Short improvisation on the theme of ww1
|The rain was a blanket, a comfort sometimes, as an alternative to the shells.
Rain was natural, but this place had turned into an unrecognisable mess, through sheer persistance and rotten luck, the water made everything ten times heavier, and ten times harder to hold, with the cold wind, and no fires for an hour or so, the boys were feeling quite miserable, and nobody wanted to move, as the mud was like a clinging thing that sucked you in and made you want to give up.
The more rotten it got, however, the more Jimmy would keep up the banter, he was always talking, always posing strange questions and making loud, insubordinate jokes about the High Command, on all sides!
The sergeant was coming over the brow at the back, had to dodge a couple from the opposing trenches, a normal occurance, every time you moved round here you got at least two have a go at you.. and the pillbox was a rotten tooth, waiting to be pulled..
"Heads down lads, Gerry's on the alert, HQ say we can expect something anytime now, so keep a look out for anything suspicious.. " .. ducking down again, another try, he walked on his haunches along the trench until he came to the lower level,..
"Whassa matter serge, you look like you got one up the backside then.. hehe" Jimmy quipped, the serge was used to it, he ignored most days.
"Nevermind, we've got some business over on the left side of that machine gun.. the gunners going to range it for a shoot, but only one section, because we need to go out for a look at what's going on there, and that pillbox wont let us anywhere near the front trenches.. "
"Night time raid and a quick look see, and then leave some charges in the front one, ready for the counter attack.. ?" a hopeful officer vied for an approving look, from anywhere.. ?
The serge carried on with the detail, we were all ok with it, with the weather so bad, visibility was down to half way across the divide nearly anyway, so we could go with the barrage, ranged for a very small area, but designed to hold off any retaliation too soon.
"Wait a minute lads.. what's.. that's.. GAS.. !" the sergeant yelled..
"It's ok it's me serge, I just let one go..!" Jimmy was smiling proudly..
"Not that you idiot.. THAT.. !" as the boys all jumped for their masks, the serge's finger was pointing to a horrible looking cloud of mustard green gas, creeping slowly over the rain-soaked mass of the Somme's dark, bloody, no-man's-land.