ARTILLERY

Everything seemed to have slowed down around Evans. It seemed almost peaceful. He was floating through the air, and the world was silent around him. He saw his rifle flying away from him, he tried to grab at it, but only succeeded in pushing it further away.

He tumbled a bit and saw the ocean. He admired it for a few seconds before gravity forcibly slammed him into the ground.

 

Putting some cotton into his ears, Evans offered some of it to Zwev. She accepted. Evans took out his notepad and wrote, “Wiring Party yesterday. Only 3 hour sleep. Watch nine to midnight yesterday. Then this barrage wake us now. Only 3 hour sleep. Angry.”

Zwev grabbed the notepad and replied, flinching every time a shell hit near, “How long you think last?”

“Hope not long. Need sleep.”

Renoir crawled towards them and waved. He grabbed the notepad and added in, “Be ready. Attack usually after.”

A few hours later, at about six, the barrage suddenly stopped. Sergeant Campbell stood up and yelled, “MOVE MOVE MOVE! GET ON THE LINE!”

Evans grabbed his rifle and sprinted out of the dugout and took a step up on the fire step as he heard a whistle blow. He looked around, most of the trench had been destroyed, and the platoon had set up as best they could in the remnants.

Simmons yelled out, “FIRE!”

Evans shook himself out of his trance. He aimed his rifle and opened fire as more artillery shells began to fall on the line. Everything seemed like a blur. His bolt was flying back and forth. Evans wasn’t quite sure if he was even hitting anyone. But the attack didn’t peter out like it had two days before. The Vledscan’s kept coming.

He heard Green come up near him and yell to Lieutenant Simmons, “SIR! They’ve broken through Eagle’s lines!”

“SHIT! Green, go back and set up the rear wire!”

“Yes-”

A shell hit the trench. Evans was momentarily deafened. He felt a tap on his shoulder, “PRIVATE!”

Evans turned around, Lieutenant Simmons was standing, covered in blood and bits of flesh, “I need you to run back and set up the rear wire and then go back to Company HQ to get reinforcements and request artillery support.”

He slung his rifle and stepped down. As he left, he saw the aftermath of the shell burst. Lance Corporal Green was lying on the ground in two pieces, having been ripped in half by the shell. Renoir was lying next to her, brains spilling into a puddle. An extra arm was lying in the puddle as well. Evans shook his head and ran.

He reached the rear wire and used his rifle to knock it down. Carrying on, he ran to Company HQ. He passed Lucy, who was madly firing downrange. He ran up to the Captain and saluted, “Sir! Lieutenant Simmons sent me to-”

Interrupting him, the Captain said, “Reinforcements and Arty? I need you to leg it down to Battalion telephone line must be blown out, I’ve been trying to reach them on the blasted thing and my runner has not come back. Bring Private Chambers with you.” The Captain pointed to Lucy.

Evans ran to Lucy and tapped her on the shoulder. She fired off two more shots, turned to him, laughed, and yelled over the roar of gunfire, “I really don’t think this is the time to fuck!”

Leaning close to Lucy’s ear, Evans screamed, “Captain wants me to take you with me to Battalion!”

Lucy nodded and shouldered her rifle. The two took off down the winding trenches towards Battalion. Lucy stumbled in first and stopped still. Evans caught up with her and looked over at the utter devastation. Several shells had scored direct hits, killing almost all within.

“Holy Shit,” Lucy nervously played with her rifle, “No wonder they weren’t fucking responding.”

Over the shellfire, Evans heard a gurgling noise. He looked and saw a man under a smashed table. He ran over to the table and attempted to lift it. Lucy saw Evans and ran over to him.

With Lucy’s help, Evans managed to lift the table off the man. Only his left leg was still attached, and then, only barely. He groaned at the two, and mouthed, “Help me.”

Lucy turned to Evans, “Were the fuck can we move him to? Company is swamped as is.”

