Based on the music video for 'The Ghost of You'. Some changes. PG for a tiny bit of swearing.
- Yes, I know MCR are not Australian, but I AM, and it works better in my story if you pretend that the Way Bros are. So just do it.
- Yes, I know that the title is from a Panic! song. But 'camisado' means a military attack at night, so after reading, you'll know how it fits.
- This is a one-shot, in case you don't realise it.
- I based this story on 'The Ghost Of You' music video, but because I wrote it for an English assignment, I had to change a couple things - Hence Gallipoli, etc. Then to the demand of my friends, I rewrote it and posted it on here. So if there are a couple of changes - Mikey's death for example - then that's why.
- If you don't know about Gallipoli or what the ANZAC's did there, then go and read about it coz it will help you understand.
- Except for two lines, the words written in Italics are lyrics that I thought fit with what happened in the story at that particular time. Lyrics are from songs by MCR, Paramore, Yellowcard, McFly, U2, 30 Seconds to Mars and I'm sorry if I've missed out on any other bands.
Camisado - An attack in the night
As an older child, you have a certain sense of loyalty toward your younger siblings. You stand up for them when they are going through rough times, laugh together, play together, grow up together, and have fights with each other. But despite this, and the harmful words you may say to each other, you know deep down, that you would do anything for them. Even die for them.
I felt that way about Mikey.
But what happens when they die for you instead??
Guilt, that's what.
'It's ten years now, and I'm still learning to let go'
You spend the rest of your life reliving that moment, the one where everything shattered into a million pieces, never to be put back together again. You live out different scenarios of what should have happened inside your head; each one ending with the part where they come home, safe and alive.
'Never coming home,
Never coming home'
25th April, 1915. Gallipoli.
Everybody knows that date. The day the Australians and New Zealanders stormed a small strip of beach at Gallipoli.
For me, it was the day that I stopped living and became a ghost.
''Cause I'm just one of those ghosts travelling endlessly'
I remember the day when Mikey came home with the news that he had enlisted in a recruitment centre; one of many now springing up across the country. He was so proud. But I was so scared.
So I did the only thing I could.
I wrote my name down too.
'This is a call to arms, gather soldiers.
Time to go to war'
I almost didn't make it past the fitness test. I'm an artist, not a soldier. My art is my weapon. But the thought of my little brother having to face something as horrible as war on his own spurred me on and I managed to turn my body into something ready for war.
But no-one can ever be ready for war.
'And after seeing what we saw, can we still reclaim our innocence?'
I remember the day that we left home. Our mother cried at the possibility of losing both of us; her only children, her dear sons.
'Left last night with a long goodbye'
I couldn't get the image of her face out of my mind; it haunted me at night in my dreams and I often thought of her - what she was doing, how she was faring...
I told myself not to let myself get distracted and focus on the task I had set myself - being there for Mikey and making sure he came home alive. Even if that meant I had to die.
'Let me tell you why,
I would die for you'
The mood in the training camp in Egypt was jovial. That is, until we received the news that we would be moving out the next day; that they finally needed us.
That sobered everyone up.
They need us. They finally fucking need us, I thought. I didn't know whether to cry or laugh hysterically. So I did both.
The plan was that we would land north of Gaba Tepe on the Aegean coast. We would then move across the peninsula and be able to prevent the enemy from retreating or sending reinforcements from forts situated at Kilitbahir.
Well, that was the plan in theory.
Something went wrong. Sitting next to my brother in our boat, I suddenly got a bad feeling. I knew he got it too when he suddenly reached over and squeezed my hand nervously. Glancing at him, I gave him a nervous smile, the moonlight making his glasses glint and shine. We weren't touchy-feely people normally, but everyone needs a hand to hold once in a while.
Feeling the warmth of Mikey's hand gave me the courage that I needed and I knew I had to try and make sure he survived this attack.
'I've made it this far now,
And I'm not burning out.
No matter what you say, I'm not afraid'
"It will be ok," he whispered to me. Oh Mikey, if only you knew.
April 25th. 1915. 4:30am.
The order came and all around us, men began to hurriedly scramble out of boats and quickly wading ashore, trying to make their lives last as long as they could.
