Soul of the Song

Commentary: This was a paper for one of my English classes back in 2010. Part of the challenge of the assignment was to explore the use of imagery in writing and to try and put ourselves in the shoes of someone that struggled with certain senses. I hope you enjoy!
Standing at the edge of the battlefield you could smell the stench of sweat as it dripped from the faces of the soldiers. The droplets fell and hit the ground sounding like a faint spring rain lightly falling from the sky. The anticipation of battle created enough tension in everyone that we might as well of been snakes coiled ready to strike at the first hint of danger. The horse beneath me breathed in and out rhythmically awaiting to snap into action the exact second my spur poked his skin. The bugle sounded nearby, piercing my ears but was soon drowned out by the battle cries of comrades and foes alike. Both sides of the field descended on one another like two giant waves crashing together spraying a thick mist of blood in all directions. The galloping of hooves sounded like drums as the repeated gunshots and clash of swords echoed riffs across the countryside. The metallic taste of blood was palpable and the stench of sweat was replaced by the stench of gunpowder. My lungs felt so full of sulfur that if the inside of my body sparked it would surely ignite. The enemy fired a bullet that knocked me off my horse with the impact. I touched my stomach which felt warm and wet. The metallic taste grew stronger in my mouth as I gagged choking on the fluid leaving my body, that without it I would surely die. My heart slows to hardly a beat at all. I begin to see darkness and light at the same time creating a makeshift tunnel lifting me towards the opening. Then I heard something that cut off the light leaving only darkness.
“Jon! Wasn’t that the greatest song you ever heard performed live? That has to be the greatest metal song ever wrote!” Sam exclaimed.
“That was great!” Lizzy screamed.
Sam snapped me back into reality. The galloping hooves were drumbeats, the battle cries were the crowd cheering, the echo was the guitar riffs which also created the sword clashes, and the bass lines were gunshots.
“That was awesome! Let me tell you how I pictured it.” I yelled over the crowd and described to them the battle scene.
“You never cease to amaze me.” Lizzy whispered in my ear as she gently pulled my face toward hers.
Our lips touch and keep touching as we began a tender kiss. My heart starts to flutter quickly like the drumbeat moments before. When she starts to kiss me I can fully understand what it is like to be a rose kissed by the dew of the morning. Rejuvenated by the gentle touch of moisture as I drink it in filling the dry cracks of my soul and blooming as the need for sustenance is fulfilled. Our lips start to slowly part and I can already feel the heat of desire making my heart thirst for more. Smiling weakly, a thought starts to create thorns to prick the thought processes of my mind; that if I could cry then my eyes would be overflowing with tears of joy and sorrow. Joy in knowing that this sweet, loving, and wonderful woman was mine. Sorrow in knowing that because of that horrid accident I would never be able to see her beauty which even now overwhelms what senses remain. The thorns cease their pricking when the smell of strawberry perfume crosses paths with my peripheral smell. She grasp my hand like we were preparing to cliff dive together as the next song starts. Seeing through sightless eyes give new meaning to the phrase, “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” (Poe, 1849)


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