The Souls of War [Microfiction Competition Entry!]

At the weekend, I took part in the NYC Microfiction Challenge 2019! It is a competition with hundreds of contestants who all work in under 24 hours to produce a piece of microfiction based on three prompts. This is the first time I’ve entered a competition like this before so it was most definitely a challenge, but I really enjoyed myself!

Here is my entry below!

My prompts were:

Genre: Historical Fiction

Action: Turning off a light

Word: Float

 

 

Ypres, Belgium. 1914.

 

I crouch in the trenches. Men line up like dominoes waiting for bullets to knock them down. One by one by one by –

One foot over the barbed wire and we’re facing No Man’s Land, plucking courage out of the reminder that one day we might go home.

I used to think there was a story for war. As I lined up a few months ago, with no idea what I signed up to, I thought war was strategic – it’s always had a beginning and end. But I live in the unknown. War doesn’t plot itself out.

I take each day as it comes, shuffling past men as we scuttle across the duckboards. No more than a glance, yet so much strength and care in our words.

“Hold fire!”

 

My hands often shake along with the ground. I light a match for comfort. Boots pound across the mud just as loud as the bullets that knock them down. It is no place to call home.

I thought the end would be when the war stopped, but as shells are thrown over into our territory, I watch lives end every day. Unlike the rush of war, the smoke floats gently into the sky. Bodies drift up to heaven as if there is an honour in dying – maybe there is.

I blow out the match, turning off the light.

The light of soldier’s lives switch off across the country.

We are all left in darkness.

 

3 thoughts on “The Souls of War [Microfiction Competition Entry!]

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