The Mission of War

A young boy sets off on his mission to fight in the war, unaware of the horrors it will bring. And he is alone. Alone against the world.

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1. The Mission of War

Adrenaline pulsed through his veins as he stood waiting; forever waiting, to go up and over, out from the trench and to run into the battlefield. Dreaded fear clouded his mind yet there was that sense of hope, that sense of excitement, to fight for his country, to embark on such an important mission and to become the soldier he was destined to be.

“Go!” the voice boomed through the trenches. The commanding word sent his fellow men racing up and over the trench before he finally followed. Terror threatened to consume him as he was climbing up; he was running through the marshland. He was on his mission. Gun in shaking hands, helmet strapped to his head, he was moving, faster and faster, he was almost sprinting. His body was shaking, his mind was burning.

Then it all began.

The piercing shrieks of whizzing bullets came streaming towards him, streaking through the air in mere seconds. Wretched screams from helpless men rang through the air as they as they were shot down, dying before his eyes, drowning in pools of their own blood.

There was a flash; and then a boom. Bodies were flung into the air, blood raining down from the sky, and as he turned he noticed the roaring flames reach their fingers onto the remnants of the living. He turned to face the enemy open fire from their trenches.  

And yet he had not shot a single bullet.

A sense of urgent fear washed over him, panic consumed his soul. He was only a boy of nineteen. His body was drenched in sweat, his gun was clutched firmly in his hands but he was no longer surrounded by his fellow soldiers. He was alone, he was in battle, he was in war.

Time seemed to slow around him.

A burst of pure agony flared through his chest as he let out a wretched shriek. There was blood. Blood poured out of his clothing, his hands became wet and sticky as he touched his chest.

He found himself screaming.

He was falling. He could feel his balance shifting as tears flooded down his face. There was pain, pain, too much pain. His knees gave way beneath him as more shots rang out in the open air. His shoulder hit the thick layer of mud which lined the marshland as the vicious noises and horrific images remained trapped within his mind which surrounded him in such pure hell.

His vision distorted, the world was spinning around him as he found himself losing more and more blood.

His screaming could barely be heard over the sounds of explosions and gunfire and all he could see was the massacre of the battle. All he could see was the bodies lying motionless on the ground like meat in a butcher’s.

He wrapped his shaking arms round his knees as his strength began to leave him. His mission had come to this. His mission was killing him.

As he drifted off into unconsciousness, he pulled out a distant memory from his childhood of his brother smiling at him as he said, “I love you kiddo. Keep safe!”

And then it was gone.

The boy stopped breathing.

And the boy was gone.

His body lay motionless on the ground. Shells exploded off to his right, the screams of the living ascended to the heavens and yet he did not move.

Soldiers kept fighting, the boys kept dying, their flesh kept rotting and the screams never stopped.

And yet the war continued... 

 

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