Wearied to the point of collapse, Lt. Benjamin Castle staggered through the remains of a corn field. The soles of his boots were nearly worn through, and each dried stalk of corn made him wince as it stabbed into his tired feet. His blue, wool uniform--once so proud, so debonair--was covered in dust and mud. The hole where the bullet had torn through his hip was blackened and crusted with his blood.
Reaching the crest of the hill, he paused to catch his breath, hands on his knees and panting with exertion. Straightening back up, he looked down the hill. His heart swelled with joy and his vision blurred with sudden tears. "Home." He looked down over the white barn he and his brothers had so carefully built ten years ago, the hex signs still visible though faded. The summer house he had built for his wife.
He knew that, just beyond the barn, his house was waiting. His wife, unaware that he would be home soon, would be playing with the boys and getting ready to start supper. A laugh bubbled in his throat and he found himself racing down the hill, whooping with unsuppressed glee. Home.