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Summary Of The Things They Carried Chapter 9, Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong

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We all know true war stories cannot be trusted and taken account of, the story of Mary Anne was not a trustworthy story either. Months after her escape into the wilderness Mary Anne had a rendezvous with Fossie and their confrontation was not a small one which could be just digested easily but was a very powerful one filled with emotions. Mary Anne moved swiftly through the dark shadows of the the jungles of Nam. The darkness of the jungle was forcing her into revealing all her inner darkness and mysteries to the winds. But, she couldn’t trust anyone or anything, not even the trees because the trees would reveal her secrets to the wind. With American blood running through her veins, the only fear in her mind was her growing addiction to Vietnam. After her escape from the basecamp she became a part of the ‘Greenies’. She fought not for the America but for Vietnam. She had grown close to the land, as her intimate relationship with the land was symbiotic since both of them were nurturing each other. As she walked along the moist land she felt the soft stroke of Vietnam against her strawberry blonde complexion increasing her passion for the country. As her sarong rubbed past the leaves of the trees, they flushed her with great vigour. Anyone who was a threat to her land would have to face her indignation.

Her story makes me squirm everytime, it goes as follows: A man goes missing. He starts walking and out of the blue starts hearing aberrant noises like those if a tear gas rolls across his body and a knife is against his back. Men gyrating in sandals among the trees and vapours rising from the rice paddies. He felt like death was approaching him. He finally gives up and begins shooting in the air and at the trees till he completely destroys it. The smoke gets mixed with the fog. He can’t take it anymore, and right then he shot a bullet which went right through his head BANG! The boy lay dead on the land with smoke coming out from the gun. Just then Mary Anne walks in and sits next to the dead boy kissing him on his forehead with a smirk on her face. Namby-pamby, she shouted. She took pride in her oath and went on a rampage killing soldiers as if she were knocking off bowling pins. One evening, Mark Fossie and Eddie Diamond went out to patrol the perimeter of Thai Binh. The colour of the sky changed from deep orange to bright red, the air was mixed with the soot from the bombing and made it difficult to breathe. They moved east into the Chu Lai mountains. Fossie felt too exhausted to move so they decided to take a break but Eddie was too hyped to stay put so he started to move around even after Fossie warning him that they should ensure that they do not get seperated. Fossie knew Eddie was not the one to listen so Fossie had come prepared and had his Beretta M9 handy. The sound that followed was eerie and mysterious just like the night. Fossie looked straight and deep trying to locate Eddie. He followed the noise. As he moved forward he heard the voice much like a woman’s voice in a language that he could not understand. The sight that Fossie saw ahead left him bewildered. Fossie felt disgusted. Fossie saw ahead of him Mary Anne, resting on top of Eddie whose throat had been slit open by what looked like a butcher’s knife in layman terms. Blood was gushing out of Eddie’s throat and Mary Anne was sitting in the pool of his blood. Fossie could not digest what he just saw. Mary Anne stood there staring at Mark with a sharp piercing gaze. Her perfect silhouette walked towards Fossie in the darkness. Her necklace which was made of human tongue wobbled on her breasts. She stopped and took a whiff of the fresh human blood that blew along with the thin breeze. This was Fossie’s worst nightmare, she was no longer the blonde cooze but was a killer now. Mark could not stand still, he shivered and panicke, his face looked pale and his eyes were wide open in shock.

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As Mary Anne moved closer, he moved away. Mary Anne motioned her hand trying to stop him as Fossie’s bony ass rubbed against the sooty rocks. She said, “Go back to the foxhole. You don’t belong outside the boundaries of the barbed wires and sandbags. You are not ready for the real world outside the basecamp. You think you have all the knowledge about war but you have no idea how zany and kooky war can be. It is chaotic but beautiful at the same time, it is filled with emotions but is also barbaric. There is no feeling like it.” Fosse just stood there flabbergasted. He didn’t know what to say or feel. But he knew one thing for sure, the sweet, blonde, bikini clad girl that he loved was long gone and the new one had no connection to him. “Girl, what happened to you?” asked Fossie. She looked at him with coldness and said, “Nam happened to me” “If that’s what you want, then that is what you get”, said Mark. He cocked his Beretta M9 pointed it towards the cooze but, she was gone with the wind. Fossie wanted to leave but his legs would not move. He felt like there was a huge rock on his chest. He now carried the burden of Eddie’s death on his shoulders. That very second he realised the true meaning of war. War is scary. War is dreadful. War is treacherous. War is hell. It rips you of all the humanity left in you, it makes you into a new person, a person you cannot relate to. It is a thick sooty sky of catastrophe.

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