I’m sitting in this trench; my feet are slowly sinking into the mud and blood puddles. The rain is coming in from the west of the alien country shown in the opposed soldier’s eyes and uniforms, Germany. I press my rifle barrel against my forehead, just last week ago Scotch took the barrel to his mouth; I squeeze my eyes closed because I was the one that found him. I can hear the bullet shivering in the gun, either it’s the bullet trembling or it is me, either way I will not condemn this bullet if it was too scared to exit its purpose hole as I would not like to be condemned if I never wanted to jump over Ends Edge into Deaths Playground.
Are we here to win this war or are we just Cannon-fodder? I am not even going to put to rest my curiosity to see if that was catapult fire or thunder, I will sit here and pretend nothing exploded, I will simply scope through our grave for the time being where time is our biggest killer and hopes for us going home, keep us alive.
All I see is fear but I don’t want anyone to know I am fear ridden so I pull out my tobacco tin and rolling papers, as I roll my cigarette and lick the paper, I catch a glimpse of four men huddling around a going out fire, they are laughing, probably about an obscene joke but at every breath the group take, they have an undertone of an unsettling truth, destiny and inevitability. Every man looks at their weapons or hands or at Ends Edge, knowing out time for our movement into Deaths Playground will be soon. A whisper leaping from one man to the next, from ear to mouth reaches me saying “Five minutes.”
I throw my half smoked cigarette against the mud wall opposite me. Recount my pointed off chasing killers, grenades and breathe. I can’t be afraid no more; this is what I was trained for. I look at the sky passed the black smoke and dark passing clouds, it is still so beautiful in its endlessness blue, I touch the ground, shaping my initials in the mud so people knew I was sitting here, I don’t want anyone to steal my seat. I smell the gun smoked air, it maybe not be my mother’s cooked dinners but it will have to do. Men down the trench are getting into position, kneeling under Ends Edge, making their peace with God or saying prayers to their hidden necklaces or staring at the sky of black smoke silently or to family photographs and memory but I know now I am not alone, that is the thing that gives me hope. A nod of “I will look out for you, out there” ripples through the men.
I wipe my nervous brow but I am just adding mud to mud. Screams and shouts begin to erupt; now gun fire feels as though it is time to step in. It is time, I stand and place my hand of Ends Edge it is not that scary it should be called The Edge of muddy Oblivion. I jump as everyone else does to the chance to make proud my brothers, friends, family, country and most of all for all freedom. A single shot…