Immobile

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The messenger hopped into the trench just after a shell hit.  He face chittered, ghostly pale after the brush with death.

“How long until we get backup?” a grizzled twenty-one year old asked.

“It’s not coming,” the fresh young messenger said.  “The shelling’s too hard.  No one’s moving from the redoubts.”

The professional soldier rubbed his aching feet.  “I’m not sure we can hold them off this time.  We don’t have enough men in this line.”  Upon seeing the fear on the messenger’s face, he comforted.  “Don’t worry, mate.  I suppose they feed their prisoners!”

The young man gulped.

***

This was written for the Carrot Ranch February 28 prompt, Backup.  This is one of those rare times that I have nothing else to say about what I’ve written, so… woohoo!

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28 thoughts on “Immobile

  1. Excellent story. I read that during WWI, German soldiers were often willing to get wounded or captured because the treatment was better than being stuck in the trenches. Probably true in many cases. 😦

    1. Probably true, especially at the end. With Germany being landlocked after losing the sea battles, they didn’t have a good supply chain and lack of food became a major struggle. I like how modern history is starting to see the two sides of WWI Germany as more neutral, because it’s allowing us to think of things like you brought up as more sad rather than just propaganda!

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  3. The environment is accurately set between a new recruit and a “grizzled” soldier who has survived this long. Fantastic WWI interpretation. I also liked what you pointed out to D. about how we are looking at the war’s history in broader terms now, less biased. Gives us a fuller understanding.

    1. Yeah! We have too easily conflated WWI Germany with the truer evil of WWII Nazis (that being said, most combatant nations in WWI did some rough stuff – it was one of the first wars where humans started thinking genocide might be bad). Even so, I like the gained nuances, and I think it feeds directly into how we got into the terror of WWII better than the propaganda-laced versions.

      1. In many ways, the collapse of Germany’s economy after WWI allowed for a rise in extreme nationalism. Propaganda is interesting to dismantle. We crave simple explanations and solutions, but the human experience is complex.

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    1. Supply lines, suffering, and starvation are something normal people don’t think about as so crucial – it’s always more fun to think of the grand heroes, the successes, and the bravery.

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