilt, letting the soldier take over.
This is war. The words ringing loudly he didn’t hear the gunshots, the cries of agony as men fell down lifeless.
This is war. The words ringing over, strangely comforting him.
He pulled the trigger, ending the boy’s life and Julian remembered when he was just a boy, raised to protect women and children grew up into the man entering war to protect his country. It violated every moral fiber of Julian’s being…even if that boy wanted to kill Julian’s brothers-in-arms.
In war, Julian learned soldiers have to do terrible things and accept them, but when he left the war –honorably discharged- and came home to a place without the stresses, dangers, and needs of war, he questioned if he had done the right thing.
 
Written By:
Fiona Mari R. De Los Reyes
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Hello, everyone! This is a 300-word short story I wrote in a writing contest a week ago.
What do you think? I’d love to know your opinions, comments and suggestions 🙂
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