Rainbow snippet – Promises Made Under Fire

A piece to mark Remembrance Day, being part of Promises Made Under Fire.

I’d got away with things pretty lightly, or so they reckoned at the casualty clearing station. Lost a bit of blood and a bit of hair, but nothing that couldn’t be recouped either way. Stitches, plenty of fluid, a bit of leave I was due, a good rest and I’d be well enough to get back at the front. The way they relayed the news to me you’d have thought they were promising a trip to Monte Carlo.
I guess my deal was better than the one Foden had been handed out. They told me he’d been killed, outright, which was a mercy, although I didn’t really mourn him then. I assumed it was because I’d become hard-boiled, so when the wave of grief came, it was a terrible shock.
I was at home, recuperating in my parents’ garden, when all the memories—cooped up, kept in place by disbelief and denial—flooded back on a tide of tears. I’d never been one for crying, even as a child, so Mother must have been as stunned as I was. She came and sat with me, unspeaking, her hand on my arm. I was glad of her not asking questions, not asking me to explain. The tears were for Foden and Jonny and me and all the lads in our regiment.

More excerpts at Rainbow Snippets Facebook group.

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