Grim Reaper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story I wrote for my GCSE English Language and was personally rather pleased with the outcome. It is the only piece of creative writing I have done recently as it just isn't a big part of the syllabus anymore.
The story itself is about the plight of a field during World War II. It is an interesting take but one I feel that can still generate genuine emotion.

Submitted: May 10, 2014

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Submitted: May 10, 2014

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~~The body-strewn battlefield is different now. Once an innocent corn field, basking in the sun, its soil virgin to the touch of sin. But much has changed; it has been corrupted and now revels in the blood that celebrates each death. Its garish tinge scarring every grain. The smell of decay is sickening: the decay of souls.

The days of prosperity are distant now. Once there was a time when life was a comforting cycle of annual routines. Every day there was a sense of security in knowing what the future would bring. And a master, well known and trusted, brings comfort to the ground on which he treads. The field had not the notion of what was to come. Her biggest fear the loss of the crops she had known for only a year. The pain she felt was real though, but it was to be soon eclipsed and forgotten.

The signs were there, yet she remained blissfully unaware. Had she been less naïve, perhaps a forewarning could have saved some pain. Slowly the dwindling presence of the master and the sombre lilt that crept into his tune became more pronounced yet was noticed not. Once she had cherished each step he took but now they were dragging steps, not affected by age, but by disillusion. Then there came the spring when the punishing blades of the plough never pierced the skin, nor were the seeds sown. Only then did she realise that something was amiss, but she could not have dreamt that her beloved master had been summoned, summoned to his death.

For a while all was quiet, eerily so. Life was replaced by a dull foreboding, a pessimistic anticipation that hung in the air. Soon the distant rumbles started; tremors that rippled through the ground, creeping closer with every day. It was not long before audible explosions racked the air, like drums leading the march towards her. Suddenly they halted, in a teasing salute that wavered but never broke. Things were suddenly not so silent, carts and trucks rumbled past and aliens populated her neighbours. But she remained alone, isolated in a state of confusion and terror, each day a torment.

The first ominous signs of what was to come trickled closer. The strangers who were her company fled in a flurry of commotion and fear. Then the first shell fell. A deafening thud that shook every grain and ripped a scar through her. Wounds accumulated quickly; furrowing her brow into a disapproving retort. The soil that once supported life had been churned into an unearthly mud, a spectacle beyond recognition. The effects of “war” continued to rain in until she had been reduced to a pitiful piece of waste land, a far cry from the pride of the farm she once was. But as the battle reached its crescendo an awful silence suddenly reigned, too good to be true in a world dominated by violence and destruction and punctuated only by the moans of agony escaping from the wounded. The tension in the air was excruciating; the whole world was waiting.

This façade of peace was short lived however as once again the chaos rose with the sun. A volley of shouts from the West grew nearer; soon there were more people around her than she had thought possible. Saturated, yet alone the inevitable was soon to be delivered. The crackling rumble of machine guns joined the row and soon men were screaming and tumbling, falling down all around her, seemingly as if struck by an invisible force. Then she sensed a friend. Amongst all the death there was a sense of familiarity. The slow steps had been replaced by a jagged run, but it was him. Running purposefully and bravely, yet terrified and unsure. She longed to reach out and pull him down to safety, but with a scream he came to her. Tumbling into her magenta mud; joining the mass of writhing bodies. Bleeding yet resolute, he had no sense of where he lay; he did not realise the significance of the ground on which his blood fell. A reluctant tear caressed his face and slipped onto the soil, his final act, touching and personal yet reciprocated by millions.

The battle passed but the death did not. It lingered over her, a haunting reminder of the past. She burrowed into herself, becoming a dedicated recluse. Time brought life, but nothing could replace what had been taken. She still bore the scars, not only the craters but the bones and the memories. As rain fell and the blood was washed away, a new wave of red appeared, covering every inch in a gay rejoice. Flooding the fields with a timeless reminder; never could the losses be forgotten, never could their sacrifices be trivialised. But there are some things that time cannot erase; some wounds won’t seem to heal. That tear. That tiny gift of human emotion that lay bare the dark side of man. What they would do to each other. What they would take, without return.

A lifetime passed: if you can quantify a lifetime anymore. A new master had found use for the fertile soil she offered. Full of anticipation and excitement for this chance to forget the horrors and let life go on. Despite the return of the routine and the comfort it brought with it, there were scars that ran deeper than any man could ever see. Buried deep beneath the surface. Deeper than any bones that may be found. Hidden under a shroud of happiness, that immortal tear, shed in a fleeting instant of finality, cherished as a reminder for infinity.


© Copyright 2019 Daniel Stark. All rights reserved.

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