Facebook Activity

Teen Ink on Twitter

Report abuse Submit my work Share/bookmark Email Print Home

Behind the Barbed Wire~ The thoughts and feelings of a WW1 soldier

Author's note:

My inspirations are listed in the long summary.  I prefered to consolidate my three answers.

Author's note:

My inspirations are listed in the long summary.  I prefered to consolidate my three answers.

 « Hide author's note
Chapters:   1 2 3 4 Next »

Arrival I

June 13, 1917
Dear Journal,

  Currently, we’ve arrived at the front.  The trenches were much smaller than Simon (a friend, that I met on the way to the trenches) and I expected them to be.  Right now, all the soldiers are unpacking little things that they’ve brought to remind them of home.  Our leading officer says that home makes a man soft, so I have decided to keep only a sturdy leather bound journal, and one picture of my family. 

Comment any revelations... Thoughts.


Their glowing faces are enough to refill my euphoria.  Several of the lads were disappointed to hear that our squadron would be remaining stationary, in the ditches of despair (I added that last bit for dramatic umph).  Many of the young men had this naivete, they thought the war was a way to see the world.  Well, they are obviously not very worldly.  I have a mild mannered cousin, who is a journalist in Russia, has been sending me horrifying letters, filled with tales of destruction and grief.  The cost of war, is never an easy one to be paid.  I am a pacifist, and the only reason I have been sucked into this whirlpool of violence and brutality, is the ridiculous Selective Service Act.  I feel enslaved.  I didn’t know that creating an act like this was even legal!  I would like a copy of the constitution, considering the fact that I am not a natural born citizen.  I am British, and have only been here for 6 years.  Though I have never been a coward.  I accept my role, unlike the masses of men who shoot themselves in the foot, or arm.  Just to stay away from war.  It really places a gargantuan pit in my stomach.  Our humanity is being ripped away, painfully, bit by bit.  Very few of the men realize that we are being pitted against each other, like wild animals.  And all for what?  The vicious acts of tyrants, who cannot seem to differentiate their brains from their bottoms.  Pardon my childish phrasing, but seriously!  Did that German soldier 30 yards away from you send the Zimmerman Note to Mexico PERSONALLY?  NO!  He was probably brainwashed by that hypnotizing propaganda, and doesn’t even know why he is at war, at least, he doesn’t understand what justified the killing of his innocence, as well as killing the innocent.  The United States needs to handle detrimental issues diplomatically, if not, what kind of example are we setting for the weak minded leaders, who hang upon the every word of powerful countries (us being one of them)?  If one is to take charge, they should at least do so correctly.  I have lived in America for 6 of my 21 years of life.  It’s a place of wonder, and joy.  Not hot-headed leaders who do not contemplate the consequences of their actions.  But apparently, all of that has morphed in the face of war.  I believe I have finished my rant, but I would like to include one more detail.  It’s selfish, but I have not complained to anyone but you, dear journal.  I was ready to leave for Harvard, one of the most prestigious colleges for law in the country, I was incredibly shocked that I even made it into the competitive school.  That was three months ago, when I was 20, almost 21.  I had seen the newspapers, read the decrypted Zimmerman Note, and was stupidly optimistic, hoping that it would all work out.  I received a letter, a month after the Zimmerman Note was published, I have stuck the message in here.  It required me to report to a Service Office in Texas, where I endured a series of physical tests, And in the blink of an eye, I was no longer an aspiring law student, but a military man.  It crushed me on the inside, but you have to act tough, for the sake of your family.  My mother, and younger brother we sobbing, salty tears pooling down their pale faces.  My father was hugging me, and shouting not to go.  It pained my soul to see my lovely family in such a state.  And lastly.  My heart, my soul, my love.  Genevieve, my fiance’ is a beautiful, strong willed, extremely intelligent woman.  She was the roughest “goodbye.”  The haunting look in her glittering amber eyes is a memory I cannot shake.  I can still imagine, her soft porcelain skin, the small flecks of gold in her iris’.  To say I am madly in love couldn’t begin to describe this feeling.  The worst decision I have ever made, was not to say goodbye, at all.  I couldn’t face her.  I am brave in most events.  However, in love, I am a downright coward.  So. being the ignorant stubborn idiot I am, I wrote 7 heartfelt pages of my feelings, goodbyes, and farewells and slipped them under her doorstep.  What choice did I have?  You can’t “opt out” of being selected.  On that dreary note, I have settled into my tight space in the trench.  The dirt walls are molding to my back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an imprint of my back there in the morning.  I was lucky, Simon is assigned to a space right beside me, I'm so glad to to have a friend in this uncharted territory.  Now, all that’s left is to wait for death to arrive, and take its place across from us, in an even more ominous trench (oops, I meant the Germans, but they’re essentially the same thing by now),  I’m terribly sorry for the excessive pessimism, but I can’t seem to make light of war.  Men all around me, are playing cards, smoking cigarettes, (awful habit, by the way), and laughing, as if this trench were a party venue.  But it’s not.  Simon just elbowed me, around five minutes ago, whispering,”Lighten up, the more you think about the danger, and horror of this situation, the more your own mind will tear you apart.  Think of happier times.”  He’s right, what a simple, yet knowledgeable fellow, I am lucky to have met him.

Anxiously, Victor

Chapters:   1 2 3 4 Next »

Join the Discussion

This book has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Halloimjane said...
Feb. 25, 2016 at 9:32 am
hmm. gloomy, but cool gloominess
Mayday paradefanatic said...
Feb. 25, 2016 at 9:30 am
Bookdiva said...
Feb. 7, 2016 at 10:14 am
This is an incredible book. Reading this, I feel as if I have time-traveled to this place & time. Keep writing!!!

Launch Teen Ink Chat
Site Feedback