Judgment Day

An ear-splitting explosion roared through the night sky. Its repercussions blasted beyond the front lines of battle with a forceful rush of smoke and wind, and sent a crushing wave of heat through the air.

One of the thousands of soldiers instinctively dropped to the cold ground, and held his breath as the explosion's aftermath spiraled into his brigade. The acrid scent of gunpowder and smoke burned his throat, burned his lungs. The soldier could barely breathe through the smothering poison, and his entire body jerked painfully as he coughed.

Whether his pride would allow him to admit it or not, he was fighting to stay alive. His heart pounded rapidly in his chest, and its drumming echoed loudly in his ears. Sweat beaded down his forehead and into his eyes with its teasing sting, blurring his vision. As he crawled through the vegetation around him, the brush and twigs scratched his face and caught onto his already torn uniform. It was a distant realization, but the harsh metal of the rifle felt hot in comparison to the cold, muddy terrain of the ground…

The enemy was everywhere. Not matter where his blue eyes searched, he saw Confederates; behind the trees, over the hills, lurking in the shadows. Their fleeting silhouettes flickered in between the trees, and their rifles glittered with a deadly flash.

All around the forest, he was surrounded, and the sick dread welling in his stomach did nothing to quench his fears.

The forest had been destroyed by the battle. What once harbored tall and proud trees of green had become a cemetery for the fallen, all forms of life included. Those once proud trees were marred and splintered by canon shells, some split down their magnificent trunks. Beautiful flowers and bushes were trampled by panicked soldiers, beaten and forgotten in their wake. That haven, once so peaceful, was now a prison of chaos stained by the human sin.

Even the velvet night sky spun with unnatural clouds of misty gun smoke, and the full moon's rays cast an unholy light through the haze. Bullets shrieked through the sky, having a deadly crusade, and tore through the ranks one by one with ruthless fury. It was an unforgiving stampede of fire; Judgment Day in that forest.

But suddenly, one of the bullets from the onslaught sounded…different. Its strange whistle seemed to be of a more higher pitch, more acute. In that instant, his eyes widened, and his body froze with an icy fear. He realized that the bullet sounded different because it was spiraling straight for him.

He knew he was going to die.

Faster than he could comprehend, the shrieking bullet drove into his stomach, the impact so forceful that it threw him backwards. He laid there on the muddy ground, stunned. The place where he had been hit felt warm and it tingled as if he had been punched. The shock of the impact had knocked the wind out of his lungs, and he suddenly found that he couldn't catch his breath.

Without hesitation, the pin-tingling sensation that surrounded his wound flared into an unfathomable spasm, and his breath worsened into harsh, ragged gasps. Inside, he panicked, and his mind knew no more of anything else. The anguished cries and shouts from the battle slowly died down to a whisper, and the soldier became acutely aware of his own erratic heartbeat. Metallic, coppery blood agonizingly rose up his throat and spilled into his mouth, overwhelming his senses with its repulsive taste.

Panic gnawed at his mind for it was growing increasingly harder to breathe, harder to stay awake.

His heart, already pounding at a horrible pace, increased its drumming to a frenzied panic that coursed through the very center of his soul. It lit his veins on fire and spread sharp pangs to every inch of his body. As he stared up at the sky, the fading stars and rising sun flashed harshly in his eyes, blinding him.

His pain, an unseen knife, seemingly twisted itself into his chest. It was all he could stand. He cried out in pain, and the world misted to a hazy black.

Not long after, the battle slowly ceased, and gave the forest an eerie silence, deafening in its own right.

Not even the birds dared to chirp.

Hello, everyone! I'm sorry for neglecting Fictionpress for so long, but now I'm back:)

This particular short story was actually an english assignment, where I was supposed to capture the five senses and the person's feelings. You could say I definitely tried, but I don't think it's as good as I want it to be.

1.) Did this chapter have a generally good flow of words, or should I work more on my sentence structures?

2.) Are there any certain places in the chapter that seem out of place or slightly confusing?

3.) Are the character's actions realistic, or too generic? Is there any way that I could improve on this?

4.) Was the ending too rushed, or did it provide a good cliff-hanger?

5.) Were my words descriptive enough to have used all five senses? ( sight, smell, taste...etc)

If you could please answer these questions, I would really appreciate it:) I'm desperately trying to polish my writing for publications, and I know that I've got a while yet to go.

Thanks for reading,

Lightning Streak

Please review!