|I looked over the white fields, illuminated by a cool dawn sunrise. It was the first snow I'd witnessed and I was told the first to drop on the landscape in almost a decade. Nature had thrown a blanket over the trees, the shrubs, the earth and our sins.
I picked up my rifle and walked down the ridge, my army issued boots sinking into the soft white powder, leaving a trail to my destination. A small animal, maybe a raccoon, ran out from a bush as I approached. It would have been its first experience of snow as well and I wondered what effect such a dramatic change in surroundings would have on such a small creature. Maybe none.
It didn't take me long to find my brother. I'd seen him fall during yesterdays carnage beside the tallest maple in the field. The fighting had continued into the night, but once the snow had started to fall, both sides had retreated to their respected sides, loath to continue the killing in the thick white fog.
I grabbed my brothers arm, the only part of him exposed and pulled him out of the powder. The cold had turned his skin a blue hue. I brushed the snowflakes from his lashes and closed his eyes.
I pulled the pendant from his neck. Our mother had given us one each, within it a photo of her on one side, one of our sister on the other. I'd heard the enemy searched the dead for valuables and my family were not for their eyes.
Wiping a tear from my cheek, I looked once again over the white blanket hiding the dead that littered the field. The snow had stopped the slaughter and covered our sins, but it did nothing for my sorrow.
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