Courseworks

Trench Warfare

The days are beginning to meld together, and I am beginning to question my sanity. I am still residing in the land of the living, but my senses are solely tuned to nothing other than the ingredients of war. The hum of bullets resonates in my skull, as I watch death consume my brothers. I want to cry, I want to feel their pain…but that is not an option. The rats clamber over my face and tear into my hands, but I have no vigor left to wave them off.Beads of sweat and mud trickle down my forehead and seep between my pursed, chapped lips. I can taste devastation in the depths of my throat, as it grows dry and sore. The stench of decaying flesh churns my stomach and lunges at my nose; I can’t breathe. The appearance between the living and the dead has become indistinguishable. Many in the platoon have succumbed to trench foot, their skin molting rapidly into a green and yellow festering pus. I’ve trained myself to focus only on their eyes, but as I do I only see sadness and despair.I’ve only been serving for three weeks now, and yet I find myself plagued each day with the stresses and pains of a hundred years. We have been strictly instructed to restrain from human curiosity, for if we so much as show a hair above the boundary of the trench, we run the risk of a bullet lodged in our temple. I have not experienced all of my duties during my time here either. Tonight I am to stand to, from nineteen hundred to twenty-one hundred hours. I’m frightened. In the past week there have been four raids at my standing time. I can only pray that God has mercy on me.And if there shall be a raid where I were to be maimed, please let it be fatal, for I would rather die with my dignity than live a man of no worth. Last night I patrolled no-mans land and had to make the hard decision to kill my opponent in a hand to hand battle. This whole way of being has become so surreal to me, I can barely comprehend it anymore. I have been told to expect another four weeks of duty on the front lines, and then I will be exchanged for a fresh soul from the support trenches.The food is that of a dog’s. I am hesitant to eat, for fear of the ailments that could be present within it. However, I am ravenous, and there is no other choice. Clean water is scarce, and I am on the verge of dehydration. I don’t know how much longer I can survive. I have become indifferent to the suffering of my comrades. I fear for my life. They said this would be a short war, one of great movement. I am beginning to wonder if there is any truth to their vision anymore. I sit here watching stray bullets cause fathers, brothers, sons, and friends to slump into the muddy slop which we are forced to call our beds…our home away from home.I often get lost in thought of what it would be like to be on the outside, looking in on this horrible hostile act of complete inhumanity. I want out. I want to leave this hell and run far away…to anywhere…to nowhere. All I want is fresh air to breathe, and a place to rest my weary head. I can find no peace in this world. Last night as I stared into the eyes of my dying enemy, I saw God cry.This is too much for me. I welcome you, apathy.

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