The Remembrance Chain
by Captain Marina
Summary: A personal challenge issued by my better half...aka Jipster. (Betcha thought I wasn't gonna answer your challenge, huh? :P) It was to come up with a reason why BA likes jewelry. BA recalls
Warnings: Nothing too bad. Death...
He died today, died in my arms. He gave
me his crucifix. Asked me to keep it. I wanted to
give it to his mother…but Brice said he wanted me to
have it, so I wouldn't forget him. I wiped the
blood from it and cried. It was his granddaddy's. Damn
fool…gone ahead and got himself killed.
Tomorrow will be a month since Brice died. I miss him. He sure
was a crazy son of a bitch. Mooned General Barnabas ..did a month in
the stockade for that stunt. It was funny as hell though.. . Never
gonna forget the look on old Barnsy's face. I'm wearing your
crucifix...just like you wanted me to, Brice.
Been pinned down in this damn hole for nearly three
days. I'm scared, but won't let the others know that.
'Suppose to be the tough guy in the unit…ain't
suppose to let nothin' bother me. Dirt, blood,
screams, explosions….death…it's all around me. I reach down and feel
Brice's cross…it gives me comfort. Talk to me,
man...help me out here. 'Come on'. the Lieutenant
says.. 'time to move'….I take a deep breath…grab my gun
and move as ordered.
Hotter than hell. The guys and I sneaked out last night and did
some skinny dipping with a couple of nurses. Mama would be madder
than a hornet if she found out. Probably whoop my behind.
We barely made it back from the mission. Been shot, but it ain't
too bad. Just my leg. Fifteen guys didn't make it back, so I guess
I'm one of the lucky ones. Wrote home to Mama to let her know I'm
The new night nurse is so beautiful...she takes my breath away.
I found out her name is Denise and she is from
I think Denise likes me, but I don't know what a woman like that
would see in a big ox like me?
Spent the night with Denise. She wanted to make my birthday
special. We made love. I think she is the girl for me.
Wrote home to Mama to tell her about Denise.
Got a letter from Mama today, she is so happy to hear that I
have found someone. But she is concerned that I'm too young to really
know what true love is. She worries that this place is not making me
think right. She wants me to take my time before I rush into anything.
Been thinking about what Mama said about this place and not
rushing it. Just looking in Denise's eyes however...puts all my
doubts to rest. I'm going to ask Denise to marry me on Christmas Eve.
We can get married after we get out of this crazy place. I want her
to know how serious I am about us.
I wrote a letter to Mama to let her know about my decision. I
told her to think about all the future grandbabies she will have.
That should make her smile.
Bought the ring for Denise today. It ain't much. I don't have lots of money.
Someday I'm gonna buy her a big diamond. I hope she says yes.
Denise was killed today. I ain't sure how it happened yet. No one knows
anything, or no one is saying anything. Words can not describe how I feel. I put
her ring on the chain with Brice's cross...I ...I just want to die.....
Haven't written in awhile. Just couldn't after Denise died. Things have been
crazy. never thought I would see this much suffering and death. I feel like an
old man and I ain't even 21 yet.
Found a ring with an inscription in it. It was buried in the mud. I was on night
watch when I noticed it shining in the moonlight. The inscription said "Be
safe..." Asked everyone in the unit if they knew who it belonged to. Richard
told me it belonged to some kid named Anthony De Marco. Rich said he lost it
months ago, but Tony wouldn't be needing it where he was. He had been KIA
somewhere near the
sent the ring home to his mother, I knew she would want it back.
Yesterday was the fourth. We all celebrated by having some beers, this kid Peck
got them on the black market. He even managed to get us some fireworks. Heard he
is part of some special unit run by this crazy man…Smith…I think his name
is…some Colonel with a death wish. Smith's unit stopped here on their way to Khe
Sanh. 'Suicide mission' I heard Peck say. The Colonel loves that kind of thing.
Peck took Roberts for a week's pay. I think he cheats at poker.
It's mama's birthday. I miss her. I hope she got the card I sent and the
A package came from Anthony De Marco's mother today. It was the ring I had found
and sent back to her. The letter said that they had given the ring to Anthony
before he shipped out. They had hoped it would be a good luck charm for him.
