The Dogs of War

Just a little something for school, but i want you guys to read it first and tell me what you think... PLEASE!!! Feedback makes my day :D

So this is a soldier fighting his way through No-man's Land in WW1. Its wrote in present tense :) Heres a little taster:

I was going to die. There was never any doubt about it. The moment I touched my unifrom, I knew that i was never going to see my son's fith birthday...


Chapter 1

. . .

by: ActionCat
My heart feels like a frail, withered flower. Its petals are peeling away with every passing second; with every deafening crash amoung the montonous screams and cries of pain and suffering. I move along with mechanical gait, my countless injuries doing nothing to provoke any act of sympathy from others towards me or my fellows.

A combination of a hiss and a scream to my right. The aberrant, dull haze that creeps along the ground tells me all I need to know. I take off. Mud, sharpnel, decaying corpses. They all pass under my feet in the flurry of panic that's coursing through my veins. I have to time to even reach behind me to grab the filthy bulk of a gas mask that serves as my only means of protection against the blood thirsty cloud. To a delight that stays with me for mere milliseconds, I outrun the gas.

I dive to the ground, and as no sooner do I cath my next feeble breath, I see the green shell of a grenade fly past my ear. The explosion sends my ears into inpairment, and the gore-spalttered mud makes me want to retch, but my stomach has nothing to offer up except from acidic bile.

As I lie there, overcoming my daze, my skin picks up the vibrations of fleeting boots on the ground beside me, as my comrades rush to defeat the owner of the hand that threw the grenade. The muscles in my leg ssomohow get me back to my feet and my numb fingers curl around my rifile. My brain begins to respond to my physical movements again and I'm shooting impulsively.

Has time passed by the time the gunfire stops? Has this fight become so customary that I don't even notice my own actions anymore?

The sudden stillness contained by the air around me makes my chest ache. The conflicting emotions deep within my being are so jumbled, I don't know which one I hurt with. Everywhere, there is war. Even inside my own head. Past the pathos, the part of my brain holding my instincts is screaming at me, giving me orders. Run, just run. You have to run!

So I move onwards. The unnearving silence continues and, despite the strong assumption that the enemies ambushing us before are no longer a threat, the prickling in my stomach and the tenseness keepng my limbs stiff still doesn't leave me.

I reach a trench and am immediately shot at. The mist hanging from the night above hid our attackers until now. I feel an automatic sense of stupidity for not seeing the trap, and with it, comes the sudden feeling of fatigue. Instead of firing, I launch into the trench. My body hits the bottom of it with a sickening thud that sends a jolt of pain through my body. I see bullets flying above me and I also see that only two others made it to the enfouled dugout with me. I can see someone's limp foot dangling over the edge. A remnant of what once was a man with a beating heart.

The youth next to me doesn't look in good form either; the jagged hole in his chest is spilling scarlet onto the mud he lies on. His eyes lock with mine. And with a last shaky sigh, the life bleeds from his face and the twitching that had been rippling across his body stops. I look around, in an attepmt to direct my eyes from the corpse beside me, only to see another man's boots disappear from the trench and out into the mist. The gunfire that follows a second later confirms the worst. There isn't a way for me to make it out of here alive.

A shot of sheer depression hits me and settles in my chest, seemingly taking on all the physical proportions of weight and mass, too. I was going to die. There was never any doubt about it. The moment I touched my unifrom, I knew that i was never going to see my son's fith birthday. My thoughts are now purely on him and my family. Sitting at home, worry etched onto their faces. It hurts to think about them; the anxiety they'll be feeling. They might not even know what happened to me. With all the major casulties a day, who will really care about me? I am a simple pawn in this bloodbath of a game. Something to be used and discarded.

My fingers are hot with blood; half my own, and half belonging to that youth. My rifile feels slippery against my hands, but I still manage to keep a firm grip on the handle. As my finger firnds the trigger, I bid a last silent goodbye to my loved ones. I know they can't hear me, but if these are goimg to be my last thoughts, then I don't want to keep them form escaping.

The further along I go, the trench edge is more like a slope - with the muddy edges worn away and shot of by the raging tempest that is the reality of war. I take a breath and leap out. I don't think the ememies see me at frist, beause I'm able to aim my gun at one of their backs before I hear the shot.

I fidd it odd, as I fall to the ground, that I heard the shot before I felt it. The shooting pain that's searing through me now isn't what I expected either. After a second or two, the pain ebbes away and I go numb. I lie on the ground, unfeeling but still concious, watching my own blood pool arouund me through the dizzy blackness engulfing my vision. Maybe death won't be so bad. At least the war will be behind me. At least I'll finally be at peace.

"Death makes angels of us all,
And gives us wings
Where we had shoulders
Smooth as raven's claws."


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