But alas, it was not the shore we were supposed to land on. Instead, this had a tiny beach with steep cliffs we would have to climb to get off the beach and under cover.
In other words, it was a fucking suicide mission.
It was our turn to disembark the boat and make our way to shore. I made sure I could see Mikey out the corner of my eye, ready to help him out at any time if needed.
The beach was thickly congested with men and rife with the sounds of war; machine guns spewing out bullets, the yells of men as they made their way out of the water and shrieks as they were gunned down, their graves to be where they lay.
'When you die when you live like we do'
We made our way into the melee. By instinct I suddenly threw myself on the ground, bullets whizzing past my head where I'd been standing only moments before.
I raised my head to survey the damage and tried to plan my next move. Lowering it, I closed my eyes and played dead as I felt a soft thud beside me. Opening my eyes, I found myself looking into the steely blue gaze of a fallen soldier, his mouth still open in a silent, unheard scream.
All around me, the sand was stained with blood.
'Blood, blood, gallons of the stuff...'
I had taken my eyes off him, but only for a few seconds. I found the familiar shape of his body, his large round glasses making him stand out more than others, and saw what was about to happen; what no one else could see.
I opened my mouth.
'Can you hear me cry out to you?'
It was a false hope, but I knew I had to try anyway. Of course he'd never be able to hear me amidst all the screams and thunder of guns.
But somehow he did.
He turned back, hazel eyes widening in concern behind those dorky glasses of his; assuming the worst as he saw me on the ground. His lips formed a word. His last.
'At the end of the world,
Or the last thing I see,
You are, never coming home,
Never coming home'
It came out of nowhere, seemingly. But in reality, it had come from above us. His eyes stretched wider in shock and he fell. Falling down, down; forever down.
I screamed again, launching myself out of the sand.
'Here I go,
Scream my lungs out
And try to get to you'
I made it just as he landed in his final resting place. Blood bubbled from his lips and his face was as white as chalk dust. I knelt beside him, pressing my hand, my uniform - anything to stop the river of blood - against the wound on his torso.
His breathing was laboured and I knew he didn't have long. He tried to speak, to make words come out of his mouth, but I wouldn't let him.
"Shh, Mikey, don't talk. Hang on in there, it'll be ok, you'll get through this... you have too!" The last part was more for my benefit than his. I stupidly thought that if I told him it would be okay, then it would. But I was fucking with myself. He wasn't going to make it; we both knew that.
Tears ran down my cheeks, leaving two clean trails on my dirty face. At this point, I was oblivious to the battle around me; I could have been shot and killed and I wouldn't have cared. In fact, I probably would have welcomed it - walking towards death with open arms.
But fate was unkind to me that day.
She sat there with a smirk on her face and a glass of sherry in her hand, watching as I cried over the life ebbing away from my younger brother. All the while, hell still raged all around us.
'And the battle's just begun.
There's many lost
But tell me who has won?'
I stayed with him until the light faded from his eyes. You always hear stories about people's lives flashing before their eyes; his life flashed before mine. From the time he was born, to his first pair of glasses, first kiss, school graduation and all the secrets we've ever told each other. Every single moment I spent with Mikey condensed into a matter of seconds. And then it was over.
'Did the best, that I could,
Said I'd die for you, and I would'
Of the 1500 men who landed ashore that morning, only 755 remained alive by the end of the day. I was unlucky enough to be one of them.
I survived the war and came home - alone. My mother cried when I told her what had happened to Mikey.
Ten years later, I still think of him everyday, and what he would be doing now had he survived. Maybe he would even have a wife and kids.
But I'll never know.
I don't like to talk about my experiences at war, I sort of shut down whenever it's mentioned, whenever he's mentioned. Because it hurts too much to think of those hazel eyes behind those adorably dorky glasses of his.
'Every time I fall asleep my dreams are haunted
And every time I close my eyes I'm not alone'
I still have my bad days, where nothing can erase the roar of machine guns or the screams of the dying and wounded. That's normally when I retreat into the worlds I create within the pages of my sketchbook.
But they come less often and I'm dealing with it.
My only wish is that he would be proud of what I have achieved. Because everything I did ten years ago, I did for you, little brother.
'Wherever you are,
I hope you can see me smiling now.'
Yes, Mikey. It will be ok.