Anthony's mother wanted me to have it. She said she was thankful that I had sent
it back to her. She said I must be a nice boy to have went out of my way for
someone I didn't know. Especially when I was in such a bad place. She said that
my mother raised me right. She wanted me to be safe and to come home to my
mother when this God forsaken war was over. Anthony was their only child and
their hearts were broken. She hoped that no other mother had to feel what she
was feeling. She knew in her heart though, that many more boys would die before
the war's end. She said she would pray for me and my family. The tears welled up
in my eyes as I read her words. I took the chain off from around my neck and
added Anthony's ring to it. It really meant a lot to me that this stranger would
give me such a precious gift. I didn't know Anthony but I felt connected to him.
I wrote a letter to say thank you. I told her that someday I would come and
visit her so she could tell me all about Anthony. I also wrote a letter to Mama
just to tell her I love and miss her.
Been thinking a lot about Denise today. I feel like a piece of me died that day.
I feel so alone. Christmas will be here soon and I have nothing to celebrate.
Going on another mission soon.
Got captured last night. Guards beat me. I'm scared.
The guards beat me again today. I won't tell them anything. They can keep me
locked up in this cage. But I ain't never gonna give in. I hid my 'remembrance
chain" as I have decided to call my necklace, in a hole and covered it with
rocks. I don't want the guards to take it. I have hidden my journal as well. I
only write when I know no one can see me.
Josh my cellmate has been trying to lift my spirits. He tells the dirtiest
jokes I have ever heard. Makes me blush.
I have a bad infection. Not feeling too good. Josh has been saving his water
rations for me so I won't dehydrate. I tell him not too, but Josh says there
ain't nothing I can do to stop him. Especially in my condition. I say I am gonna
kick his butt when I'm feeling better, but he only smiles.
Feeling really bad, can't write much. Josh gave me some of his food today. I
tried to refuse it, but Josh wouldn't let me.
Fever keeps me up at night. Haven't slept, guards are brutal...not going to
make it much longer.
Feeling better. Thanks to Josh. I owe him my life. He says he will collect
on the debt someday. Maybe get me to beat up some guys from his old neighborhood
who picked on him when he was a kid.
Heard rumors of an escape plan. Can't wait to find out more.
The guards beat Josh bad today, I don't know what to do. . I just stroked
his hair and did the best I could to clean his wounds. They are trying to find
out who is planning the escape.
Three prisoners tried to escape and were caught. I don't know what they are
going to do to them. I was suppose to go with them, but Josh convinced me not to
go. Said it wasn't a good time...said it would be bad. I listened to him. I feel
like such a coward.
They have hung Christian, Jeremy and Robert upside down in the yard as
punishment. They hung them out there for all of us to see. Told us that we would
suffer a worse fate if any of us tried to escape.
I can't believe they are just going to let them hang there until they die.
How could anyone be that cruel? I asked the guards to let them go but he just
threatened to hang me next to them if I didn't quiet down. I told him I was
gonna kill him when I got out of here. He came in the cage and hit me
repeatedly with the butt of his rifle. I was just about to go for the guard but
Josh got in between us He told the guard he would make sure I behaved. I was
angry with Josh for stopping me. I really wanted to kill that guard. But I
know Josh was just looking out for me.
Jeremy has died. And they have just left him hanging there. The pleas from
Robert and Christian are breaking my heart. If I get my chance to get out of
here I swear I'm gonna take out as many of those bastards as I can. I will kill
them with my bare hands.
Christian died a little while ago. He had a strange look on his face. An
almost happy expression. I think he welcomed death after all his suffering.
Robert is nearing death as well. I am angry with myself for not being out there
with them, but I am also thankful. I throw up when I look at them...I'm so torn
up inside. I should have went with them, maybe I could have gotten us all out.
Josh says I would be hanging out there too. I just cry when no one is looking.
Robert let out his last breath today. He looked right at me before he died
and smiled. Josh says he was trying to tell me to be thankful and not to get
down on myself. Josh says I should live on and survive for them. I listened to
his words... but still doubt myself.
Josh is still trying to lift my spirits. No matter what they do to him, he
never gets down. I wish I was more like him.
Couldn't sleep last night. The rats were really out. Josh has named this one
rat Marcus. Ugly sucker. He saves some crumbs for it. He calls the damn thing
his pet. He even lets it sleep with him. Disgusting.
Josh is trying to teach Marcus some tricks. Can you believe this? Teaching a
rat tricks. I just shake my head. Josh says that he is gonna make a fortune with
Marcus. He will have the only rat in the world who can do a handstand. I just
tell him he's a nut. I don't know what I would do if Josh wasn't here to make me