The Shock of War

It came to nothing in the end. It was a warrant to invite death. There was a compulsion to go to battle with our foes. Every man, woman and child above the age of twenty had to report for duty every day. Training was provided and fierce drills were given, every new one more strenuous than the ones before.

I was two years older than minimum of what they’d stated. I lived in the city of Gilasboon, where more than ten million human souls resided. And a diamond castle lay straight in the heart of it all, protected by sleek tall towers located at frequent intervals, and guarded at all times, looking for any trouble. The castle had a bluish-black tint on the ramparts, and seemed as if reaching the sky beyond the thunderclouds high above. The hill was made by the hands of both man and beast, those who were allied when the castle was constructed. Grim creatures they must’ve been in those gloomy times, for I felt fortunate not to have existed then.

Great walls shined in its glory to display the light of the shining star during the day, and the gleaming planet which revolved around us at night in an ash grey colour. But it wasn’t this night when light reflected over the castle walls, for there were thunderclouds everywhere. Lightning and thunder stretched miles across their gathering.

It was the day when I was sent to battle on the front line with many other warriors. I was given a horse to ride on, which had pros and cons in its own discipline. But few disadvantages would not turn out to be a disaster as there would be gigantic mammoths which would lead us into conflict against our enemies.

You might think there would be different races and all such sort of things. But it isn’t a fanciful world here. There are only men who rule their lands, but work and fight against each other. Alchemy isn’t used, since the World Union banned the use of Alchemy for any of its applications a few years ago. And every human city had agreed to it, except for those who believed that it was their right to exploit all technologies which came to their knowledge. For them, they believed that technologies came into the hands of a man with a reason. And hence, a war started with those who did not desire it. The force of might and strength went out to battle against that having the knowledge of alchemy.

Life wasn’t good on the front-line. News of people dying every moment in battle had reached to every corner of our world. People died, which I believe was better than those who survived with terrible aftereffects of their involvement in the battle. Some of them arrived back with their hands or legs cut, some came with their faces burnt all over, while others suffered broken bones. Hospitals were full of wounded people who came from miles away. Medical grounds had to be established closer to the front-line to make sure the least could be done for the injured and then carried away from the battle lines.

Travelling towards my own death, I reckoned each time, before I went into training. But now, after six months of rigorous training with those who would fight alongside, it was going to be the real enemy in front of us now. The life everyone knew before the war started was something long lost to all of us. Those in the family who remained back home, shed their tears as their loved ones went to battle against the enemy. It would be the toughest day for anyone to say goodbye for a very long time. The return of the warrior was equivalent to having good luck. Letters and mails would fill up at every doorstep almost every day. Most of them would be for the loss of life occurred during the battle, and letting their family experience that they had died heroically and were fearless in their deed of war against the foe. Few others mentioned promotions for their outstanding performance in the war. There were none to return unless a tragedy or injury bled them piercing through their precious life.

Training was hard to all of us I’d allege. But the loss of our feeling of love and happiness converted us to become mean humans. Some feared the loss of their loved ones if they ever went back home, if they were rejected at any point during the training. Those rejected were given an option to earn their place in the war by battling out with fierce creatures which lurked among the forests and mountains everywhere. I would consider that would be a better way to die than fight amongst humans. Only it wasn’t so. Even after serving my best not to be picked out for battle, I passed the test somehow and was intended to be sent to war.

After leaving the city through different fields, forests, mountains, tunnels, and across seas, we reached the lands completely burned down. There seemed to be not a wisp of vegetation here. All that could be seen was charred ground with stones, gravel, and mud wherever water lay nearby. These would be the initial locations where the battle must’ve originated. And such was the situation when horrors were unleashed upon us.

Read the second of the three-part series: Gaining Grounds.

This post is inspired from The Daily Post’s Writing 101 June 2014 Challenge – Day 04: The Serial Killer

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2 thoughts on “The Shock of War

  1. Very well written. You really brought me into that moment and invited us into your memories. It reminded me a lot of hunter s Thompson’s writing. Style. The difference being he was writing what he was seeing from the sidelines where as you are emerged in this mess. I am sorry you had to go through that.

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