Marks of weakness and marks of woe in the unfamiliar faces

Marks of weakness and marks of woe in the unfamiliar faces that push past me. Soldiers stare down upon the mud washed walls that surrounds them. A maze of rows upon rows of trenches leading towards the enemy. Exposed to the surroundings, as if we are blinded and unaware of the dangers that lie ahead, like we were tricked into thinking that this was for the best. The cold brisk wind whistled passed us above, which was one of the only things that reminded me of home back in the peaceful countryside.

Here it is lifeless. As I peered over the top of the trench, I could see it. There it was. The battlefield stretching out over acres and acres. The place was stripped to the bone, and no wonder people would call it. No mans land. And now I could see why, when I looked around, the trees were torn to shreds, the place was abandoned, unwanted, and left to rot, to be forgotten and betrayed.

Here it is lifeless. War had taken over, stealing away every ray of hope, for this place to be cherished again. Soldiers, isolated and existing like tramps, crammed into mud dugouts like a tin of sardines.

No birds sang, only the noise of vermin scrambling around searching for nourishment, the bodies of the wounded – carcasses. Engulfed in the barbed wire enclosing us in from the exposed surroundings. Dust particles suffocated my face, as I tried to clear my vision, to draw my attention to the officer slowing approaching us in a beastly and vicious manner.

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My eyes glare at the unknown man in the corner of the alley way who stormed in. The man has a large, plump face, and had a very cruel, narrow-minded, and aggressive expression towards us. What did he want from us? In a short-tempered tone he shouts at the top of his lungs.

– What are you doing, come and help us unpack the ammunition!- said the officer with a deafening scream. But then he repeats, – Well what are you waiting for? Hurry up! – His voice echoes throughout the hollow muddy dwelling as if the walls are one magnetic force field. I feel the walls shake and shudder between my feet, and underneath the crooked floor boards. I stood still in silence, like I was frozen in time, terrified by this foul creature.

The weather had taken a turn for the worst. The rain had become unbearable, creating pools of water that fill the trenches waist deep. The mud walls that surrounds us, have melted revealing the left over carcasses. The stench of decay hung in the damp air that was suffocating us moment by moment. After a while you would get use to the never ending unfamiliar appalling smell. My eyes drink in every ray of light that flickers off the candle in the corner of one of the mud dugouts opposite me. All I see are light and dark shapes and figures that flash backwards and forwards, unknown of what hope there is left in between all this darkness. Waiting and waiting. Moments by moment time drifts past like a faded memory, unaware of when dawn will break. But I was not prepared for the ghastly devastation, for what did meet my eyes that very day.

Day by day the hours get longer. Hours pass by, and bullets start to fly. Life seamed so simple back home in the countryside. My mind flickers to the shadows of the past, to a place that I can call home. I try and drag my mind to a happier frame of time. Time, and time again, I could hear the constant echoing of nothing more than the constant firing of machine guns and rifles, even unaware if civilisation is even close. Bang! The shock of horror sent a electric burst of energy through my body, unaware of the pain, I fell to the ground, digging my hands into my head. One of the bloodiest battles of mankind, turning the battlefield into a sea of red. Warm blood gushes out of the wounded from the exposed wounds. Blood permanently leaving behind a stain in history that we will never forget. What have I dragged myself into? Am I now going to become one of them? Is that my future? Is that what I will become? Only living to know that I somehow will be able to see my family once again. Suddenly something catches my eye amongst the weeds beside me. I was delighted and relieved to find a little poppy growing from the battlefield that had survived the horrors of war in this derelict environment. It made me so happy. I felt as if a hole inside of me was finally filled, and it made me find myself in between the darkness of war. As if the poppy was the last vestige of hope, wishing for better days. Picking it out of the ground, I decided to give it a better chance of life, as a precious memory of that horrific day.

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Marks of weakness and marks of woe in the unfamiliar faces. (2019, Nov 20). Retrieved from

Marks of weakness and marks of woe in the unfamiliar faces
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