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Time and Fate

By Jullian Gray


Rated R

Summary: After a trip to Maryland I was struck with this though and had to put it down.

Warning: Death of a major character, in a way, violence and a small bit of American history




Antietam, September 18, 1862: Dawn


John Smith surveyed the battlefield, and though he tried to comprehend what he was seeing, his mind just could not grasp the devastation that lay before him. Thousands of men were lying on the ground dead, dying, or wounded; their moans and screams of pain filled the air. Perhaps the worst thing was the flies and crows that landed on the bodies, already picking at the dead.

As he walked through the devastation of the day before, he noticed that most of the enemy - "enemy"; that was still a hard concept to swallow, since they were his fellow countrymen - were no more than young men and children. Their bodies were thin from lack of food, their clothes nothing more than rags, and over half did not even have proper shoes. As he passed by one boy, he couldn’t help but bend down and brush the blood-soaked blond hair back from his forehead. To his surprise, the dead boy blinked.

“Jesus!” John jerked back and almost fell on his ass.  The boy, in response, only blinked again.

John thought about calling for a medic, but he knew that it would do no good.  The boy was Confederate, and there were too many Federal soldiers who needed the help. Instead, he leaned back over the boy and began to search for his wounds. He shuddered when he pulled back the ragged shirt and saw the hole in the young man’s chest where he had been run through with a bayonet. His heart broke as he realized that there was no way this young boy would survive his injuries.  By all rights, he should have already been dead. The boy looked at him with frightened, pain-filled eyes, and John could not stop himself. Sitting down in the blood-soaked mud, he pulled the boy into his arms and ran his fingers through the blonde’s hair.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

Slowly, the boy reached up and touched his face, his trembling fingers leaving bloody prints on the older man’s cheek.

“It’s…not our…time…John,” the boy whispered, his voice full of pain and anguish.

At first, Smith was going to ask how the young man knew who he was, but he stopped.  Even though he had never seen the boy in his life, he knew his name, and that they were meant to be together.

“I’ll find you, Templeton,” John Smith answered as he held the boy closer to his body.

“Be…waiting…” The boy smiled as he closed his eyes while the last breath of life escaped his body.

John cradled the boy to his chest as he looked at all dead around him.

Just one day.   All this death and carnage had happened in one day.

So many possibilities...all destroyed in one day.


The End 


Time And Fate by Jullian Gray



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