17 – Boots

He had enlisted to impress the ladies. “A man in uniform will see the world… and will also make any young maiden’s heart stop.” His friend Donald had said with a wink on their way to His Majesty’s Dragons barracks.

Donald was dead now.

“Just muy luck,” He thought. “Barely a week out of basic training and a bloody war breaks up.”

He had seen the world all right, but only as a mass of burning ruins. And the only hearts that had stopped around him so far were those of other soldiers from either side of the trenches. He had also seen a LOT of boots.

He had become sort of an expert in the matter. What was left of both friend and foe after each battle was so mangled that the only way to tell which was which was by the kind of boots what was left of them was wearing.

By now he could tell what rank and country the broken bodies belonged to at fifty paces just by their boots. It made him feel a little guilty at times, but at least his morbid hobby had helped to kept him sane in the middle of this madness.

The Sargent blew the whistle, time to take positions.

“Damn you, Donald.” He muttered as he scrambled to get up under the burden of the heavy combat gear. He took his place in the line gripping his rifle, finding little comfort in its cold steel.

As the order to attack sounded thru the lines, he rushed forward… wondering, as he always did, if this time it would be somebody else’s turn to classify him by his boots.

• • •

Want to comment about what you read?