War: 8.18.1930

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He was brave and foolish and dead.

I am not quite certain what he was, other than some faceless automaton crafted from flesh.

I was working my way through an abandoned trench system, picking each passage with care. There were monsters in the dugouts, creatures even I knew to be wary of. Several of them, I ended up fighting, and each one was worse than the last.

My wounds from the last fight had almost finished healing when I reached a collapsed portion of the trench. There was no choice but to go up and into the open, to cut across No-Man’s-Land. I would be easy to see. Easy to shoot.

I cleared my mind, focused on what needed to be done, and scrambled out of the trench.

I didn’t waste time trying to see if anyone had spotted me. All I could do was assume that I had been, that someone would see me and try to shoot me down.

I was seen, but luck was with me.

He was out of ammunition.

I heard him dry-firing, and all I could think was how bad it was for his weapon.

Glancing to the right, I saw him. He was, as I have said, faceless. It was not missing. No, for it to be missing, it had to have been there to begin with. Whoever had crafted him had not seen fit to give him eyes or ears, nose or mouth. There was no hair hanging from beneath his helmet. His skin was smooth. Unblemished, though dirty.

He tried to force his way to me, ignoring the way the barbed wire tore at his clothes. This wire was not alive. It was mundane and bereft of life, which suited me fine.

He became tangled in the wire, paused, ‘fixed his bayonet to the end of his Lee-Enfield rifle and proceeded toward me.

A quick look around showed there was no trench for me to slip into. No way to avoid the automaton coming toward me. The mechanical way in which he pushed through the wire told me he would not stop, and so I made my choice.

I dropped to one knee, brought the BAR up to my shoulder, and fired. The first round caught him in the chest, as did all the others I fired. When he finally collapsed, his body still twitching upon the wire, I walked up, took out a Colt, and put two more rounds into his head.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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