At first he’d covered his ears, hunched his shoulders, pulled his head in like a turtle. Not now. The man beside him coughed, hacking blood. He’d been too slow with his mask the last time they’d been gassed. But he hadn’t told the commanding officer. The man wanted to stay, half buried in the earth, sweating and bleeding and dying by inches in the trenches.
Sam touched his pocket, felt the wad of paper there, the comfort of civilization when nothing else appeared sane. The words were a lifeline, a rope, to a world that he’d forgotten. He knew, he had to believe, that it remained, past the machine gun nests and the field hospital, away on the hazed horizon.
His belief alone would make it real.
He fumbled the packet free, digging out the stub of a pencil he’d kept, whittled, and preserved.
He began to write.
To read the remainder of "Battlefield Muse", please click here. (Link will take you to the original article on Wyvern Lit's website).