Stumbled across a really old draft of mine, felt like sharing the preface and first chapter 🙂
Fear, pain, agony, blood… and death. All these things I’ve been trained to accept, trained to combat, and trained to dish out. I used to lay awake and ponder how much training really changed me. Could I really kill another? Could I end someone’s life be it by manmade weapon or with my bare hands? These ideas are gone now, and as the dust around me settles, I realize so are my convictions. I forfeited my life to protect the people, gave my soul to fight against those who others couldn’t, and am now a killing machine. War is my calling, killing is my profession, and my enemies’ souls are my power.
I wasn’t always a bloodthirsty monster, wasn’t always bent on fighting, war, or death. I used to have a normal life, with normal parents, and even normal hobbies. My biggest fears were heights and deep water, and the most excitement in my life was throwing a winning pass on my high school football team or getting a last second pin in wrestling. That all changed when I met that man, and I decided to ‘better’ my life, and do something great for my country. Only problem was reading the fine print. While other services or jobs simply take a few years of your life, I happened to pick the one that signed away my soul. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me start from the beginning.
First things first, the name is Drake, Drake Edwards to be exact. I was born to Scott and Ana Edwards on March 5, 1993 in a small town in Oregon. Growing up I had a simple life. Parents both worked constantly, so it was up to me and my older brother Steve to figure out things to do. When I was younger we would play tag, cowboys and Indians, you know the usual. As we grow older and attended school though we drifted apart, he was 4 years older than me and didn’t like his little brother hanging around. This suited me just fine because even though we were related by blood we were as different as day and night.
You see Steve was a slim skinny kid, with shaggy black hair and sea green eyes. He was more of an intellect than anything else and always seemed to have his nose in a book. When he wasn’t reading he was staying up late to play video games or chatting online with his “girlfriend” aka that female avatar from his World of Warcraft game. On the other hand, I had always been the adventurous type, and as I grew my body responded to my longing for adventure. At the age of 16 I was already almost 6ft, and was the star quarterback of my football team. By my senior year of high school I was a good 6ft 3inch, about 220lbs of solid muscle and the varsity football and wrestling team captain. Unlike my brother and his pale skin and dark hair, I had been gifted with icy blue eyes and silver blonde hair, and needless to say all my activities gave me quite a tan. Girls loved me, I was invited to all the parties, and I was enjoying life. Perhaps I enjoyed life a little too much though, because before I knew it, I was nearing the end of high school, and I needed to do something with my future, which is where my story really begins.
Beep, beep, beep. There it was, the ringing of that damned alarm, meaning it was time for another miserable day of school. I honestly don’t see why they start school so early in the morning, it’s not like there is anyone awake enough to learn at the ass crack of dawn. But in order to graduate school you have to go, and so I suppose I should get up. It usually takes me a few minutes to get out of bed and fumble around long enough to find a pair of clothes for the morning, but I don’t really care. Girls are into the whole disgruntled “I don’t care how I look” phase, and according to the girls I can pull it off.
After grabbing all my shit I head downstairs to see Steve chilling at the table, a cup of coffee in one hand and his laptop in the other. Since the economy sucks so badly he’s still living at home, even though he’s almost finished his Bachelors in computer science. For some reason he wants to be a game designer, big surprise for the family there…nerd.
As I walk into the kitchen I scan the room for something to eat, and luckily I see a box of pop tarts sitting on the counter. This of course can only mean one thing; mom did her job and went shopping. I quickly glance at Steve as I grab my bag and head out the door, and can’t help but notice his green eyes glaring back at me. Ever since he caught his girlfriend sneaking back into the basement to him after coming to my room a few weeks ago we haven’t been on speaking terms. He doesn’t even acknowledge me most of the times though, so I suppose I’ll take the glare as a step up. At least now he is showing I exist enough to look at.
Brushing my brother’s cold look aside I can’t help but smile as I walk to my car, a sweet 68 Nova SS that I managed to pick up off an old man last year. After spending the entire summer fixing her up she runs just like new, and man is she fast. Just last week I smoked everyone at the races, and even when the cops finally caught up to me all they did was compliment my car. Once I’m in my car I double check I have all my stuff, and start my 30minute drive to school. That’s the only downside to living in a small Podunk town, everything’s so damn far away.
Once at school the day continues as they always do, everyone chills in the halls in the morning, telling their latest stories and hitting on the cutest girls. Then when it’s time for classes to start the bell rings, and we all start to walk to our assigned rooms. My first class of the morning is chemistry with Mr. Howell, and today he said he had a special surprise for us. Usually this means that we are going to have a surprise lab or pop quiz though, so I’m not really that excited. Once the second bell rings signaling for class to start Mr. Howell walks in, his grey hair still cut in a military manner, apparently he served for a long time in some branch or another. After sitting down in his chair and turning to face us though, the smile on his face says he really does have something special planned for us today.
“Now as all of you know, graduation is just a few months ahead, and I know many of you haven’t made a decision yet on what to do in life. Because of this I have taken the liberty to invite in some people who may be able to help you choose. For some of you the jobs offered today may not be right, and for others the jobs may be too tough, but as long as you believe in yourself, I’m sure any of you could succeed in what my friends here have to offer.”
The moment these words leave his lips the door to the classroom opens, and in walked four different men, all dressed in different uniforms. Each uniform was as different as the person wearing it though, and so was their demeanor. The first guy to walk in was a scrawny man, glasses on his face and pale skin. Hell wouldn’t surprise me if he played World of Warcraft with my brother. Mr. Howell introduced him as a member of the air force, and so I paid no more attention. The next to walk in was a girlish man with a white uniform on, who honestly looked like he was used to taking it in the rear. Mr. Howell said he was with the navy, and that explains my theory. After the peer queer walked in a burly man came in, the only one wearing a camouflaged uniform and with a similar haircut to that of Mr. Howell, who said the man was in the Army. It wasn’t until after the soldier was all the way in though that the next guy walked in.
As he stepped through the door he scanned the entire room, and for a moment it felt as if his eyes locked on mine. For that brief moment I felt a chill run down my spine, and part of me wanted to run from the room right then. The man wasn’t big in build, nor did he have any intimidating features around him, but behind his eyes something wasn’t human. He slowly walked into the room and the light around him seemed to distort, and the area around him seemed darker than anywhere else in the room. My fellow classmates seemed unaware of any of this though, so I put the thought out of my mind. After he had taken his seat, Mr. Howell announced that this last man was Sergeant Shay, of the United States Marine Corps.
All these different men it seems were invited here to talk to us about each branch, and the benefits of joining up and serving our country. The idea to join the military has always appealed to me, but I want to do something that will challenge me as well. After listening to each branch talk about all they have to offer, it’s obvious that only one branch is for me. When the bell for the end of class rings, I take the chance and make a beeline for the Marine. All the kids are walking past him, almost ignoring him, but as I approach he turns to look at me. I feel again the instinct to run away from this man, and part of me wants to. But I’ve decided that this man holds the key to my future, and so I ignore my instincts. Staring into his eyes, which seem to change from brown to red, I steady myself for what I’m about to do.
“Excuse me sir, I’d like to talk to you about becoming a Marine.”