When Matthew blinked his eyes open, he just saw a blur. After a few seconds his world came into focus. He was sitting in the infirmary, surrounded by moaning men and doctors scurrying frantically about. He tried to sit up, but the effort was too great. So he laid back and let unconsciousness wash over him once more.
The second time he came around the headache was not quite as bad. He was able to stay awake long enough to get a better view around. He noticed a unopened letter next to his cot. He looked to a nurse who was checking his temperature, “What’s that?”
“It’s a letter for you. Came for you when you were asleep. I think it is something from the War Ministry,” the nurse said.
“Could you read it to me?”
“Are you sure you can handle it?”
To: Corporal Matthew Voltari
From Secretary Of War
We regret to inform you that your brother, Ensign Theo Voltari, was killed in action two days ago at sea. Please accept our deepest regrets.
“I’m so sorry Corporal. I didn’t mean… I’m sorry.”
“I want… I want to… be alone.”