The young soldier grips her rifle, heart pounding in terror. The cries and moans of the wounded and dying are drowned out by the thunder and crack of gunfire and artillery. The CO walks along the trench, shouting. The girl doesn't hear the exact words, but knows that it will lead to her death. She hears a sudden silence, a break in the fighting.
Then the whistle pierces the air, commanding her to leave the safety of her trench, to expose her young body to the enemy. Despite her immense fear, she feels her body reacting on autopilot, pulling herself up top then breaking into a sprint alongside her brothers and sisters. The enemy opens fire, cutting them down. The girl winces at the crack-crack-crack of supersonic rifle rounds flinging past her, but her run never ceases. She yells, a battle cry for her country.
Something rocks the world, turning it upside down. The girl is left weightless and the ground leaves her. She glimpses (in brief flashes) the yellow-red ground, the bright blue sky, and a blossoming flower of dust and fire. Then gravity catches up to her, bringing her down. She sees the ground rushing up to meet her and then nothing.
The young man (boy really, having reached his 18th year last week), advances cautiously through the pockmarked landscape of no man's land. Fellow soldiers walk alongside, rifles at low ready, bayonets attached. Bodies lay scattered amongst the craters and debris, twisted and torn. Most are months old, nothing more than skeletons with tattered pieces of leathery flesh, picked apart by the packs of wild dogs and swarms of rats grown fat off of the slaughter.
His commanding officer signals the platoon to halt for a break, and the soldiers sigh and begin to sit down. What was once waist deep mud in the spring had turned to dry soil and dust in the summer. The boy sat down, and places his rifle beside him. He feels his hand brush against something soft. He looks, and gasps in shock.
The face of a young girl about his age stares back, blue eyes half lidded, lips parted slightly. The boy recoils back. His gaze wanders down the rest of the body. The uniform was of the enemy, although this one seemed a size too small for the girl, hugging her curvy form tightly.
The boy, having gotten over his initial shock, crawls back. He looks over his shoulder, and sees the rest of his platoon scattered amongst the craters, napping or playing cards. He grabs the girl by the feet, and drags her down into a nearby crater. Once concealed, he begins to satisfy his curiosity. From the paleness of the skin, and general lack of rot, he surmised that the girl must not have been dead for more than 4 hours, coinciding with the time the enemy had last attempted an attack. Strangely, the body was intact, and didn't appear to have any gunshot wounds. He looked at the unnatural angle of her head. Must've broken her neck somehow, he thought.
The more he looked at the body, the more he felt a strange stirring. The girl was quite attractive, despite the circumstances, and he hadn't been with a member of the fairer sex in months. He reached towards the body, and began to open the buttons on her uniform. Opening up the top revealed a large bust held by a white cotton tank top. A pair of dog tags glinted, resting within her ample cleavage. He took his pocket knife, and cut open the front of the tank top. Her breasts seemed to bounce as they were freed, then gravity pulls them to her sides. The boy squeezes the breasts, feeling their firmness in his hands.
His attention wanders, one finger tracing along her toned abdomen towards her pelvic region. He undoes her belt, then roughly drags her trousers down to her ankles. Grey sports panties cover her feminine parts. He grabs the elastic band, and with a slash from the knife, cuts open the underwear. A patch of black pubes points towards her slit. The boy teases apart her sex folds, and sticks a finger in. He whistles. This one hadn't had her V card punched yet.
He pulls his finger out, and wipes the residue off on her pants.
The boy comes back to her face. With one hand, he gently grabs her chin and turns her head towards him. At this angle, he can easily see the wrenched neck, the imprint of the shattered spinal cord pressing up against the skin of her throat. The girl had her black hair cut short, although it had begun to grow back. He is especially entranced by her distant eyes, and her mouth. Her lips are full, but chapped by the summer heat. He opens her mouth, and wonders at how immaculate and white her teeth are. She must have come from a well off family, he thinks.
He begins to pick through her uniform pockets. The boy finds a photograph, well worn. Folded up, opened, folded, opened many times, he imagines. He opens it, and sees the girl in a domestic setting. She is wearing her dress uniform while sitting on a couch, a wide grin on her face. A rotund older man and woman flank her, both beaming with pride. The boy turns the photo over and sees handwriting on the back. The language is foreign, but he can guess its meaning. He looks back at the broken body on the ground. He slowly folds the photo, crouches down, and places it in the girl's hand. Tenderly, he closes the hand around it. Then he places the girls hands together on her chest. The distant sound of orders being barked snaps him back to reality. In a final gesture of respect, he closes the eyes of the girl before running off to rejoin his platoon.
I was expecting rape, then oh dear, the feels. All aboard the feel train!!
The Foxhole: Part 1
It was about 0900 with the sun just beginning to break up the heavy grey cloud cover that had been rolling overhead during the night. Private First Class Patricia Reinhart is talking to her best friend, PFC Emily Barnes about the care package and letters they had gotten from relatives back home. This is their first deployment after basic training, and the two girls are as fresh as fresh could be.
Patricia was 18, the daughter of an upper class merchant family from the capital. Blonde haired and blue eyed, she had the delicate facial features of a porcelain doll with long, slender legs and arms. The other recruits in boot camp called her "Princess" for her fair looks and demure personality, which embarrassed her mightily (although that reaction only caused her nickname to stick even harder).
