World War 1
We are down in the trenches; it is the deathly silence that keeps us on our toes. I see many people that I have got to know very well since I've been here; Charlie, Tommo, Little Les and Pete. I am waiting to hear the Sergeant scream out orders to us however there is only the silence and its killing me. Charlie is muttering to Tommo keeping him calm I can see him shaking so much, it looks like he has been bathing in the coldest waters.
We hear it, the guns, and the explosions; deadly to us and our ears, soldiers all around us most are screaming, some the only sound they make is gurgling as blood filled their airways. We all march, stumble, run towards the enemy, I don't even know why I'm here; I remember being home helping mother with cooking and working outside in garden. No stop thinking about that, this is not the time. I see a Hun right in front of me, everything seems to slow, I get my gun ready, I see him do the same but before either of us can fire the ground seems to shake and the air is filled with mud and blood.
Me and the Hun are both thrown off our feet, everything is black and it feels like forever.
I open my eyes trying to focus I see the Hun lying next to me. Dead. His dark brown eyes staring up at the clouded sky I look up at the sky too, I have to turn away from him. I look around; I'm in a crater made by a grenade, one of the old ones. I take a deep breath, the smoke from the explosion almost chokes me, I feel water forming in my eyes as the horrid smell fills my nose as I try to steady my breathing. I walk up to the edge of the crater ducking down when I reach the top, the scene is a disaster people falling to the floor, both sides dying for no reason of their own, both sides being told to fight a war that is not theirs, both sides dying for their county.
I can't get myself to get up and fight, it's wrong, now I feel like a coward. A coward hiding in a hole. I see Little Les on the floor with a hole in the head and blood dribbling out of the side of his mouth; Pete, with his arm bleeding, still firing towards the enemy. I can't see Charlie but I spot Tommo being half dragged- half carried back to our trenches his head bleeding, I quickly jump up and run over to help the soldier carrying him, ducking as I go,
"Is he ok?" I shout over the noise of our soldiers firing to the other side of no-mans-land, we should be safe here.
The soldier answers back, his voice husky from shouting, "I'm not sure, he had a close one with a bullet to the head, that's what I saw". Quickly, I move Tommo's neck to the side and check for a pulse, I wait, my heart feels like its going to explode. Throbbing, I feel a dull throbbing against my fingers; I let myself sigh a breath of relief, a breath didn't know I was holding. I call over to Tommo's saviour, "He's got a pulse, he's alive". The soldier nods and when we finally get to our trenches, puts him down and leaves to find someone to help; I am left alone with him. Tommo shouldn't be here, not killing people; he is too innocent to be here, we all are. I see the red blood trickle down his face; no he should not be here. I try and clean him up, to remove the blood from his face. He opens his eyes a little and a moan escapes his slightly parted lips.
"Tommo, Tommo! Are you ok?" I try calling, he nods and smiles a little.
"I'm fine… Did you help me...? Are you ok?" His voice as quiet as a mouse and very slow as he tries to catch his breath. Tommo struggles to get up his face is twisted with pain while is eyes are filled with worry, "No! Don't get up." I push him back down, "What do you mean? Of course I'm fine."
"I saw you… and the Hun… then the explosion. I thought you ..." Tommo paused, the look on his face told me he didn't even want to think of that possibility, "What happened to him?"
"He died. Come on now rest, you need it, you look horrible" I laugh a little, he nods again and closes his eyes, the soldier has come with help for Tommo, I explain to him that he woke up. I keep on looking over at him, I'm so worried. I am thank for the soldier for keeping me occupied.
No we should not be here.