Empathy for Others by Patrick G Moloney.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A tale of things that exist beyond the shadows.

Submitted: March 08, 2017

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Submitted: March 08, 2017

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The old colonel finished his meticulous and detailed entry in the huge old book, his spidery handwriting filled this huge old volume. He leafed through the hundreds of pages filled in his own handwriting, stopping now and again to look over one or other entry and the date it was made. At the first page he ran his trembling finger over the entry line by line, he paid particular attention to the date. He shook his head in disbelief at the fact that it had been almost forty years since he made this entry. Forty years of chronicling the lives and untimely deaths of men he never really knew. Forty years since the old woman had put this curse on him, to think he had actually laughed in her face, how foolish he was.

He had just returned from the front, his chest covered in brightly colored ribbons and shiny medals. He was just leaving the officers club when the stick thin woman in the black shawl approached him. It would be a meeting that he would remember until the day he would be lucky enough to die. He could picture her face as it all had happened only yesterday, a husband and two sons she had lost in the campaign. But why she thought it should matter to him was a mystery, twenty thousand men had died under his command and countless numbers wounded. What did she expect from him, after all they had signed up for this. When he told her this she grew paler, when she cursed him he laughed at her. He could still remember her words, " A widows curse on you, you shall know empathy".

He shivered as he thought of her words, he had tried numerous times since, to end his life but nothing worked. So he lived night after night with the widows curse and day after day he made entries in his book. The dreams always started the same, he would take the dog tags in his hand and read the details. This night he was Jonathan Price private, he made his way through the thick mud he felt the pressure in his legs as he struggled to run. The shell exploded nearby and the day turned tonight, he was lifted bodily and thrown backwards. The searing pain in his stomach caused him to scream and blood gushed from his mouth. He tried to hold in the bloody mess of his entrails and the pain was unbearable, in the end he could only moan as he got weaker.

The old colonel shuffled to the table and opened the big book, he still fancied he could feel the pain. His hands shook so badly he could hardly take the top off of the fountain pen. He sat down with a weary sigh and placed his glasses on his face, his eyes blurred with tears as once again he thought when will it end. Will it stop at just the dead, or will he have to relive the wounded as well. In the end he pushed these thoughts out of his mind and began the entry. " Private 1st class Jonathan Price, died at the Somme August 13 1916. Shrapnel wound to abdomen, three hours till death, pain a 10 plus". He closed the book and wept for hours, empathy truly was a curse.

  • horror


© Copyright 2017 Patrick G Moloney. All rights reserved.

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