The Western Front: A Short Story

1967 Words8 Pages
“This is where you will be stationed for the next month,” the general informed me and left. I groggily looked around, taking in the trench and its high, dirt walls. As if in a daze, I went to the sleeping quarters and felt for my dirty cot in the dark. Trying to ignore the cries and shrieking of fighting men, I set down my pack. Inside was a gas mask, a rifle, a shovel, some extra clothes, a mess kit filled with cutlery, a plate, and a cup, and a few shower items. After arranging my area, I left to join a group of other soldiers at the front of the muddy trench. When I’d signed up to serve in 1914, I didn’t think that the war would be so horrible. Soldiers died from the intense cold; everything from the ink in a pen to the ice would freeze at night. Also, the trenches were extremely unsanitary; most soldiers had fleas and lice. The trenches were filled with muddy water. Soldiers would accidentally slice their feet on sharp rocks, and the boots they wore let in the frigid water.
As I
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“They tried to save him, but he didn’t make it.”
“Oh,” I whispered solemnly. It was always heartbreaking when a soldier died.
“What are you all doing here? Get to your posts!” barked an officer who came outside the tent.
Immediately, Peter and I set off to go help rebuild some of the muddy trench wall that had collapsed as a result of erosion from the rain. A rather large rock fell on my foot, and Peter laughed at my misfortune. Then he asked if I was hurt, and I nodded. My foot felt sliced open, so Peter let me lean on him as I limped to the hospital tent for some bandages.
It started to pour as we arrived at the hospital tent. Peter opened the tent flap and helped me inside. I sat down on a cot and slowly took my soaked, mud-caked boot off, waiting for a doctor to come over and examine my foot. There was a bloody gash about 3 inches long on the left side. I sighed.
A doctor spotted me, and he came over, holding a
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