I lay upon the
hot grass, staring up at the blue sky as a strange film unwound itself upon the
inner screen of my mind and that unearthly bugle echoed first in one grey cell
and then in another.
between my fingers with the squishy softness of infant anal memory. It was very
comforting. The pain had gone and so had the terror, that blind unreasoning,
sphincter twitching terror that possessed me when the gun-carriage rattled by
and I tried to tell them that I was still alive, that there was a human being
alive behind these wide protruding eyes and this black, gaping hole of a mouth,
but nothing seemed to work anymore. There were no links between my brain and
the extremities of my being. Like a new-born baby I did not know where I ended
and the rest of the world began. I just lay and sort of screamed inside my
head, Im alive! God help me! Im alive. But they who
rode the noisy gun limber heard no cry and went on by.
Dont they care? I thought, Dont they
know Im here? Surely somebody must be missing me? But I knew they
werent, my mates were all dead or scattered, too busy holding in their
own guts to wonder where I was.
Mum would miss
me. Life would still be going on at home. Dad, off down the boozer for a pint
and a game of darts. Mum up to her elbows in flour, baking. Theyd miss
me, but nothing would change just because I wouldnt be there anymore.
Little had changed by my coming and little would change by my going. Sad that.
Futile like, as if Id never been at all.
The mud oozed
stickily into my ears, but I could still hear that plaintive bugle call. I
wasnt afraid anymore, just sad that no-one would ever know what it was
like, how I died. Why me? I thought. Why war? Why anything?
Sometimes I thought the carriage would come rattling by again and they would
find me and everything would be alright, but I seem to have been here for
eternity. I cry a lot now and Im so tired.
The hot sun
sucked at the tears on my cheeks as I lived the death of Robert Henry Jones,