Siege Journal — (A Record of Life in the Trenches)

Siege Journal — (A Record of Life in the Trenches) November 11, 2014

 

(I found this recently, and thought its historical truths were worth sharing.)

 

Tonight marks the 4th night of enemy aggression. We are exhausted to the point of delirium, yet the enemy shows no sign of fatigue. If anything they seem energized by our lackluster return fire and the involuntary drooping of our eyelids. Even as we write these words, they are passing a conch shell and menacingly holding eyeglasses over dry tinder.

At every turn, they confound us.

Despite the trenches we dig and the fortresses we erect, still they press onward, with no reason, overwhelming our camp like tiny, ferocious Vikings. They confront us with tears in their eyes, their pink, cherubic faces, so beautifully human; it is a malevolent trick, and yet we see in these changelings our very own nature.

God forgive us our weakness; we have not yet mustered the will to turn them back.

The situation is becoming desperate. The days are literally growing shorter. We can mark their passage and see that they contain the same number of daylight hours, yet for us those hours are compressed somehow — a witchcraft uniquely theirs. However it happens, the nights grow longer and longer while our sleep grows shorter and shorter. We have become, in the daylight hours, mere shades of our former selves.

In truth, we hardly recognize ourselves. We babble incoherently, spewing incomprehensible nonsense to our kinfolk and townspeople in an effort to hide the desperate truth of our situation. At night, when the enemy sends forth wails and howls that seem preternaturally designed to drive us mad, we turn to the spirits bequeathed to us by the good souls of Islay — for they knew before we how much need we would have of it. Sometimes in darkness, we attempt to distract ourselves with the nightmarish tales of the walkers, those ancient stories of the dead who walk, that we might pretend to ourselves that the despondent wails we hear are nothing but tales of terror.  

Though we hide, we know what the future hold for us.

It matters not when we raise the white flag and surrender — and that day WILL come, it ALWAYS comes — they will be there.  We could say even now, as the sun sets, that we surrender. We ungird our loins and relent, welcoming death’s second self and crawling into our bed as into a tomb.

But they will be there.

They will be waiting, with tiny ice-cold feet, swathed just so in the blankets to camouflage themselves, ensuring in us heart-stopping terror.

And as we die, clutching our hearts as we are overcome by the effects of shock, they will blink those tearful, beautiful eyes and say, “we had a weally, weally, weally bad dweam.”

<finis>



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