Balraj Singh Sohal 10r

English Coursework - The Wait

He lay there, up against the damp, rotting, cell wall, desperately gasping for breath, having been on the receiving end of an Iraqi soldier's fist and tossed across the rough, gravel floor, like a piece of rubbish. Slowly recovering from the pain, he dragged himself to a wall to support his battered and bruised body, and as he came round into full consciousness, began to notice the droplets of rain seeping through the ever widening crack in the ceiling, dripping onto his forehead. Turning his head to observe his surroundings, he gazed through the small hole that had been knocked into the opposite wall and watched the build up of a formation of dark clouds. The sunrays, unable to penetrate the storm clouds, were slowly disappearing. The cell was becoming darker by the minute, leaving sight to a radius of only five or six metres. The only light that came through was the occasional glimpse of the moonlight, sneaking through between the clouds.

The cooling breeze rapidly turned into a bitter, bone-chilling gust, carrying sleet and snow, as day quickly became night. Luckily he was still wearing his thermals and was able to keep his body heat at a sufficient temperature. This was the extreme climate change he had been constantly warned about by his superiors at the mission briefing, back in his native country a few weeks earlier, which now seemed a distant memory to him, as he lay there, captured, alone, in an Iraqi cell.

Unexpectedly, an Iraqi guard switched on the light but the crackling, old light bulb hardly made a difference to the light level in the seven by three foot cell.

The cell was cramped and dirty, like it hadn't been cleaned for years. There were still stains of dried blood, probably of another victim of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. The walls were damp and rotting away. The light bulb was broken; there were exposed wires, water seeping through the ceiling and there were spiders and rats crawling on the gravel-sand like floor. It was filthy. They were the worst conditions he'd ever been in. He could smell rotting flesh

John kept waving in and out of consciousness, as he was hit by the sharp bursts of pain every now and then in his leg and abdominal area where he had been wounded, while struggling with Iraqi soldiers. He was afraid he would never live to see the beautiful faces of his wife and daughter again. Millions of the thoughts were rushing through his head, whether he would live through the conditions, whether he would see his family again or if he'd be shot or killed in battle and never be able to say goodbye. He didn't want to throw in the towel and surrender to the Iraqi's as he was so determined to see his family but was in no fit state to formulate a plan to escape.
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As he came round into full consciousness, he sat there staring at some markings that had been carved into the opposite wall, thinking of his lovely daughter's smile and her wonderful laughter, as he wondered into a memory, a distant memory of his eventful journey, that had led him to lying in a cell somewhere in Iraq.

It began on September 9th, shortly after midday. News had come in that the war had developed faster than the allied forces had anticipated and that extra men were needed to deal with the Saddam's forces. An emergency meeting was ...

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