WeWriWa—A Friend Is a Friend


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 81, “A Friend Is a Friend,” of my WIP, Journey Through a Dark Forest. It’s the second day of the brutal Battle of Saipan in mid-June 1944, and lifelong best friends Patya Siyanchuk and Rodya Duranichev are serving with the 2nd Regiment of the 6th Marines.

Patya has saved Rodya first from a Japanese soldier who stabbed his shoulder, then from three more soldiers on the horizon. As they were on their way back to headquarters so Rodya could see the medic, a rifle grenade finds its mark in Patya’s right arm. In spite of his injured shoulder, Rodya goes in pursuit of the enemies who almost killed his best friend. He’s already taken out the first two, but his rifle has jammed while he’s trying to shoot the third.


Ródya throws his rifle on the ground and advances towards the Japanese, grabbing the drawn bayonet with his left hand.  As he’s struggling backwards with the soldier, desperately pushing against the bayonet as it edges closer to his heart, he notices a pile of shell caps, sawdust, and strange vegetation.  With the waning strength in his right arm, he manages to push the soldier right onto the mine and jumps away as quickly as possible.  The resulting explosion brings about ten other Japanese out of the woodwork.  Positive these are his last moments on Earth, Ródya pulls the pin on a grenade and throws it at the pillbox with his left hand.  Then his shoulder pain overtakes him and he passes out.

The next thing Ródya is aware of, he’s lying in a bed in a brightly-lit room, with the vague sensation of rocking.  Two IVs have been placed in his right arm, and he feels no more pain.


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