This is my entry for Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo’s #writephoto.
Calm (Lest we forget)
BOOM! Tom came to with a start. Everything ached, he was cold and wet. Slowly things came into focus and so did the realisation of where he was.
Will lay next to him dead eyes staring up at the sky. It wasn’t really Will he told himself, Will had gone earlier. Tom cried, how could he tell his mum that he had shot her son.
Will had stepped on a mine there had not been much of him left. He had begged Tom to kill him. Tom had held him and told him to hold on, he’d be alright. He had held him tight, screaming over Will’s groans “stretcher bearer”.
After five minutes a voice down the line shouted “If you don’t put that poor bastard out of his misery, mate, I will do for the both of you.”
Will had looked him in the eye and mouthed “please” so Tom shot him.
The silence was deafening, yes there were shells and bullets all around him. Everyone went about their business. That must of been when he had passed out.
Will was cold and stiff, how long had he been laid here with him Tom asked himself. It was dark now and the shells and tracers lit the sky.
Tom eased himself out from under Will’s body. The others were lining up for food so he joined them. Halfway through their meal orders came that they would be pushing forward at 19.30 hrs.
Tom felt nothing, yet some of the men were excited, others like Tom remaind silent. Tom looked at his watch, 19.00hrs. Looking down he noticed he was covered in mud and blood. He felt sick and sad that he would have to leave Will behind.
So the next half hour Tom went through the motions, checking his gun and anmunition. At 19.25 sharp the wooden ladders were put up to the wall of the trench. They all stood there in the damp, cold, dark squelching in the mud. Some prayed, some swore, some smoked, Tom just stood staring and shaking.
At 19.30 precisely the whistles blew and they all when up the ladders and into noman’s land.
Wire cutters at the ready, in the vain hope they might get to use them. Bullets and shells whizzed and exploded all around them . They fell, some immediately dead, some yet to die …a few to live another day.
Tom didn’t see the bullet coming but he felt it hit his forehead. As he fell others trampled over him. The last words he heard were those of the Officer calling the men on “For King and Country Lads”
Tom awoke for the second time that day. It took him a while to take in his surroundings. He was dry and warm and clean, no mud? … “Here Tommy boy, just as you like it hot milky and three sugars.” Tom looked up into Will’s loving eyes. “No more fighting for us Tommy , we’ve found peace” Tom sipped his tea and smoked a fag taking in the crowed room…there were so many people a sea of calm souls. Beyond he saw the stream where he and will played as children.
Thursday Photo Prompt.