Sunday Morning

The morning sun peeked over the horizon, curiously inspecting the vast, incredible lands it touched. Shining its everlasting rays upon my face, I knew that a new day was upon me. Normally, this ray of light would signify new beginnings and a chance to burst out and impress the universe.

Today was not that day.

The smell of rotting flesh spread throughout my trench, entering every pore in our skin, and permanently bathing us in the souls of the dead. David, my sergeant, lay in pieces a few meagre feet away from, the bright crimson puddles of blood, now faded into crusty pink stains that would forever tarnish the ashen ground we stood on. I clung to my faded, discoloured rifle, which had been thrust into my young, smooth fingers mere months ago. As I stared downwards, I realized that my hands reflected death, pain and unspeakable violence. I was new man indeed, just not one that I was proud of. The torrential, merciless hail had beaten us to our very limits, with some fellow soldiers losing their fingers to the unforgiving weather. Today was no different. A new Sunday meant a new day for Death itself to revel.

The sun, which gradually grew more curious and rose even further to witness our horrors, let off even more of its rays. Alas, little good that did, as the freezing bite of the wolf snuffed out any warmth that could have been emitted. My worn out boots were frozen to the squelching mud that advanced further up our bodies, reaching areas that seemed impossible. I peered over the mud which oozed down the side of the trench, and between the jagged barbs which divided us from them. Hazy fog shrouded the battlefield, providing unending cover for the enemy.

Eerie silence dominated the landscape. Normally, the deafening screams of agony, and the unexpected burst of explosives were scattered throughout the morning.  Not today. The Sunday morning was an unpredictable trap, which threatened to snag anyone who got in its way. Colin, a fellow private, stood up next to me, just staring into the abyss of nightmares.

“Silence is strange,” he muttered

“Silence means wariness,” I countered.

“Maybe the silence means it’s over… the war could be…”

I cocked my head to the side. Colin stood frozen mid – sentence. His pale, slanting face was like plastic, gleaming against the sunlight. A drip of red plopped onto his crumpled, muddied uniform, which laid in tatters. As I stared, the tiny hole which had formed on his pale forehead began to grow in radius. Blood started dripping at a torrential rate, tainting his lifeless, icy blue eyes and pooling around his frozen lips, where he uttered his last words.  A never ending chasm of pain.

I hid, using the safety of my trench as cover. Colins body was crumpled next to me, reminding me of memories I desire to forget and thoughts I wished I could block out my head. The sun had now risen to new heights, signalling that the morning was coming to an end. The fog was gradually lifting, which meant that chaos soon followed. My scarred hands, cocked my rifle, preparing for another grisly deathmatch which resulted in pointless deaths and unsolved issues. I felt over the ridged edge of my rifle, squeaking my bayonet clean of grime and gore. The sharp, smooth surface left me with a sense of undying determination. I was leaving this war alive.  The intense blue skies reminded me that hope exists and the dotted clouds were aiding me towards survival.

I closed my eyes and held my breath.

My Sunday morning was coming to a close and I was ready to fight. War…war never changes.

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