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Original Writing - Prose: A sharp rap on the door brought Herbert out of his daydream.

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Original Writing A sharp rap on the door brought Herbert out of his daydream. "Come on," Frank shouted at the door, impatient to be off, "We've got to get down to the signing up post- there's already a huge crowd!" Herbert sat up straight; he had forgotten all about it. He grabbed his cap and boots on his way to the door where Frank and William, the twins from next door-but-one, were waiting. He flung open the door and leaned against the door frame to put his boots on. Frank was itching to get moving: he'd been waiting far too long to join the army (in his eyes, not his Ma's), all his older brothers had joined up long before. William had been apprehensive at first, but he was just as excited now about the war as everyone else. Out of the Hamlet where they lived they ran, stopping only to pinch apples from Farmer Gregory's orchard. They had not taken the short cut to the village since they were children: after they got older their mothers would scold them greatly for getting dirty after scrambling up the steep path home using that route so they took the road home instead after a time. ...read more.


Frank's brow crinkled in pain and he moaned softly: a gaping wound marred his side. Herbert and Charlie sat by him, the bed amid many others. As Herbert looked around, he noticed a particular young man no older than his nephew, bleeding profusely. A violent convulsion shook the young soldier's body and all movement stopped. Herbert shuddered and turned away, only to be faced with more death, pain and ruin. Struggling to contain his anguish he closed his eyes and breathed slowly. "How are you feeling?" Charlie asked, regretting it even before the words had escaped his lips. "What a question...better for you two being here with me; I wouldn't want to end up all alone like that old chap there!" Frank said, waving his wand to the adjacent bed and chuckling. His eyes crinkled up in pain and he grunted. A nurse almost dead with fatigue came to the bed and checked the wound. She quickly changed the dressing. "It'll do," she stated and continued on her rounds. ...read more.


"Such beauty, such tranquillity; scarred forever and for what? If I could turn back the clock four years I would be happy, untroubled. I would be sitting by the hearth with Flora's cat curled up in my lap," Herbert whispered top himself. With a heavy heart he turned his back on the fields of France and boarded the train. The train was busy, melancholy men bubbling over with pretence of happiness and glory. Herbert withdrew into himself, trying to collect his thoughts. In his letters home he had told so many lies. Guilt spilled out of him as tears, silent and flowing freely. Frank had been so positive about the war, but his life had been ended horrifically by the one thing he'd fantasised about. Herbert thought of William, willing to give up his own sanity for the ties with him and his twin brother. Herbert smiled as he thought of his beloved friends but cringed as he remembered that William had been shot for cowardice- he had lost his mind because of the constant shelling. "Come on Herbert," Charlie said, sitting down beside him, "It's over now; we can breathe a sigh of relief." Herbert turned to him, cheeks streaked with tears, and smiled. ...read more.

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