Evans nodded and drew his sword bayonet, “I’ll amputate his leg, you get ready with some sort of bandage. We can carry him to Regiment. I mean, we should probably go there next. Get the fire support there.”

Lucy nodded and took off her jacket. She removed her gauze roll and applied it to the right stump while Evans psyched himself up.

With one swift blow, Evans cleaved through the remaining attached flesh. Lucy took off her shirt and stuffed it into the wound. She put her jacket back on and stood up, “Let’s go.”

Evans sheathed his bayonet and nodded, “Can you carry my rifle?” He dropped his rifle and picked up the wounded soldier. The pair then stumbled their way down the line. After a few false starts, they finally got to Regimental HQ.

Lucy saluted the first officer she saw, “Lieutenant, requesting to speak with the Colonel!”

The Lieutenant was momentarily flustered by the ragged nature of Lucy, Evans, and the soldier. Evans right side was coated in blood from the wounded soldier. Lucy’s undershirt was coated in blood and sweat. “Um… Yes, and You, Private, you can put the man down there.” The Lieutenant pointed to a map table.

Lucy ran over and cleared everything off while Evans laid the man down. The Lieutenant took them to a dugout, with various wires running out of it. Colonel Darling was standing over a map and yelling orders at a runner.

The Lieutenant saluted waited for the runner to leave. The Colonel turned and returned the salute, “What is it Jones?”

“These two privates came down the Second Battalion trench sir!”

“I just sent a runner down that way, what’s going on their, their telephone isn’t responding.”

Lucy nodded, “Sir, I’m Captain Jackson’s runner, we were having the same issue. Everett and I ran through, and we only found one survivor, he’s on the map table outside.”

Evans saluted, “And I’m here to ask for reinforcements and artillery support for Fox Company Sir.”

Colonel Darling cursed and then looked at his map. He turned to the Lieutenant, “Jones, I need you to set up a temporary Second Battalion HQ and rewire the whole area.” He then picked up the handset for the field telephone, “I need artillery support 20 meters ahead of trench lines Seventy Three, Seventy Four, and Seventy Five.”

Colonel Darling turned to Evans and Lucy, “You two are dismissed, thank you, and I’ll get those reinforcements.”

Evans and Lucy saluted and walked out. Before going back to the front lines, they slumped down in the trench to take a few drinks from their canteens. Evans looked at Lucy, “It’s Evans.”

“What?” Lucy took a gulp from her canteen.

“You called me Everett. My name is Evans,” Evans stood up and reached down to help Lucy up.

She grabbed his hand and stood up, “Oh, sorry… Goldfish.” Lucy swung around Evans rifle off her shoulder and handed it to Evans, “Shall we?”

Shouldering the rifle, Evans nodded. He slid the canteen back into it’s pouch and sprinted off down the trench back to Fox Company.

They arrived back at the Fox Company and Evans ran up to the Captain, “Sir, Colonel Darling says reinforcements are arriving soon.” Evans turned, waved goodbye to Lucy and ran down the communication trench towards Second Platoon.

After the first bend, Evans came across a collapsed portion, blocking his path. Evans used his Rifle to drag himself out of the trench, onto the surface. He stayed low and sprinted, pausing a few times to fire a shot at figures he saw on the cratered surface, figuring that anyone else above the surface must be Vledscan.

After about half a minute, Evans dove into a shell hole to avoid machine gun fire, still not knowing where the trench was. He poked his head up and heard a yell over the din of the gun fire, “EVANS!”

He looked back, and saw Hardin, standing about thirty meters back, halfway out of the trench and waving.

Evans stood up to try and sprint to the position.

That was when the shell hit.

 

Everything seemed to have slowed down around Evans. It seemed almost peaceful. He was floating through the air, and the world was silent around him. He saw his rifle flying away from him, he tried to grab at it, but only succeeded in pushing it further away.

He tumbled a bit and saw the ocean. He admired it for a few seconds before gravity forcibly slammed him into the ground.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s