The roar of machine guns on the ridge dulled as he fell, skidding feet-first down the slope. Suddenly he could hear other sounds again. Men’s distant screams. The trickle of a filthy stream, his boots crunching dead leaves as he struggled to his feet, heart pounding in time with his rasping breath. Damn nerves. He fumbled for a cigarette, as a shell wailed louder overhead.
The old front line was just beyond the ridge. People come now in summer, looking for names on memorials. We still find battle remnants – shell fragments mostly, and once, a cigarette case, blown apart.
My first attempt at a 100-word story for Rochelle Wisoff Fields’ #FridayFictioneers challenge. The muted colours on the ground and the leafless trees in this photo reminded me somehow of sepia-toned images of the First World War. You can check out other people’s stories here.