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Happy Valley

A story about disturbing the dead

It was growing light in a tiny valley a few miles from the Demilitarized Zone. This valley was the closest thing I had seen to a cemetery in Korea. Happy mounds encircled me on three sides and there was a misty, sacred feel to the place. It seems odd to call a grave a "happy mound," and a valley of graves a "happy valley," but they do. It was also a firing range.

As we were unloading our M203A2 Grenade Launchers, I looked down into the deep swamp and saw the silhouette of a man gliding through the trees. His form was squared off toward me.

“Go away. The blood of Jesus is against you,” I said. I saw the shadow recede, but not with the attitude of one fleeing or agreeing, just leaving.

I don’t know if I believe in demons or ghosts. I know I see them. Maybe I just feel so awful about exploding grenades in a cemetery that I haunt myself. Maybe I did disturb the dead. Either way, I apologize. I am sorry.

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