by E.A. McBride
Flash Fiction Contest; 300 words.
|As the sun began to peek out of the Eastern horizon, casting the day's first light across the desert sands, a lone soldier was able to see the devastation from the night before. What was once a sprawling city full of people hustling and bustling up and down the busy streets, was now hardly recognizable. The tall buildings that dominated the skyline, were now reduced to large piles of rubble. The air no longer smelt of fresh baked breads or baked items, those pleasant fragrances were replaced by toxic gunpowder and fresh blood. The soldier surveyed the scene and for the first time thought about his part in the battle.
There were motionless bodies lying in the street, and various body parts spread out. The soldier fought back the urge to vomit as his stomach began to turn at the sight. He knew he had no time to dwell on the consequences of the battle, all he knew was that he was able to see the sun rise this morning, and that was all that mattered.
It had looked so different a few hours ago, when everything was dark except for the tracer rounds from machine guns that filled the night sky, like lasers out of a science fiction movie. Like most things, everything seemed different in the light of day.
“Ready to move out, Specialist?” a thundering voice from behind him asked, it was the voice of his squad leader.
“Roger, Sergeant” he replied.
“Good. This was your first battle, but understand, this isn’t over.”
The specialist shook his head and picked up his rifle. He set his sights on the Eastern horizon, where another stronghold was located, and they would liberate that city as well. He hoped he would get to see another sun rise.