drabble of the thoughts of my OC Leo on his experiences of the First World War...accompanying text to this image: http://mikagura.deviantart.com/#/d5acnsd
It's still dark here and my sense of time had been lost with the light hours ago. Unfortunately my sense of smell remains intact, as the stench of mud and death and smoke was burning in my nostrils and leaving a rather appalling taste in my mouth. Even the stewy tea was favourable over that. The mud squelched sickeningly beneath my boots as I attempted to stand, but my legs would not move. My knees remained stiff and uncooperative and so I quickly gave up and resigned myself to continue sitting against this muddy trench wall. I was too exhausted to bother or to care. I feel so incredibly old. Even older than I had been made to feel back home, when I had been teased over my stamp collection...apparently it was a hobby suited only for righteous old men with proud grey beards.
Oh...how strange it is, to be thinking of stamps at a time like this. But what I'd give to be holding them instead of this wretched pistol. Stamp collecting is harmless...pistols are not. I looked about the dark miserable trench, drawn from my thoughts as I hear the mud squelching and the puddles splashing under the boots of an approaching man...a private. Private James. A young lad, barely twenty. How terrible it is for someone so young to be caught up in something so desperately dark and tragic. I watch with tired eyes as he hastens to salute, but I am too tired for formalities and quietly tell him to be at ease. After a moments worth of awkward conversation he passes me a cigarette and I am incredibly grateful for it. I may not have been granted the sweetness of tea but at least I have the warmth of tobacco.
I lit the cigarette once he had left, drawing in deep from it and relaxing...the taste, and the smell...a couple of so few of the comforts that I shared at home and in this shit hole in France. Home was a place now so so dear to me, and the idea that I might, and probably would not ever make it back there was completely unbearable. But I did dare hope that I would make it back home to England...to Gwendolyn. Otherwise I could not keep my sanity.... I pictured my wife's face as I carried on smoking, sighing wistfully and rubbing my eyes. Gwen...how I did miss her so so dearly! More than bloody tea or stamps or cigarettes...such trivial things. How does one think of such things before his own wife?
I glance up and notice that the sky is beginning to lighten...it must be morning. But we will not be greeted by early morning bird songs, but the roar and screeching of shells...the smell of death...the sight of the men I have come to know falling around me...perhaps I will join them. The morning, the light of a new day...it does not bring me any hope.