Friday, October 3, 2014

Friendship Never Dies

Here is another ghost tale Ruth Ann Musick put in her collection entitled, Coffin Hollow.

It was the mid 1960s and two buddies Paul and David went off to fight in Viet Nam. They were not assigned to the same company. Paul the older of the two was the first to enter a combat zone.

His company was sent to set up camp and observe Viet Cong supply lines. The second day out they were surrounded by a large force of North Vietnamese regulars.

All of the officers and half the men were killed before they could request reinforcements. When back up troops finally arrived David was one of them.

He was ordered to write names off the dog tags from the dead soldiers. He did this task with a strong sense of dread convinced the next face he would see would be Paul--for his buddy had not been accounted for.

When he finished this task Paul was still missing. That night his company and what was left of Paul’s braced themselves for another attack.

The Viet Cong were known to dress men in American marine uniforms they then would fool the American guards by speaking a few words of English.

David was assigned to guard a outer area along the perimeter his company held. He and another marine where warned to shoot at anything that didn’t stop on command. At dawn, David heard a faint cry.

At first he thought this must be a trick but worrying about Paul made him wonder-- What if his friend was out there calling for help?

He slowly moved through the jungle toward the sound. When he reached a clearing he spotted a body lying under a small tree. He saw a marine uniform partially covered in brush.

He did not hear any noise as he cautiously moved toward it. He leveled his gun as he drew close. But recognizing the face of Paul he dropped to his knees overwhelmed with sadness.

Within moments he made up his mind that he must take Paul’s body back with him. As he bent down to pick up his friend he heard him barely whisper, “turn around and fire.”

Without thinking he turned around and killed a Viet Cong soldier with one shot. Now convinced his buddy was alive he carried him quickly back to his company. He requested a fellow soldier bring a doctor.

He took Paul’s wrist and felt for a pulse--nothing. He noticed his friend didn’t appear to be breathing.

When the doctor arrived David pleaded with him to help Paul. He explained that his buddy had saved his life just moments before in the jungle.

The doctor looked at David with a skeptical expression then he stated, “This man has been dead for more than eight hours.”

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