I jumped out of bed my feet hitting the cold floor sending shivers through my frail body. This day three months ago I was celebrating Jenny’s ninth birthday, who knew her life would be so short-lived. “Wake up, they’re here they found out where we were, quick get up grab everyman you can”. Suddenly the night sky was filled with a range of colours and sounds of men screaming frantically. “Qas, qas quick boys put on your masks!”. We plunged for our masks putting the tight canvas material around our faces when a mist of green gas surrounded us drowning us in the acid. When the air cleared I saw him they’re lying on the ground, floundering like a man on fire under the sea of gas taking him under, an unaware victim.
Today has been rough we’ve been walking for hours on end through murky waters. There’s only 10 of us left now, the others have either collapsed of exhaustion or suffered from radiation the gas attack. We’re running low on supplies, and whatever we’ve managed to scavenge isn’t going to keep us going for much longer. I can sense by now you’re coming to the realisation that I won’t make it home for Christmas or for any Christmas. I hate to say it but you were right the army is no place for a boy like me but now I must suffer on.
Love you, Karl.
I placed the pen and paper down on my lap sighing secretly knowing I’ll never be able to send this letter, and wondering will mummy ever find out what happened to me. Suddenly the piece of paper felt like a ton of bricks against my lap, I leaned back on the tree and tried some breathing exercises that I once read about in a book. When all at once I drifted into a deep sleep.
It’s been 10 days since the brutal attack and were now down to four men in total. We found a little village last night and these old women let us stay in her barn for free with food so long as we helped her harvest her rows of vegetables. I don’t know why this community is helping us because they know if they’re caught they will be shot!! How’s granny and grandpa doing? When the course is rough out here I just think back to when granny would have fresh scones backed for us on a Sunday morning. I must go now.
Your dearest, Thompson
I wipe the sweat off my forehead and trudge on through the dry course. I bend down on my knees to continue my work when I hear a horrific scream coming from behind me. I sprint down the patch of vegetables to see the old women on the floor frozen in time. I begin to walk towards her and notice the tears in her eyes and, I just lie down beside her dead to the world