• September 1917

    The crimson mist of the night clings to the morning air, tainting the brightness of the sun as it rises in the East.
    The winds cry over the sounds of explosions and the firing of bullets, the remnants of the dirt falling like tears.
    Underground the soldiers try to forget, to block out the reminders of what lay just outside the bunks.
    Physically they’re calm, ready to stand and join the battle, to fight as their country desires.
    But emotionally? Mentally? The icy touch of fear is falling upon them.
    Their minds are slipping away from them, their memories fading and with it their senses until they are so numb that all they can do is fight.
    Some of them are lucky enough to remember their homes, to recall shining eyes and playful smiles.
    Some even remember the laughter soft as bells, the embrace of tiny arms before they left to war.
    Still taste the saltiness of tears on their lips from the soft skin where they had planted a farewell kiss.
    Promises were made, silent vows that could not be kept.
    They realize now, as they face the enemy, that they should be home.
    Their thoughts distract them, an ear piercing explosion rings out, pain shoots through their bodies.
    Agonizing breaths bubble up from their throats, eyes searching even as their vision darkens.
    Their deaths were unjust, their spirits mourn as they oversee the battle.
    Never again will they hear the laughter, say the words that cling to their lips, feel the warmth of the sun, see the people and the country they love.
    They will never get to go home, not even the living can escape.
    I will never get to return home.