war

Flash Fiction: Changed #writephoto

He surveyed the area from atop his vehicle. Even though he had never seen it from this height before, it still looked as gorgeous as he remembered. The lush greenery that exhibited all the shades of green that one could imagine was still the same. He remembered walking among it as a child, breathing in the same fresh air that he once had, years ago. Even the very sunlight was the same shade, giving the same warmth. Nothing had changed here. However, he had changed.

No longer was he a carefree kid, passing his days in the forest, playing with his companions. He was an imperial captain, in the service of His Majesty. It was a time of war and he had been deployed in his homeland to quell the unrest that dwelled among the subjects. The rebels as they were called, were giving shelter to His Majesty’s enemies. The decision to send him to his homeland, made tactical sense, he recognized this. However, he did not particularly like courting war in his childhood playground. Many years ago, he used to come to this very area, every day. He would play soldier along with his playmates and while away time making onomatopoeic gun sounds. The rocks hid a passageway to a dense part of the forest. It used to serve as his base as a kid. Now, the rebels had made it their home.

He knew there was only one way to do this. Now was not the time for sentimentality. It was time to take action. He hated doing it, but the only way to force the rebels out of hiding was to destroy the environment that had been a cherished part of his childhood. He drew in a deep breath and turned to his troops.

“Burn it down.”

 

Word Count: 300

Written in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Fallen #writephoto

Thank You Sue for the wonderful prompt! 🙂

 

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Would love to hear your thoughts about my stories in the comments! 😀

Graveyard Walk

The moon observed the two friends as they crossed the cobbled street. In contrast to the white splendor of the moon, the two were clothed in dull, tattered garbs. They held on to each other for support as they hobbled along. The gaslights were the only source of illumination for the two, in these wee hours. The duo stopped in front of the cemetery.

“We are here, Harry.”

“Yes, we are, Don.”

Harry pushed open the gate. Don could see it was taking Harry a massive effort. He put his body weight against the door. With much effort, the two managed to get the rusted iron gate open. They stood at their spots for a couple of minutes, panting and wheezing. It was to be expected. They were not young anymore. Harry bent clutching his stomach and looked up at Don.

“That took a lot of gas. Shall we make a move?”

“We should. I feel so old.”

“Don, you are old.”

Don caught Harry’s eye and they burst out laughing. They stopped abruptly as soon as they heard their laughter echoing. They continued walking deeper into the graveyard, the ever-watchful moon illuminating the rough terrain in front of them. The two friends continued walking slowly. They peered at the names on the gravestones that lay on either side.

“You know Harry, I don’t remember the graveyard being so big. At least it does not look so big from the outside.”

“Your memory serves you well, old fellow. The war is the cause of the expansion.”

“Oh yes, we live in times of war. Brutal times, claiming the lives of so many.”

“They always have Don, they always have. Wars deplete lives and resources. Wow! All this walking is really killing me.”

“I think it is the lack of walking that is killing us.”

Harry chuckled.

Don placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder.

“Have we reached, yet?”

Harry looked around.

“Nah! These are old graves. The new ones are much further. Quit complaining and keep walking.”

Don grumbled. He hated walking. Harry on the other hand, quite enjoyed it. In all their many years of friendship, Harry had never once heard Don go on long walks without grumbling. So, he was quite used to it.

“Let’s go back Harry. I don’t feel like walking any more.”

“Stop being so cranky. You know this is important for me, important for us. We need to do it. Besides, both of us know very well, that after we reach you are going to think the long walk was completely worth it.”

Don ran his fingers through his white hair. He knew Harry was right. However, he enjoyed complaining to Harry. He found it entertaining. The two continued their ritualistic walk silently, pausing every few minutes to catch their breath. After a good ten more minutes, Harry stopped and looked around with a smile on his face.

“This is it, we are here.”

Don flopped on the ground.

“Finally! The torturous walk is finally over.”

Harry snorted.

“Enough of the complaining, Don. It is now time to enjoy.”

Harry walked to the nearest gravestone, the one to his left. Don got up to his feet and followed Harry. Harry bent down, looking at the gravestone and read aloud:

“Pvt. Timothy Douglas lies here. How does this Timothy Douglas sound like?”

Don rubbed his hands in anticipation.

“Sounds like a real fine treat.”

Harry bent down and began unearthing the grave.

“Well, thank heavens for wars. As long as men deplete each other, our kind will never have to go hungry.”

Don smacked his lips in response.

