Death's War

Where was I?
A/N: I will be adding a few drawings to this that are all by me :) (take note of the beginning of the chapter titles too)

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2. Excuse me?

  

   I was never much of one to listen to authority, hence why I’m in this mess, and neither would I just walk on into the unknown. I needed to know where this voice was leading me.

“Excuse me?” I whispered to the young man next to me. He didn’t reply. Sighing, I tried the woman on the other side, who was muttering to herself, “Do you know where we’re going?”

 

  I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach eye level with her, but she didn’t even face me, fiddling with the rusting ring on her finger. “Shh! It’s bad luck to talk in a dream, boy.” And she went back to her mumbling. Sinking back down on flat feet, I sulked at my hollow results. If it was bad luck, why was she talking? I hated being told what to do, but I must take pity on her.

 

   Grey strands embroidered blonde hair, which was tied in a bun tickling the back of her neck, and I could imagine her surrounded by beaming children, a loving husband by her side. A brave husband. Where was he now? I wondered. War had torn so many families so practically everyone here must be in the same boat. She must be a brave woman too.

***

***

   We were still going forward, the voice droning like the beat of drums. It was worse than the sirens that awoke us almost every night. There must be an end somewhere, but fear grumbled at the bottom of my stomach. This could be anywhere and we could be wandering to anyone or anything. Why was this happening? I feared that I already knew the answer.

 

 
  I tried to stand still, but my legs kept urging me forward as well as the endless rows of lost souls pushing me onwards. I couldn't stand it. Why was this happening to me?

 

   Not giving up so easily to others ignoring me, I tried the man beside me again.  “Excuse me?” I repeated, speaking a little louder this time. The stomp of boots mixed with the shuffle of arms rubbing the sides of bodies made my voice fade but this time, the man turned. As if startled by my voice, he replied to me, “Sorry lad, deaf in one ear, you’ll have to speak up.”

 

   Happy to speak to someone sane, I wanted to know more about this man, but I was conscious of the overhead moaning’s slight speed up, as if he was becoming impatient of his filing captives.

“Do you know where we’re going?”

“No. I don’t actually. Though, I do think I know what happened to get me here." Yes, I think I understand what occurred in the past, but what about now? I didn't want to admit it to myself, but it seemed I had to face reality with spoken words.

 

   Gulping, I replied, "This is it; the end, isn't it?"

He paused, swallowing a lump in his throat like I had. His uniform and the way he held himself straight upright constantly indicated he was a soldier, but everyone, even the most courageous, would be scared of the inevitable reality. I didn't want to hear his answer, but it's the only way to force myself to believe in what has happened to us all; why we were here. This most certainly wasn't a dream like the woman thought, but it all doesn't feel real? He replied, "Last thing I remember was a blast of heat, gunshots and then darkness…”

“Same here…”

 

  The truth spilled out of our mouths; our minds; our hearts.

 

“The sound was worse than the time I lost my hearing in me left ear though.” He chuckled to himself, attempting to push the facts away again.

I didn’t quite understand. “You found it funny to become deaf…” I played along.

“Well, I’m not exactly completely deaf am I? I was just in a funny... situation..." I watched him, my eyes open eagerly for more.

 

   Sensing my stare, he continued "Yeah, we were just trying to catch a rat one night when … BOOM.” He raised his arms to indicate the explosion, almost hitting me in the face, “Deaf in one ear and the dinner gone."

  

   I was still confused. Did he think war was… fun? "I was lucky though compared to the fellas next door. Bombs have a habit of coming out of the blue...” Trailing off at the end, I guessed that all the glory of war didn't engulf him like he thought it would.

“Yeah… they do…”

“How would you know?" Raising his voice a little, I was taken aback by this once friendly man suddenly turning on me. "You haven’t seen the suffering with your own eyes have you?”

“Mate, I know what bombs are like.” I tried to reason with him.

“You know nothing of war, boy.” and he turned back to his marching. I was fed up of being called this. I had probably seen a lot more than them when they were my age. It wasn’t a good thing. We were told war would unite us, not rip our strong bonds down limb by limb.

 

   “Well, we’re all in this mess because of it so we can keep walking into nothing or try and figure out a plan-” I was hushed by the sudden silence. I was kind of glad I was stopped though, since how could we form a plan to get out of eternity. My ears were banging with the quiet. Our marching slowed.

 

   We stopped.

 

  Standing on my tiptoes once again, a smaller man was standing in front of me and I could see that I was near the front row of the long grid of people. A silhouette was stood on a raised platform, a cloak like a shadow flowed around him in the non-existent wind. Strange. All eyes were on him.

 

“Welcome to Death.”

 

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