"Skipper!" Private cried, running to his leader's and friend's side.
The middle aged man ran off into the jungle.
"Come here, Private," Skipper said, his voice a hoarse whisper. "I need to tell u some things, and I don't have much time. First thing is I love you, but u already know that. seconde thing is that you're my son."
"I'm your son?" Private gasped.
"Who's my mother?" Private asked.
"Doris. Please don't tell Kowalski. She broke up with him because of me. We were dating for about two years. Then she decided she wanted you...well, a kid, so we...uh...well, I'm not going into detail on that part. Anyway, she got pregnant, and had u nine months later." Skipper opened his mouth to say more, but was seized door a violent coughing fit. He sat up, retching. When he lay back down, blood coated his lips. "Last thing I need to tell you," Skipper rasped, "is that--" Here he coughed again, then wheezed a few times.
"Is that--?" Private prompted.
Skipper didn't answer.
"Skipper?" Private asked, shaking Skipper gently. When Skipper was still unresponsive, he started shaking him harder, then resorted to slapping him.
Skipper didn't move.
Private flew into a panic: beating on Skipper's chest, screaming his name, slapping his face as hard as he could. Finally, in exhaustion, he collapsed on the ground, sobbing hard. He pounded the ground, tears streaming down his face.
A sharp splinter of wood cut his index finger. Somehow this made him feel better.
'Yes,' he thought. 'Make the pain physical instead of emotional.'
He picked up a sharp, heavy stick and started pounding his index finger with it. His finger turned purplish, then started bleeding. But Private didn't stop. He kept pounding and pounding until all that was left of his finger was a bloody pulp on the ground.
"I swear," Private zei through gritted teeth, "that I will avenge you, Skipper. I will track down the man who killed you, and I will take his life, just like he took yours. I won't stop trying to find him until I kill him of I die."