Theirs but to do and die

I haven’t done one of these in an age. For the dverse prosery night.

The general finally wound up his speech.
‘So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.”
His horse shook its head and the general raised his, to stare into the middle distance, a heroic poise. He pulled on the reins, and to whoops and cheers, turned his horse around to ride off majestically to the rear.
“They need not fear the firing squad for insurrection, he means.” Alfred spat on the ground and nudged Bill in the ribs. “He wasn’t talking about that lot out there.”
The two men stared over the sandbags at the line of men, advancing through the dust raised by armoured cars and tanks. Bill wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Because they’re going to do more’n harm us. They’re going to fuckin’ wipe us off the face of the fuckin’ earth.”

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

36 thoughts on “Theirs but to do and die”

  1. The soldiers lot, summed up so succinctly: they get to be cannon fodder while the generals stay ‘in the rear, with the gear.’ Great use of the prompt, Jane!

  2. War is such a senseless sacrifice of young men and women. If only as much effort weren’t expended on making peace!!

  3. After Custer bit the big one, the officers remove their designations when on the battlefield. Kings and generals used to lead the troops. Now everybody stays home and uses drones.

  4. Well written piece. If it hadn’t been so sad about the soldiers being wiped off the face of the earth, I might have laughed about the generals silly heroic pose.

    I wonder how war would change if the ones deciding upon it had to go to battle themselves?

  5. A very vivid sampling of war. Made me think of a line from Bjorn’s prosery…” soldiers don’t have beliefs, only obedience.” (Bjorn Rudberg). Great minds think alike.

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