(Hi fellow mammals, I just want to post one of my modest stories. Hopefully you guys like it...)
I was an adventurer like so many before my time... I was blinded by the thoughts of fame and fortune, I ignored so many warnings. I heard rumors of a land filled with women who ruled over the lives of men... who sacrificed them to their... heaven gods. A realm of dragons being hunted for sport and taking their gold. I dismissed these stories for superstition and a drunk man's tale. I was wrong... very wrong indeed. Those days still leave nightmares for my sleep and visions of the pain... the suffering... the cruelty of what I saw during those days of adventure... I was leading my men towards their death...
“Come on you chumps we need to reach the next hill...”
I heard the men groaning behind me. I felt anger bubbling through my vein as I thought These men will be the death of me. I spun around in place to face the weary men
“If you don't shut up the dragons will find you... how lovely of a meal you would make for them or any other creature for that fact.” I said in a matter of fact tone.
The men were quickly silenced after I said those words of 'encouragement' referring back to one comrade, rest his soul. I stood on top of the green hill staring out into the forest wilderness below. The world was so big and I was but one small man who thought he could explorer it all. There were somethings I wish to forget for my adventures, but this one will haunt me the most.
I was a well built man for my modest age of thirty-eight with a height of one meter and three fourths My back was strong and my arms just the same. I could easily lift a log and throw it will vigor fifty feet or so. My face had many scars with one I particular remembered would constantly bug my face. The scar started at the right side of my forehead and ran down through my eye and down to the right part of my cheek. The scar wasn't very deep but it still hurt after having a run in with a very angry drake. It was a miracle that I could still see out of that eye and it was relatively undamaged.
My favorite uniform glistened in the sunset... it was an old World War I German officer uniform that I wore during the second battle of Ypres. It still was decorated with my three awards I earned during the war, a German Iron Cross 2nd class, Knight's Cross ,and The Honour Cross. I was still an older man then I was during the war but I still was at the peak of my life. My mission was to explore new lands in the Asian continent, they hired me because during the war I saved the lives of the fifth platoon of calvary from a map error. I was the chief navigator and the officer of the group.
The men reached the top of the hill huffing and puff with each breath they took. I rolled my eyes at them for their lack of long distance marching. With me I had a group of five other people, Charles Wentworth, a shy young lad from London its self no older then twenty-four with a clean-shave face and a pair of bifocals that kept slipping down his nose. He had to keep pushing them onto the bridge of his nose every minute. We often joked and teased him for buying bifocals a bit to large but he retaliated each time with the same phrase “At least I am a man of intelligent in comparison of you barbarians.” That phrase would just make us laugh louder. He was studying to become a botanist and was doing his work for Cambridge university. All he needed was the field work and his life would be secure. He was no more then one meter and a half, he was easily the shortest man in our group, but that didn't stop him from his quest of a prefect job.
Then their was old Habert Dory, a real American cowboy with a trigger happy finger He was five nine with a strong build supporting a size eight gallon hat with a fancy buckle on the hat. His grin was so wide that you could have built a train through his missing teeth. He was always so cock sure and arrogant, but dismissed this for an American arrogance. He served with General “Black Jack” Pershing in the Pancho Villa Campaign, and he was with the 7th Cavalry at San Geronimo. It is rumored the after that he hunted the Apache's for the Bounty on their hair. He served again with Black Jack Pershing in France.
You could see the age on his face with some small wrinkles and little white whiskers on his face. He still was a good cook, for decency anyways... his food was as good as it was going to get. Roasted deer legs with steak sauce and other American foods that turned my stomach and tightened my throat. He was a good soldier but very willing to go against orders to do what he thought was right. He carried his prized 1895 Winchester 30-40. You could find him at night polishing his rifle and cleaning the barrel. His outfit was just like a American cowboy you would see in one of those movies. He also carried his father's colt peacemaker for safe keeping; he often said “This here colt has saved my life many times... you should get one.”
After Habert was Ivan Bolshevist, he was a very big man with muscles the size of tree-trunks. He could snap a goose neck with ease... think what he could do if he got his meaty hands around your neck. That thought always sent shivers down my spine. He served in the Russian army in World War I before marching back to Moscow and tearing down the Tsar's palace with his bare hands. It was even said that he punched the lock off on the front gate to enter the palace. I still think today that the story was true. He was easily the tallest man in our group with a height of two meters and thirteen centimeters; he stood over me by a long shot.
