Based on a fictionalized true story, this war horror/thriller takes place in the Al-Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad, during the intense fighting in Iraq of 2004.
From the story:
The wall shuttered from the impact. Tiny bits of gravel and the gritty dust of central Iraq leap from the ground in a single, simultaneous bound. My brain hardly notices the tiny projectiles penetrating the flesh of my right arm and leg. Instead, it reels from the concussion and attempts in vain to calculate the placement of my body in regards to the earth.
Crashing to the ground, even the impact only mildly registers as I struggle desperately to regain my wits and bearing. Through the ringing in my ears to the spinning world before me, I nearly forget where I am and even who I am.
Time stands still as I somehow struggle to my knees and begin crawling, almost blindly, toward the remains of the wall I was huddled against. I am so dazed and disoriented from the blast that my movements are more involuntary; some part of my mind has taken control in an attempt to save itself.
Attempting to regain a position in space and time, my brain replays the events of the morning…
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About the Author
J.M. van Zuiden was born and raised in the upper Midwest in a small farm town. After two years attending a local community college, J.M. joined the US Army at age 21 being stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He deployed with the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division to Iraq in 2004 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he experienced combat first-hand. J.M. resides in Illinois with his wife of fifteen years and four children.