from My Dying Breath
by Ben Reed
leaves the minds of men uncertain.
shifts, focus blurs.
disturbs the soul.
The experiences gained and the friendships that Ben Reed formed in the jungles of Vietnam, Okinawa and the Philippines, and on the high seas off the coast of Vietnam, in 1969-70 provide the basis for My Dying Breath.
gnat had lodged itself in the corner of Tuck’s right eye and he could
not blink the pest away. He fished a small round mirror from the depths
of his rucksack. A rouge-filled crack ran down one side of the glass. It
had been one of his mom's old compacts that she had sent to him.
He looked into the mirror and dabbed at the gnat with his little finger. “There, finally got it,” he said, flicking away the black spot. Tuck again looked into the mirror and stared, hoping to find his mother’s latent image within. Instead, the bright blue eyes that once could light up a room and steal the heart of an Anna Carlisle now stared back at him as vacant gray orbs. His nose, sitting upon sunken cheeks, no longer seemed to fit his face. His mouth sat below, drawn tight into a line by lips that neither curled into a smile nor sank into a frown.
-- from Chapter 48: A World Gone Awry