I dive into the trenches, mud splattering everywhere. Dirt and blood cover my body. All I see is rain and sharp flashes of light erupting among the blur. “Hold your own!” I faintly hear through the boom of explosions and the cries of fallen comrades. I shake, reloading my weapon; the bullets fleeing from my hands. I quickly c*** the gun, raise it, and attempt to aim, for there truly is nothing to aim at. I fire into the mist, hoping to hit someone, anyone, anything. The grenade the man five yards off holds prematurely detonates. All I hear is ringing, no more gunshots, no more screams; suddenly I am thankful. Thankful until I realize I can no longer see, the shrapnel having blown mud onto my eyes. I raise my hands to my face, feeling the wetness, from rain, from blood--my own or another's, this I do not know. I lift my head to the heavens to wash the blood and dirt from my face. I drink the rain, sipping the untainted liquid. I feel at home, no longer at war. I am home, no longer fighting the war.
A Sense of Solace
November 16, 2016