Fingers, which were nimble, now tighten in a frozen grip on his M-1 rifle. Large, fluffy snowflakes gracefully flutter among bursting shells. The night sky is brilliant with flashes of light illuminating patterns of destruction from both incoming and outgoing mortar shells as they explode. Tracer bullets pelt the ground, ricochet at a forty-five degree angle upwards into the darkness streaming tails of light, then fade and disappear. His rifle squad of nine soldiers was deployed as skirmishers in the area hours earlier and they are scattered in a long line awaiting further orders to advance when reinforcements arrive. The enemy is hunkered down a few hundred yards to the north in the valley and he is dreading the inevitable skirmish.
Seth is so cold. He tries to forget the imminent danger and projects his random thoughts, which rumble around in his head, to a happier time when he and Rachel sat side-by-side on the Ramsey plantation in Virginia staring into the flames of a campfire planning their future together. As if in a daze of disbelief, he shakes his head discouragingly with the thought, eight difficult months – no, a lifetime later and I am holed up, crouching low and waiting for I don’t know what. He shivers and thinks… Korea is so cold.