Piece in Our Time

Chapter One

The smell of smoke, hot lead, blood and scorched skin permeated through the air, a tropical paradise now reduced to rubble, palm trees that fluttered in the cool wind only moments ago now thrashed angrily as jets flew past. Men, women and children could be heard for miles screaming in horror and in pain. A once clear blue sky now overcast with smoke. The whites of nurse’s dresses and stalking’s caked in the blood of soldiers caught off guard as planes flew overhead scattering bullets through the air cutting through buildings, cars and people like they were butter. A large commotion could be heard from the harbor as people ushered others to the safety of the only hospital in sight. Eva Bunchenan looked up in horror and amazement as planes with large red circles on them flew overhead, she had to cover her ears to guard them from the engines howls.

The hospital had become so over run with wounded that nurses had taken their lipstick and drawn small dots on those who could be saved and left those who could not blank. It was making the bottom of Eva’s stomach churn as she took in men whose once tan skin glowing with the promise of a better future now dulled under black soot and burgundy blood that clung to their pores. One man whom Eva laid her eyes upon had died of a shoulder wound, his arms splayed out on either side of the gurney he laid upon, his black lashes blending with the black on his cheeks. He held in his hand a rosary, the beads a mixture of a beautiful black and blue; hanging loosely from between his fingers. His nails were chipped from his harsh work, his skin was cracked and wrinkled, and she had to bite back a sob, his hands reminding her of a father she had long since forgotten. She was supposed to be trained to handle this situation but was severely unprepared for the carnage before her.

This was like nothing she had ever seen before, this was her first station and up until this day of December 7th 1941 Pearl Harbor had been nothing but a dream coming true. Eva had only to administer shots to soldiers piercing their blemish free skin with a shrill needle, and give eye exams for those who wished to fly among the eagles that symbolized the freedom America took pride upon. She occasionally handled the sick but that was once maybe every few weeks. She had made close friends with the women who she could now look around at and not recognize them under their own blood and sweat stained skin and clothes. Eva looked down at herself; she held up her hands, shaking the adrenaline was ridiculous she could feel it running through her veins, pulsing with her heart beat that she could hear pounding away in her ears. Her raven hair pulled back messily in a braid, strands of hair sticking to her skin with the aid of heavily pouring sweat as she ran through the grounds of the hospital marking men with her ruby red lipstick. It had been her favorite and now she doubted she would ever wear such a shade again. The cool air that made today such a wonderful day doing nothing to chill and rid Eva of the heat that now encompassed her body. Her feet ached through her once bleach white shoes but she had to press on people needed her to do her duty to this Country.

Pulling back to reality she drew a quick deep red dot on a young man’s head. She couldn't tell exactly but he had to be no older than she was, 25. She had to hold back the tears and stand up tall and brave when she began to think of the family he might have at home waiting for him to burst through their front doors and tell them he is okay. She thought of her own brother and how she would never have that same satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that your loved one is safe. A flash of light caught the corner of her eye and Eva, in the middle of hundreds of screaming men and women looked to her right and could see a fire building from the harbor.

A loud call out in particular caught her ear and she turned with the speed of the propellers in the planes above. Eva’s eyes landed on a man screaming in agony laying in the grass his bloody hands gripping at his chest. She caught the now familiar gleam of pooling blood rushing down his armpit from underneath his gripping fingers staining the green perfectly trimmed grass beneath him and she ran. Eva landed on her knees next to the man and pulled his hand away and gasped, her feline like eyes could see deep into his skin tissue. Catching herself quickly she smiled and looked into the deep pools of cerulean the man had as eyes. She sucked in a deep breath and nodded, she lent down close to his ear and with the softness only a mother could speak with she whispered that he would be fine and she wasn't leaving him alone, tucking her red lipstick tube into her pocket she kept her hand in his and squeezed. He hiccuped, spluttering blood into the air landing in her hair as she laid her head on his shoulder. She took three large breaths before looking up and seeing the man’s eyes had closed and his fingers had loosened.

Standing and looking down at the man her eyes glassy and glazed before she looked up to the sky, her jade eyes burning from the smoke and stench of death, like a rock lodged in her throat it felt like her heart was stuck trying to push its way out. Her black hair clung to her skin now her braid almost completely fallen like the ruins of the men and women around her, weaving through her strands blotches of dried blood from the man she had seen to his death, her skin was gleaming with the sweat and blood she had been covered in, once a blinding white shade her nurses uniform now a dull brown, a loud wheezing noise was heard getting closer and closer. Eva’s white cap had fallen some time ago through all the pushing and shoving through the throng of people looking for loved ones or calling for help. Eva squinted her eyes at the high pitched sound and before she could scream she was launched back, almost as if in slow motion the world moved around her. The hospital fell to pieces shards of glass and brick flying past her head as she flew through the air. People being pulled back by the blast and as she hit something with the force of a thousand naval ships slicing through the ocean Eva’s world went black.
♠ ♠ ♠
I understand that this chapter is rather short, I will try and have the next one up as soon as possible. I suddenly decided to start this story smack in the middle of finals week.