A Wound

The medic forces himself to assess.

Swollen, maybe the whole leg. His whole body hurts from clenching from the agony of severe injury for half a day without treatment. Teeth gritting. Tight eyes. Dried tears on face. Smeared crusty blood. Clothing glued to the body with blood. Every touch elicits a response. Anger. Yelling. Thrashing.

He administers drugs and there’s rambling about death and begging to kill him to get it over with. Maybe some begging and pleading to save him mixed in when denial seeps through.

Even far removed, he thinks he is still in combat and fights to get back with his squadmates.

During transport, he asks questions, likely about the state of his battle buddies, maybe about God, maybe about letters and relatives and things he wants to live forever.

But none of it matters to the technician who works his body like a piano, stopping death with machinations and prayer.

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