Short Stories →
BootsAugust 18, 2023
I only enlisted to impress the ladies. “A man in uniform will see the world… and will also make any young maiden’s heart stop.” My friend Mayford had said with a wink on our way to His Majesty’s Dragons barracks.
Mayford is dead now.
Just muy luck. Barely a week out of basic training and a bloody war flares up.
I have seen the world all right, but only as a mass of burning ruins. And the only hearts that have stopped around me so far are those of other soldiers from either side of the trenches.
I’ve also seen a LOT of boots.
I have become sort of an expert in the matter. What’s left of both friend and foe after each battle is so mangled that the only way to tell which is which is by the kind of boots what is left of them is wearing. By now I can tell what rank and country the broken bodies belong to at fifty paces just by their boots. It makes me feel a little guilty at times, but at least this morbid hobby has helped to kept me sane in the middle of this madness.
The Sergeant blows the whistle, time to take positions.
“Damn you, Mayford.” I mutter, scrambling to get up under the burden of the heavy combat gear. I take my place in the line gripping my rifle, finding little comfort in its cold steel.
As the bugle sounds the order to attack thru the lines, I rush forward… wondering, as I always do, if this time it will be somebody else’s turn to classify me by my boots.