A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

NEW YEAR 1917.

Somewhere in the vast darkness a man coughed, a bird twittered an isolated phrase, a muffled voice spoke up. Many miles behind the front, thousands of lorries, wagons, gun limbers, horses and men moving endlessly along the Belgian Roads furnished a soft, pulsating background, like that of a kettledrum stirred by felt hammers while the orchestra relaxes and watches its score. Here in the advance zone of the dread Salient around Ypres hardly a man moved, nor did many even know or care that the old year was dying.

The officer standing beside the field piece watched the glowing second hand of his wrist watch. At the stroke of midnight he said “Fire!” The gun roared and a shell was lobbed somewhere into the German positions. A few seconds later there was a single, distinct, far-off explosion, following which a strained silence hung in the air. Then the enemy threw up anxious flares, ghastly green but of great beauty. These illuminated no-man’s land lingeringly, froze it briefly into the aspect of a charcoal sketch and then faded away.

The British battery fired nine more rounds in erratic succession, paused, and then another seven. Thus the New Year 1917, was advertised by seventeen shells, to which the Germans did not respond; and the rest of the night passed in relative peace there and elsewhere on the Western Front.

Needless to say, a cheerless morning dawned some hours later.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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