The Fighting At San Diego

''Round up the gunners, privates!'', shouted the lieutenant, seeing what was going on about over to the direction of San Diego, and his voice was imperceptible over the clatter of field guns, and the city pounders that were in use then, below. ''Look about!'', he erupted again, with the flashes of that thunder-like seige lighting over his face and ours'. ''Clear the houses near, go on!''. We picked ourselves out of the earth, and made it as fast as we could across one empty, smoky road. That Sleeping Indian Road was without movement; no disturbance whatsoever, but those distant poundings from military artillery batteries. When the horizon flame of that detonation had cleared, and died away, there was retreival in the operation of those forces combating below.

Save for the few houses along the road laying in flames and smoke, no one was here but us and the gunners heaving the artillery guns onwards. ''We'll settle the guns just ahead, there, where the field is.'', commanded the captain. He took his helmet, placed it over, and assisted the men to pull the arillery pounders across the field, into the brush, and in loading the tubes. They made them aiming just ahead, where the chaos of the war was bright and alive, and loud and flashing. ''Whatever goes on, unload the pounders!'', asserted the lieutenant, regarding those tree-crowded passes bounding the River Road. All around us, there was no noise, but only the crakling of scorching ruins and trees. We had settled upon an empty property, in a field, mostly tomatoe bushes, where we hid away from the scope of far-ranged firing. There was a house, disfigured by the previous bombing, that laid dead and deserted. ''We should go ravage that house now, now while we can!'', suggested a soldier aiming his rifle across the field. ''Then, we get a better vantage.'', he said. We could not move from here, for we had already brought the large artillery across the field, and had probably alerted the hostile guns. The road there, the River Road, was cleared, with not a soul in sight. Yet, there was a dog strolling pass the empty house there.

It was like this for about an hour: motionless and slow, cold, muddy, and me being greatly fatuiged. I starved, save for that our posessions were deprived of food. We had gotten tired and soar; our backs painfully sensitive, in that we were hidden on the ground, toiling to stay out of site. When I was nearly insensible on under the hedges of leaves and roots, a sudden shot stunned me to the heart. The captain's men had unloaded an artillery pounder, violently sending its projectile after that old house. I was blinded then, too, for the discharging gun was so close that the earth below had blown me out. I was blinded, screaming franticly in pain, deafened by that loud shot, and my face half scalded by the ignition of the blast. A few men had pulled me away, laid me under a hedge quickly, and left me. I was in the confusion of determining where those others had gone, or what was happening now. Out of my painful ringing of my hearing, men called at the guns, ''Reloading gunners!'', Then, ''Fire!'', and there was a second loud blast. I now figured that we were either being fired upon, or that our guns had broken fire against the house ahead. But as I was only witnessing those quick and noisy movements, both of those things had come to happen. I lifted my head, and saw blasting of the earth ahead, and surely, I knew there was danger here. I franticly cried for someone to find me, since I could not move about and find help myself. Someone had at last found me, carried me off, running across crop and bush, apperantly across the field, and I was carried upon a large vehicle.

''Hurry!'', I heard over the chaos of these things that were happening to me. ''Go, go, go! Move it!''. I was taken aboard a battery truck, holding others like us, yet, I saw that everyone was in a terror, or in a loud, fearful panic over what I could not see beyond that tumult of things across the field. It was the disorder of the people that I could not perceive anything but the burning over my face. ''Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!'', I heard over everything, and then the loud engine of the thing began, and we whent quickly. As my ears adjusted to the stillness of things, I heard, in our speeding movement, far clashing and hammering from Bonsall. I heard, in my blinded state, aireal flying and screaching crafts over us, and afar. There was gunfire,  explosive concussions being felt, all in a tumult of fighting, like a rushing sea. Yet, at this condition, there was no mercy for me and my sensation of reality.     

The End

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