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Word Count: 2,361
Guards lift Lt John McGuire from the mud to stand on shaky legs They push him in front of a Vietcong officer as he screams at him in a language John doesnt understand The officers face is several inches from Johns face so close spittle flies from his mouth to hit John in the face In the middle of the officers yelling tirade he delivers a backhand to Johns right cheek The blow violently rocks Johns head to his left and he staggers back a few feet The officer follows the strike through with a viscous sidekick to Johns stomach John crumples to his knees Kneeling in the mud gasping for air he curses the day of his capture Once again hands roughly pick him up Instead of being placed in front of the officer they drag him across the POW compound Still gasping for breath Johns bare feet are being dragged through the mud The guards use the butt of their rifles to smash the back of Johns legs forcing him to his knees He then feels the points of their bayonets as they prod him into three feet high by three feet long bamboo cage The smell of wet mud and human waste greets John Its confines force him into an uncomfortable position John tries to shift around so he can try to get a better look at the sky Lying in a twisted uncomfortable position hes finally able to peer through the bamboo slats to see the clear blue sky beyond Just looking at the sky always calms him Flying through the sky is all hes ever wanted to do Then John curses the very same sky that he was shot out of a few months ago His thoughts suddenly shift back to his current situation Since his capture the Vietcong has been extremely brutal His first night in the camp he endured hours of beatings and intense interrogations The interrogations
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