Cornwallace is a Terrifying Monster

"Water in my shoes, there's water in my shoes. I've always, always got the blues, because there's always water in my shoes."

That's a song Cornwallace sings. He made it up himself in order to complain about the water that was always in his shoes, but to do it pleasantly. He sings it to the tune of the Farmer in the Dell.

Cornwallace is a terrifying monster.

And right now, he's in some kind of trench with mud and water that's always seeping in and out of his and everyone else's shoes. Cornwallace and a bunch of American soldiers. They're all here in Vietnam, killing people with guns and grenades, and whatever. Cornwallace has medical pack. He's in charge of keeping people alive the best he can. That's what the general said to him. He said, "Cornwallace, you keep those boys alive as best you can, y'hear?"

And Cornwallace said, "Yes Sir!"

Cornwallace is a terrifying monster.

Right now, while he's in this trench in Vietnam, singing his song about water in his shoes, everyone else is just waking up. Well, they never went to sleep, really. But, if they had gone to sleep, now would be the time everyone would be waking up. The sun is rising over some hill behind them. Everyone sort of looks red in the light. Cornwallace doesn't look red in the light, though. He has blue skin, so the red sunlight makes him look purple. Purple is an okay color if you're a terrifying monster, Cornwallace supposes.

"Water in my shoes, there's water in my shoes. I've always, always got the blues, because there's always water in my shoes," Cornwallace sings. There's this colored soldier named Cliff who has a harmonica with him. Cornwallace once asked him to play his harmonica while he sang the Water In My Shoes song. But Cliff only knows how to play the blues on his harmonica, and Water In My Shoes is not blues. So it would sound bad if they played together, Cliff had said.

Cornwallace often wonders why some musical notes sound bad with other musical notes, and who decided what sounded good and what sounded bad? Maybe God did. Maybe there is no God. Cornwallace asks some of the other soldiers if they believe in God. Most of them don't answer. A couple tell him to shut the fuck up. And he does.

Cornwallace is a terrifying monster.

Around noon, some guy in an American soldier uniform comes by the trench and tells Cornwallace and all the other soldiers to "Get ready for action." That meant to put on all the clothes you have and rise to you feet, gun in your hands. Cornwallace's hands are much bigger than everyone else's.

After everyone was in their action position, the American solider who everyone in the group called "Sir" led them out of the trench and into some woods nearby. He called out to Cornwallace. He said, "Get that medical pack ready, you blue son of a bitch! I don't want anyone dead if we can help it!"

Cornwallace called out, "Yes Sir!" and made sure his medical pack was ready in case anyone needed something.

Boy howdy, it wasn't long until someone did need something. Cornwallace was rushing around from body to body, and he couldn't even keep that little white medical helmet from falling off his head. It would have been even harder to keep it on his head had he not had all his blue, fuzzy hair shaved off. Cornwallace constantly worried that he wasn't doing a good enough job as a medic.

And now: something sad. Someone shot poor Cornwallace, as it happened. It was around four o'clock in the afternoon, and he was running to help this one American soldier who had just been shot in the leg or something, when a stray bullet caught him in the neck. The bullet wasn't meant for him, it was meant for another American soldier. Cornwallace wasn't a real American soldier, and a lot of the real American soldiers teased him about that.

When Cornwallace was shot in the neck, he feel to the ground, of course. The man everyone in the group called "Sir" saw him. He ran over to Cornwallace and knelt down beside him. He saw that Cornwallace was bleeding from the neck and was probably about to die. Probably.

He said, "Everything's alright, soldier!" I guess when you're dying you become a soldier instead of a medic. It wouldn't have been noble enough for someone to die trying to help other people. It's better they die trying to kill other people.

Cornwallace didn't say anything, but he could hear still.

The man they called "Sir" grabbed the medical pack from off the ground and Cornwallace felt a little bit of relief. They were going to use that medical pack to help him, he thought. They were going to get the tweezers from the side compartment and use them to extract the bullet. It wasn't too far in his neck, they could still get it! And then they were going to take some gauges from the other compartment and use it to stop the bleeding. They were going to save his life, Cornwallace thought.

But as it happened, the man everyone in the group called "Sir" tossed the medical pack to another, real, American soldier and said, "Here Scotty, you've got to be the medic now!" and then took off Cornwallace's hat and gave it to Scotty. And then he took off Cornwallace's jacket and used it to cover Cornwallace's face. That's what they do when someone's dead: cover their face.

Cornwallace is a terrifying monster.

All Cornwallace could or wanted to do now was lay there and listen to the fighting and the people being killed, wondering if Scotty was doing a good job as the medic. And every once in a while, hum the Water In My Shoes song to himself.

Around six o'clock, Cornwallace fell asleep. He might have even woken up sometime if some soldier hadn't accidentally stepped on his neck and pushed the bullet farther inside him.

Cornwallace is dead though. He is big and blue and bald and strong and kind and smart and fast and handsome and dead and terrifying.

That's sad.