Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wartime



I shuddered at such putrid prompt words for Three Word Wednesday to write in my blog when I crave for ones of love and kindness and hope. However let’s see what happens:

 

It was a rainy day, a muddy cold day and he was in a strange place, a foreign land, and his one wish, his craving was that he would get back safely to his family at home. It was wartime and the fighting had continued for long years and now his truck had broken down and he was on his own. They might find him if he stayed by the truck, but it might be the wrong they! As he pondered, exposed and scared he thought that sitting in a target was not a good idea. So he wandered over to a ruined building a short walk away to seek shelter.

He could keep an eye on the road from there and maybe get a little rest. There amid the tangle of debris and the creepers that made the most of the opportunity he pushed his way inside. He heard the faint sound of breathing and saw to his amazement two children squeezed up in the corner watching him. They shuddered with fear so he stood stock still, took out his water bottle and a reached out his arm offering it to them. They said not a word they were so frightened. So he loosened the cap and put it within their reach and stepped away a little and sat down on what was left of the floor. He leaned back and half closed his eyes in an attempt to relax.

After a few seconds the elder child leaned forward and stealthily reached out for the bottle, shook it and offered it to her young companion. In turn they gulped down the water and pushed the container back toward him. Their faces wore no smiles but their eyes said it all as they were the real victims of war; not the trained soldiers from both sides fighting on foreign soil but those children who would now be scarred for life.

He observed the building again and felt the first drops of rain fall in their shelter without shelter. So he got up and started to look for some protection. The children grew frightened and shook their heads as he lifted some of the debris away. His senses were knocked back by a stench so putrid that he had to cover his face and his eyes smarted. Clearly he had found the bodies of the children’s parents.

The elder child a girl looked at him fiercely and the younger one just cried. He tried to get them to go with him to another hideout away from the horror. They would not do this as this was their home and he was the enemy.

 

Today April 25th is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. It is a public holiday and is the most revered day in Australia’s calendar.  We remember the fallen from all sides in war.

7 comments:

  1. Quite the vivid tale. I feel for the kids.

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  2. yes..the words did seem hard to compose a chirpy piece around..however there is hope and fight..so that is positive!

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  3. Not your usual style at all Rob. Grim little piece, remembering Anzac Day.

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  4. how sad are the remnants of war
    your story tells all of this

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  5. A dark tale, but appropriate for a day dedicated to the remembrance of dark times.

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  6. Your story shows the true horror of war. It often damages children in ways that remain unhealed for a lifetime. Thanks for writing about it so masterfully.

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  7. Men are lucky who have never had to go to war. Good story telling and very believable.Well done!

    Rallentanda

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