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Captain Gray's journal

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An unusual static and void nocturnal silence hovered above Beaumont Hamel. Sitting in his dugout, Captain Gray couldn't find any suitable words to send to his wife. His instincts told him that to write a letter would be equivalent to saying farewell, an idea he deplored as it bordered with superstition. Gray's eyelids were heavy, but no slumber seemed to follow this natural sign of exhaustion. With his brain filled with confused angry thoughts he opened his journal. Seeing the blank page, the monotonous parallel lines made the thoughts in his mind seem grotesque, exaggerated and monstrous! Eventually they twisted themselves into acceptable words that came streaming down onto the page like dark water percolating through a stoved ship's side. Gray wrote; "Constant vigilance is the key to survive this War. Tommorow we shall attack, or rather poke the hundred headed Ladon with a twig. ...read more.


One would think we'd have the advantage of the night on our side at least, but no! A generation of young men, to which I belong. must march in daylight like slow approaching targets up hill oblivious to the suicide they are commiting. Faith pushes them, like it pushed inocent Tess Durbeyfield into Alec violent posession. We all shall become less inocent against our will tommorrow" He paused, unable to continue, wiping a bead of nervous sweat from just below the point where his brown hair began to grow on his forehead. Putting his pen down he stood up, knocking over a glass, that still had the traces of dried golden whisky, from the improvised bookshelf that hung low over his bed. The fragile transparent solid cracked as it hit the floor. Gray automatically swore and disposed of the pieces, cutting a finger as he did so. ...read more.


As much as I enjoy a good meal, I don't think that I would take much pleasure in a "victorious" dinner at the cost of half my country. I would rather continue sharing my rations or my favourite walnut cake that Joyce sometime sends me and know I'm having it in the worthy company of my comrades........" Gray swallowed and closed the diary. He lay back suppressing tears of forced resolution. Clutching the book in his hand, he let his meditation sidetrack to images of his wife and home in Edinburgh. As he entered into a reverie, he saw her reading his journal, weeping. He dreamt for an hour, suffering nightmare after nightmare. At eleven thirty, when his batman Watson pulled him out of a macabre dreamt up game of pelmanism that involved parts of the human body, Gray was temporarily relieved. That didn't last long, for as he walked towards the loud speaker, he felt that nothing had prepared him for what he was expected to do. ...read more.

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