 

via Daily Prompt: Deplete

Mission(Part 1)

The street looked empty. Not a soul in sight. Falcon was checking the perimeter for any hostiles. Satisfied , he made a fist sign . The men behind him immediately became alert. He motioned for them to follow him. The five man squad started to make their way through the smoky war torn streets of this dump of a city. They had walked about fifty feet when they heard a gunshot. Azure crumpled to the ground . The bullet had gone clean through his head. The other four dived behind the walls of a house just as bursts of bullets began to spray around them. Skull reloaded his weapon and waited for the assaulters to make a mistake.

Delta Unit Soprano had received intel about a group of insurgents and were dispatched to handle them. They had not expected their targets to be skilled tacticians , and their folly had led to Azure’s death. Crawling under cover , Skull made his way towards Falcon. Falcon pointed towards Tank and Grunt who were under heavy fire. Then he pointed towards the source of the firing – an open window of a still-standing brick building. Two assailants . Skull nodded. He aimed through his scope and picked them off with two short bursts. He was the best shot in the squad. He turned towards Tank and Grunt. Grunt gave him a thumbs up, which suddenly disappeared in a cloud of dust. A grenade lobbed by one of the assailants had found it’s mark. Only Skull and Falcon remained.

They needed better cover. Skull signaled Falcon to toss a flashbang. It would provide the window they required to get to better cover. Falcon tossed the flashbang onto the street. As soon as it exploded both of them made a break for a house which had an open door. They figured they would survive longer indoors. Bullets fired by the blinded assailants flew all around them. Skull reached the house and turned behind to see Falcon on the ground. He had taken a bullet on his leg. Skull could see there was no way Falcon could make it on his own. He decided to save him much to the protest of his comrade . He made a break for it. However, just as he was about to reach Falcon , he felt a bullet hit his hand. He did not stop. However, his risk was to prove futile. Falcon had taken quite a few hits on his body and upon reaching him , Skull realized he was no more. Enraged , Skull began to fire in the general direction of the insurgents. Then it hit him, a bullet. Then another , and another. His vision began to go red , and then it went all black.

GAME OVER flashed on the screen.

“Damn, that was a real bad mission” Timothy, aka Skull mouthed on his microphone.

Panzer

The air reeked of a filthy stench. The stench – a mixture of smoke, blood and gunpowder ,  was the ever prevalent stench of any battlefield during the second world war. All soldiers were used to this stench just like a certain Corporal Gunn making his way through the war torn streets of Paris , the battlefield in focus. He and his remaining squad had been ordered to hold the invading German 4th Army division. The Intelligence Gunn’s squad had received , mentioned that the 4th Army was well trained and had great communication backup. However, the gradually closing cloud of dust suggested the report had been incomplete. The cloud of dust meant only one thing – Panzers, a foot soldier’s worst nightmare.

The squad waited, awaiting the next move of the Germans .The part of the city the squad was to hold had been bombed the same morning. This combined with the fact that Panzers were approaching informed the Allied troops that they were witnessing a Blitzkreig. As a confirmation to their informed guesses,  mortar shells soon began to fall around their position. The squad held on undeterred. Gradually, the shelling started becoming more accurate. The Corporal ,who had never experienced this kind of shelling soon began to panic. On seeing his squad disappearing behind explosions he began to lose his nerve. He broke cover and ran toward the main road hoping to cross to the other side, and hide in the yet untouched buildings. He made a quick dash ignoring the boutade of concrete bits and dirt all around him. Just as he reached the main road, a shell exploded just behind him . The explosion knocked him clean off his feet and he landed face down on the main road. The moment he came to he realized his vision was still shaky and there was a deep rumbling in his ears. Lying on the road, he kept his eyes closed until he was sure his vision had returned to normal. He opened his eyes , his vision seemed alright, but the rumbling still persisted. He got up and turned to his left and then to his right, trying to understand his surroundings. The moment he turned right however, he realized his ears were alright, the rumbling had been coming from a Panzer heading straight towards him . The Panzer seemed to notice the Corporal and turned the cannon towards him- BOOM.

Gunn woke up with a start. He was covered in sweat. Just a dream. A very bad dream. He got up from his bed and made his way to the shower room. He turned on the tap to  cold water and stepped inside the shower. Cold water always calmed him down. The war had ended 20 years ago. But, these dreams never ended. Some days they were bad and other days  they were worse . He had repressed all his memories from those days , just so that those dark times wouldn’t continue haunting him. It worked during his average, quiet and uneventful day. Nights were a totally different story though. The dream he had just woken up from , had been really vivid. He decided to take his mind off things with a strong cup of Irish coffee. He decided to go fetch the newspaper. As he walked towards his front door ,  he intentionally ignored the portrait his wife had had put up.

The portrait of Corporal Dean Gunn.