Snippet of life during the trench warfare (1917) [march]

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Snippet of life during the trench warfare (1917) [march]

Post  Mira W. on Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:26 pm

I woke up shivering as Edmond shook me awake, my mud-soaked jacket clung to my chest. Immediately, sorrow filled my chest as I realized it wasn't Adrien punching my shoulder, whose face I had become accustomed to seeing every morning... it was Edmond. His pitying gaze focused on me, and I sneered at him. I harshly ordered him to leave, not needing his pity. Then Adrien came to mind, the only friend I had made during the three years spent here. But now, Adrien- Adrien was gone. It had been raining constantly for over three weeks now, and the damp, freezing air brought an entirely new kind of demon into our lives -- trench foot. Adrien had been the first one to notice the peeling skin, the black tint. He hid it at first, only letting me know he was in trouble when I inquired about his limp. His delirium hit a few nights ago, when to pain was too much to take. The echo of his agonized yells in the middle of the night still remain in my ears. And then yesterday, he decided he couldn't take it any longer. He had climbed the dirt wall and walked straight into no-man's land. The mines exploded beneath his feet before the German could even pull the trigger. It felt as thought the entire event was in slow motion. I recall a frantic voice, screaming his name in despair. Looking back, I now realize it had been me- but it doesn't matter. It is over, and he is dead.

Shaking my head, I force myself to sit up and forget about Adrien. Desperation fills me at the thought of another day in this literal hell-hole, but nevertheless I must push on. I go through the automatic motions of lacing up my boots after ensuring my feet are still healthy, putting on my helmet, and grabbing my gun. I'd like nothing more than to grab a bite to eat, but our rations are depleted. We now get a handful of grains once a day. My stomach rumbles, but as I walk along the trench towards the chief, the unbearable stench of rotting flesh hits my senses, and my appetite is gone. We haven't been able to properly bury the dead; their decaying bodies lay in the assigned spots on the sidelines. Two years ago, our people had been outraged. Loyal soldiers, not given the highly-deserved honor of a burial? We soon came to realize there was nothing to be done. Widening our trench to bury the bodies in the dirt risked setting off a mine. Burning them was out of the question, for our enemies would be able to pinpoint our exact location due the smoke.

The passion we had previously held for our country is gone as well, nationalism be darned. We have learned to suppress our emotions and fight the pain, the loneliness, the desperation. Our people have turned into machinery, painstakingly putting foot in front of foot, completing all necessary motions without any hope. We had been told our stay in these dreaded trenches our last five months tops. A scowl contorts my face as a sarcastic, humorless laugh escapes my lips at the thought. Three years, I think bitterly. It has been three years since most of us arrived.

Those with families have had something to cling on to. The tiniest flicker of light at the end of the never-ending tunnel our lives seem to have become. They have managed to maintain their humanity even despite these horrors, but not all of us have been so fortunate. The rest of us have slowly given up, day by day. For this reason, in a sadistic way I am glad Adrien is gone. It has given me a reason to continue fighting. For years I felt the absence of purpose in my life. A reason to wake up, a reason to eat, to trust, to fight, to love. There seemed to be no point in doing... anything. But now, for the first time in so long, a fire of determination has been ignited within my heart. I will do this, I think, mud splashing onto my boots as my foot connects with a puddle, for Adrien. Revenge for my sole friend has given me a purpose, and a vicious smile crosses my face, his crooked grin etched into my mind for eternity.

Later that day when I have a moment to myself, I sit down with a sharpened hand-knife. Grabbing my shotgun I carve the name Adrien into the stock*, in memory of my best friend. I never before labeled him as my best friend, for I had deemed being attached to a person to be a weakness. We were simply allies. But now, I grimly realize just how powerful friendship can be.

*the stock of a shotgun is the part you hold.
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:)

Post  Gloria H. on Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:20 pm

wow great post, i did not know most of it Smile great jobbb mira

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Re: Snippet of life during the trench warfare (1917) [march]

Post  Vasilisa on Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:33 pm

Mira did you write this yourself? Cause I believe you did and this is great. You have such a talent to choose words and to write stories. The trench warfare was really scared because 9/10 of people died. You would think that at least one of the sides would survive but in the end there are no winers, only losers.

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Re: Snippet of life during the trench warfare (1917) [march]

Post  CicelyS on Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:05 pm

Although trench warefare was sad and unhygenic, it deffinitely contributed to the war greatly. Also, this was such a great post! You have a real talent!
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Re: Snippet of life during the trench warfare (1917) [march]

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