Rosaline's curly, brown curls bounced behind her as she skirted the active battlefield, the cries of wounded soldiers almost defeatening her. She wanted the screams to end, she wanted them to vanish, and never come back.
But this was war. And she was going to help the injured, because that was her job.
Rosaline dropped beside a moaning young man whose face was as pale as white, beach sand. She glanced up quickly to see the enemy- the Union- battling as hard as savage dogs. Rosaline ducked as a silver bullet whizzed inches over her and her white patient.
"Be careful!" called a Confederate man warningly to Roseline, lodging his long, brown rifle in a green leaved bush and retaliated at the quarry. His bullet hit the soilder's broad chest straight on with a horrible, ripping sound. The man's reaction was immediate; his grey, cold eyes stretched wide and he toppled over, giving one last breath before his limp body collided with the hard, blood washed grass below.
Rosaline winced as she grabbed the pale man with her two, oddly small hands and tugged. "Nick! Thomas!" she yelped over the even louder bellows and curses. "Need help!"
The pair of armed Confederates slithered over as quick as a golden, long-legged cheetah chasing prey. "What's wrong, Nurse?" inquired the smaller of the two, his black hair stained with scarlet. "What's wrong?"
Roseline pointed with her shaking hands to the man on the ground. "Help me carry Drew please."
Each man seized under the armpits of the still whitening soilder. Tailing Rosaline closely, they followed her solemnly to a patch of sheltered trees. Gingerly they lowered him and Nick jabbed him awake.
"Guard him," ordered Rosaline severely.
"What?" Drew sat up straight, his tiny blue eyes on the fretting nurse. "I can bloody* defend myself!"
"No you bloody well can't!" snapped Thomas, shuffling in front of the helpless one. "And I thought the saying was 'never leave a man behind,' not 'all men for himself!'!"
Drew blinked rapidly. "Fair point," he mumbled thankfully.
Rosaline nodded and turned swiftly to Nick. "Nick," she said briskly, " can I borrow your horse? I have to go get the other nurses. "
Nick dipped his head and shoved her over to a chestnut stallion before crashing back into the shrubs. Rosaline swung her leg over the horse's chunky side and shunned his tough mane of black hair, seizing it at the last second as he reared and galloped off. She directed him clumsily, secedding in pulling him into a nurse station.
"Nurse Ann!" she shrieked hoarsely, and a thin, white haired woman hurried flat footed from the station onto her steed. "The battle. Wounded. Need help." Rosaline wheezed shakily, trembling.
"That's what you have me for- help!" Ann retorted as the older woman slapped the flanks of the horse.
They were off. The fierce wind in her face, whipping her hair.
The journey was too short. In what seemed like seconds, they were back in the midst the terrible fight. Ann discovered almost all if the wounded, some were left to die, as neither of them could find the dying... Soon the battle was broken up, and Rosaline could remember no more.
_________few days later__________
The knocking grew louder, into rapid raps that echoed in her ears.
Rosaline woke up, realized the sound at her door, and leaped up almost as fast as a bullet. She stumbled over to it, seized the handle, and pulled it open.
"Nurse," said General Lee solemnly, holding a thick document to his chest. "I have something for you."
Cautionously, she eased the paper from the Confederate General's fingers and flipped it over. It said, in big, bold, black letters:
The Degree of Hardwork
This degree is hereby given to Ms. Rosaline Evelyn for outstanding performance in the face of uncertainty and war for her bravery and intelligence, overcoming the disability of her deformed hands.
Signed, Lee Grant
Roseline grinned sleepily, returned to her red armchair, and sank into it and a deep doze.
*bloody: is a bad word in England; is sometimes considered a insult
Sorry it wasn't very good, because this wasn't my very very best, but I hope this qualifies, Owl!