Warm, no hot. Near my eye. My eye sees nothing. So soft and hot. A kiss? A kiss moving down my temple to my ear, along my jaw and then to my chin. I turned into the kiss hoping it would go on and on. It did. On my neck and I felt it moving down.
I also felt hands on my arms pulling and lifting. I didn’t resist. I was being lifted somewhere. Somewhere curved like a hug wrapping all around me. The kiss was still there when I perceived rather than heard a distant murmur. Was it the one with the soft kisses? I wanted to stretch out that warmth, sink into it. But no. The voice was further away. The words were blurry and unknowable but very close and still too far away for those kisses.
A shake and a louder voice calling my name. The unkissed eye saw a little light, a ruined landscape and a gray, gray sky.
Voices became clearer now.
“Medic” I heard, “the chopper landed just over that ridge. It’s too far to carry her so we’ll have to triage right here and right now.
Another voice “Get a bandage on her head. Pressure directly on the wound. Stop the bleeding near her eye first. “
“It looks like the bullet missed the eye, but I doubt she can see anything at all right now”.
“Is she conscious?”
As they rolled my body onto the stretcher, I groaned. The kiss was gone and I longed for the comfort and warmth of it. I began to realize what had happened to me. I had been hit and my unit was here with me giving aid.
“Where?” I mumbled.
“Take it easy soldier” the voice said “we’re going for a stroll. Hang tight we’ll be in the air shortly. You’ll make it, now we have to hustle.”
Loud and close to my ear, I heard “scramble, she’s stable for now but go, go, go.”
I felt a smile in those words and slowly went back to the dream of that soft, hot kiss.