Tuesday 16 December 2014

Day 16: The Kite Paula R.C. Readman

In the clear night sky, the moon hung high above, like a silent watcher. Casting its long shadows over no man’s land as Harry stood, saturated by the heavy dew, peering over the trench walls, watching, knowing at last that he could do his bit for King and country.
For so long, he had hated the faceless enemies. Night after night with his rifle held high, he watched, while all around, the sounds of bombs and gunshots thundered in the darkness, only punctuated  by the  screams of dying men .
He saw only gloominess reflecting in the endless dips and hollows that pitted the once beautiful landscape, caused by the bombs that fell as they tried to win back the land lost to them on other such nights.
Sometimes, he was sure he could hear them laughing above the sound of carnage.
“Are they laughing at us, George?” He ground the words out through clenched teeth to his comrade-in-arms at his side, before lifting his rifle higher and steadying his aim. “Good men dying because of the likes of them? I see no fun in that!”
Anger tore through Harry’s heart. His conscience would be clear; he would never allow another man to suffer, unlike the enemy. No, not until he saw the whites of their eyes would he fire a single shot.
“I know,” George said patting Harry’s shoulder, “but don’t let them get to you.” Stifling a yawn, he squeezed passed him, “I’m off to get some kip, if the buggers let me.”
* * *
At the first light of dawn, through the misty haze that hung over the few feet of no man’s land, Harry caught sight of their ghostly shadows  moving amidst the foggy vapour. With aching muscles in his back, the tops of his arms and legs, he tightened his grip on his gun while steadying his aim. His chest and head knotted as he felt his face grow hot as his temper inflamed by their disregard to the raging turmoil around them. He watched as they lazily drew on their cigarettes, sending up clouds of smoke while their muffled voices carried across the land to torment him.

About the author: 
Paula R. C. Readman married to hard working Russell, who allows her to follow her dream after English Heritage published her first short story in their anthology, Whitby Abbey-Pure Inspiration. Since 2010, she’s had several other shorts published, and won two writing competitions, including having the best-selling crime writer; Mark Billingham selected her story ‘Roofscapes’ as the overall winner. She has a short gothic story published by Parthian Books.
Find out more about Paula on her Amazon Author page and blog: http://paulareadman1.wordpress.com

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