When you first meet him, you would wonder if he was related to a over grown bear. He had a very matted, brown beard connecting to an equally bushy mustache. He wasn't a man to be trifled with unless you had a death wish. He wore a standard Russian fur hat that looked like an animal crawled on his head and died. His uniform was stained with much beer and other drinks containing alcohol he smelt like it too. His weapon of choice was a M1910 7.62 Maxim heavy machine gun... it was the ones that Russians mounted on those carts and he could carry that gun like it was a woman. He called that machine gun, Sasha after his long dead wife; I wasn't so sure that obsessing over his dead wife was healthy but I stayed out of that conversation for the sake of my neck . His voice was very deep and it sounded like a tuba. He could have easily sung bass and been the deepest voice for miles around. His intelligence wasn't to high but as he said “I yet to see a man outsmart a bullet.” I always thought to myself after he said that was “I better stay out of his way.”
Last was Vito Fransisco, a real flat head so to speak. He had a usually flat head that looked like a nail, it was so flat you could have place an egg on his head and it wouldn't move. He was one meter and fifty-seven centimeters. He had one of those very bushy mustache that hung down near the top of his lip. Most of his face was partly scorched because of his nasty habit of explosives. He would often play around with explosives to solve any problem. Like the time he wanted a neighbor to get rid of his cat, Vito took the problem into his own hands by throwing four pounds of dynamite at the cat causing it to rain cat over everything. One thing he was good at was manging the explosives and using them, but he often got carried away.
We began the usual routine of setting up camp with me usually setting differences because they couldn't agree on which times they would want to be on watch. I was often the one preventing the fist fights but still as men will be fighters.
Ivan stared down at Habert “You think you are so great because you can hide behind your little rifle and watch the enemy die from a distance; my bet would be you would soiled your pants right in front of the enemy.”
You could see the blood rushing to Habert's face as he said “Well at least I'm not a man carrying a machine gun around named after my long dead wife.”
That is where Habert crossed the line... Ivan lunged forward and picked up Habert by his head, and began to slowly crush his head. You could hear Habert screaming as I came up to Ivan “Put him down Ivan and I will personally clean your Sasha.”
Ivan nodded slowly and dropped Habert on top a log, near the fire place. Ivan then said to me “I only did that because I respect you, otherwise that cowboy over there would have been a pile of dog meat.”
I sighed with relief as the sun began to set on our meager camp symbolizing the end of the first day of entering hell and the last of life.
As I entered my tent Charles was to be on watch and I would take the watch before dawn.. I climbed onto my cot. My mind rolling with thoughts of what tomorrow was going to be like and what there was to explore out there in the wilds. My eyes slowly began to close and I gave into my increasing amount of fatigue.
My eyes closed to be opened, but in a new place. I was back on the battlefield of Ypres; my commanding officer stood to my right in the center of the trench. He then said to me “Oberleutnant your men ready?”
I responded though I didn't feel my lips move... “Yes, Hauptmann we are ready...”
He blew his whistle and that was followed by the sounds of artillery firing at the enemy trench, mixed in with the sounds of thousands of German soldier sounding a battle cry. I climbed over the trench wall and began my assault with my forces on the enemy trench. The sound of machine guns and other weapons being fired filled my ears with the sounds of men crying out as they were shot. I ran from shell hole to shell hole finding whatever cover would prevent me from being shot. Then there was a terrible noise that rung through the air as you could hear shells hitting the ground but not exploding. One landed next to me and I could see green smoke leak from it. I scrambled for my bag as I pulled out my gas mask.
I yelled out “GAAAASSSSSS... GET YOUR MASKS ON.” I saw my men scrambling just as I did with their masks. But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And failing about like a man in fire or lime... Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. I watched him die in front of me, no way to ease his suffering or to stop the pain. Time began to hold still as I looked around. I watched as a men was cut down by machine gun fire, ripping open his chest, another being thrown from an artillery shell that landed too close. I wished that all of this was a nightmare but it was real.
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