36 Hours – Part 15

36Hours_Steampunk_Header

The earth heaves under the barrage and throws up gouts of rock and dirt in every possible direction. We run, hunched over like animals. In places we are reduced to rodents, scurrying on hands and knees as the trench is destroyed above us. I hear nothing but the booms and cracks of artillery fire. I see nothing but flashes of intense daylight when the star shells explode overhead. In those moments the world is reduced to what is before me. The trench is my home and Shiod and Kat my brothers.

A shell lands behind us. I hear its whistle a moment before impact and fall flat, covering my head. I feel the explosion before I hear it, a deep, angry rumble that turns into a terrible vibration. It tears at me, rips the trench apart on all sides. Mud and dirt and human viscera fall upon me. Continue reading

Advertisements

36 Hours – Part 14

36Hours_Steampunk_Header

Shiod is alive. I stand, bewildered, overwhelmed and angry at the same time. He is alive and not once did he tell us! He didn’t come and let neither Kat nor I know about it. He let us linger on in a world without him. I went over the top without him, carried out a mission in the dark without him. Would I have done it if I’d known he was alive? For a mad moment, I imagine the lieutenant keeping this information from me so I would volunteer.

It is sheer madness and like my anger, evaporates beneath the grinning face before me. We say nothing but simply embrace. His strength is lacking, I can feel it in his arms. There is the smell of earth and sickness about him, but he is alive. It is only when Kat takes his turn that I find my voice. Continue reading