Note: I've been having this idea in my head for a while and have decided to finally let it out. I'm still working on Creeping In The Night, but this came to mind and I've felt like I should put it out there. Though I've never actually met anyone with PTSD before, I know it's a hardship and a major obstacle in life.
The Winding Road
Chapter 1: Calvin Harrison
Theme: "Remember Everything" by Five Finger Death Punch
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A severe anxiety disorder that can occure after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. Can occur at any age and can follow incidents such as natural disasters, war, or assault.
"Does the red light mean it's on?"
[The blackness disappears as a man takes his hand away and sits on a couch. He is young and appears to be in his mid to late-twenties. He has dirty blonde hair that is short, but a bit feral, and green eyes. He is wearing a simple button up shirt that is sky blue with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, green pants, and a watch on his right wrist. He also is wearing a chain with two dog tags on it. One noticeable feature about the man is he has a long scar that goes from his right cheek down to his neck, another across his nose, and a third one near the left corner of his mouth.]
Someone in the background: Okay Calvin. Now, just in case they don't know who you are, tell us a bit about yourself.
Calvin: Well, I'm Calvin. I'm twenty-eight years old, I live in San Fransisco, and I'm currently a newly started author.
Unknown person: A few fans would like to know: From all the great knowledge you put in your works, have you ever been part of the military?
Calvin: Well, I've been asked that for a while, and since quite a few of you seem interested, I took the liberty of bringing my photo album.
[Calvin reaches down below the couch for a second before bringing up a large blue book that seems filled to the brim. He flips it open and flips a few pages before stopping.]
Calvin: As you can see, I made it through basic training.
[Calvin holds the open page up to the camera, which shows a picture of him. He is obviously younger in this, being only about eighteen. His hair is in a buzz cut, and he does not have any scars. He is a camouflage uniform and wearing a smug grin on his face, his hands raised in salute.]
Second Unknown Voice: Yeah, barely.
Calvin: Shut up, Whitney.
[The next photograph Calvin shows is him in with about ten other people kneeling in a group and holding rifles, which can be assumed is his unit. They are all wearing the standard camouflage of the army.]
Calvin: I was appointed to Staff Sergeant. But in the end, it was just a phase that didn't last very long and I was discharged. Now, I'm not saying I hated being in the army, I had some great times there. I got to meet one of my best friends there.
[The next photo shown is Calvin next to another officer. The second man is Hispanic and has jet black hair in a short style and bright hazel-almost orange-eyes. They have their arms around each other's shoulders and are smiling for the camera.]
Calvin: I spent a lot of time getting trained how to fight and got to meet a lot of remarkable veterans from various wars that happened before our generation. And you got to see a lot of sights wherever you were stationed at.
[Another photograph of Calvin and the man from the previous photo shows them at around Christmas time. Calvin and the man are dressed in army blues and two other women are in the pictures. One is a petite redhead that has her arm around Calvin, while the second man has his hand around the waste of brunette.]
Calvin: Since we weren't in a time of war yet, it was a pretty safe job in the beginning.
[The next photograph shown is yet another of Calvin and the other guy, this time in a rural desert area that seems somewhere in the Middle East.]
[Calvin's expression has changed dramatically. Now, instead of happy and blissful, he seems to be in a daze. His eyes are now wide and he looks like he is experiencing some sort of memory.
[All of sudden, Calvin's facial expression is melancholy, and his eyebrows scrunch in sorrow as a tear rolls down his cheeks. He grimaces as tears continue to run down his face and now looks at the photo album in silence.]
Second Unknown Voice: Hey, Cal...you okay?
[The second voice is revealed to belong to a woman as she steps onto screen and sits next to Calvin on the couch. She is african american and has frizzy black hair, the one known as Whitney. She is wearing a simple white singlet and jeans. A trait to be noted is the fact that her left arm is missing all the way up to the bicep, a prosthetic arm in its place. By now, Calvin has his face in his hands and is sobbing loudly, his shoulders trembling.]
Whitney: Come on, it's okay...it's all okay now...
[Whitney puts her arm around his shoulder as Calvin continues to sob.
First Background Voice: I think that's enough for one day.
[The camera is taken off the table and we see an up close look of a man's face. He, like Calvin, is heavily scarred on the facial and neck area, and he has dark brown hair in a buzz cut. We see him only briefly as the camera clicks off.]
The following is that of a medical report and that of an obituary.
Patient Name: Calvin Harrison
Date of Report: 6/05/2012
Report made by: Julia Sherman
It has been two years since Calvin has been coming to me. He has been coming here for therapy ever since he was discharged from the military in 2009, having been diagnosed with PTSD and survivor's guilt after serving in Iraq, during which his comrade Ricardo Mendez was killed during an ambush on enemy lines.
Calvin has flashbacks of when it occurred and often has trouble sleeping without having nightmares. He has also opened up that he can no longer enjoy celebrations, having episodes of his time on the battlefields every time fireworks go off or when the sound of a helicopter goes off.
It is difficult to help him work through this. He is often white as a ghost whenever I see him, and he is either crying or blaming himself for Ricardo's death. But this is a severe condition he is in, and the only thing we can do now is be patient.
LOCAL SOLDIER LAID TO REST
Dated January 12, 2009
Tragedy has once struck again the wake of the War in Iraq, and it has hit hard and shaken up the community of El Paso, Texas. Ricardo Mendez, who had grown up in El Paso his whole life, was killed yesterday during an ambush on enemy territory. Mendez and fellow comrade, Staff Sergeant Calvin Harrison, were counterattacked and forced to retreat. Unfortunately, even with the help of Harrison, Mendez could not make it in time and was shot, fatally wounding him. Mendez was 26 and is to receive the Purple Heart...SEE PAGE 24