Emily was a year younger, having lied to the recruiter about her age. She was the polar opposite of Patricia. Where Patricia was tall and graceful, Emily was short and stocky. Her hair was a curly brunette mess, her skin was tanned from years of working in the fields, and her eyes were a sharp emerald green. The daughter of a poor sharecropper family, she had run away to join the Army in search of a better life. She was rough around the edges, had a dirty sense of humor, and a no nonsense way of talking.
Despite the massive differences in their personality and upbringing, the two girls had gravitated towards each other from the first week at boot. Despite the differences they had things in common. Both had joined up to escape a strict, preordained path in life, and both respected each other's grit. The pair had quickly become sisters in arms, confidants, and simply close friends.
Patricia munched sedately on a biscuit from her breakfast ration pack as Emily wrote a letter with all the intensity of a physician operating on a patient. The blonde smiled at the sight, then shifted her attention to the tool they were tasked with operating. Ensconced in a foxhole, the two young soldiers were in charge of an Imperial Arsenal Model 1918 machine gun, a "light" recoil operated, air cooled automatic weapon that weighed about 11 lbs. Patricia grimaced as she remembered the countless failures and malfunctions she had experienced on the cursed thing back in boot camp. If the machine gun failed, the two girls had two ancient single action revolvers that had been converted from black powder about a decade before they had been born. There were six shots available before needing to laboriously push the empty casings out one by one, and shoving fresh rounds in, manually indexing the cylinder each time. It would be quicker to use their shovels as weapons than to reload, she often grumbled.
So lost in reverie was she that faint whistle almost escaped her attention. The whistle sounded again, louder this time. Patricia perked up and scrambled over to the machine gun, all drowsiness forgotten. Emily was right beside her, dragging a case of ammunition belts. Patricia unlatched the feed cover, opened it up, grabbed the proffered belt from Emily and stuffed it into the feed tray. She slammed the top cover down and yanked the charging handle back. Their ears picked up the unmistakable sound of gunfire further down the line, and soon they saw enemy soldiers running towards their position. Patricia squeezed down on the trigger, and the gun burst into action. It ripped into the charging group, cutting them down in large swathes. Patricia kept the trigger down, sweeping the land in front of her position with lead, her world vibrating as the gun recoiled, the awful din reverberating in her ears. There was a click and Patricia finally let go of the trigger.
There was nought but carnage in front of the two teenagers. Bodies were strewn everywhere. The heavy rifle rounds that the Model 1918 was chambered in had dealt gruesome wounds to the enemy, and in some parts of the kill zone, where the bullets had penetrated multiple soldiers at once, there were piles of corpses where soldiers tripping on their dead friends were cut down. Emily yelled at Patricia, saying something urgent, but the blonde was numb and deafened. Slowly, she opened the top cover and Emily shoved the fresh ammo belt in. In a daze, she closed the cover and pulled the charging handle back again. It was now 1100 hours, and the sun had chased away the morning fog.
>>16076The Foxhole: Part 2
The assault lasted for most of the day and into the evening.
Wave after wave of the enemy had rushed headlong into the Imperial machine gun nests and trenches, their sprawling corpses piling up in the wet earth of the battlefield. Patricia and Emily had repelled by their estimate at least 150 soldiers, and were halfway through their last 200 round belt.
The shadows grew long as the sun set, and Patricia wondered when they would get resupplied. After hours of combat, the girls were exhausted and their nerves frayed. Emily had taken one of the "go pills" they had been issued with at midday, and now she was beginning to crash hard from the high. Patrica had to gently shake her every time Emily's head nodded forward. Patricia let her mind begin to wander. She looked at the bodies scattered in front of her and felt a wave of nausea. She had snuffed out hundreds of lives, and the girl felt the gravity of that begin to settle over her. Patricia looked down at her pale, slender fingers and shivered. The hands that had once elegantly embroidered fancy dresses and gracefully played the piano were covered in blood.
Lost in thought, the teenager didn't notice the dark forms slowly crawl past the bushes surrounding the foxhole. Nor did she notice them slowly pad behind her and Emily. It was only when rough, gloved hands clamped over her mouth did she snap back to reality.
By then, her fate was sealed. Her blue eyes shot wide open as her hands clawed at the muscular arms restraining her. She saw the cold gleam of a knife and felt raw terror flood her heart. Animal instincts took over. She thrashed furiously, but the arms were far too strong to slip out of. The knife struck, slamming into her breast and penetrating between her upper ribcage, the tip of the blade slicing open her aortic arch.
Patricia stiffened, ice cold pain spreading across her chest. She inhaled, the smell of her killer's leather gloves flooding her panicked brain. She could feel a wetness spread across her chest as her heart pumped frantically, each pulse sending her closer to eternal oblivion. Her hands still scratched, her legs kicked, but with each second her struggles weakened. Her dying mind was filled with emotions and memories flashing by in instances, random synapses firing as brain cells shut down by the thousands. Her 8th birthday, the time Father had left a meeting early to attend her piano practice at school, the smell of Mother's perfumed hand caressing her hair during an illness, the warmth of Grandfather telling her war stories by a crackling fire, the spark that planted a desire to join the Army. It all swirled past, swallowed by the yawning eternal darkness. It was so damned cold. Then, a white light.