Captain Kirkham sat next to the private listening to the distant gunners in the waning daylight. The rain had let up and he felt the need to step away from the men a moment. He pulled out a creased photo of his lady and rubbed it between his fingers a minute.
He smoked the fag down to the ashes, just thinking of Sweet Ida with her rosy cheeks and ample bottom. He liked to slap her buns and give them a good squeeze. “Mmm, darling that must be jelly cause jam don’t shake like that.”
If he ever got home he’d make her his for all time. They’d have a couple of little kiddies, maybe he’d buy a little farm. At that last thought, he smiled. He, who’d never been on a horse before the war, he with a farm. What a notion.
A runner brought him the marching orders, and Captain Kirkham stood, heart faltering in his chest. This was it. All of his training in leadership, all of his fears realized. He was to lead a charge at the opposing trenche. Sure , he’d directed a few from the camp headquarters, but they didn’t have enough officers to spare. Captain folded the paper up and gestured to Fleming.
“Get your rifle in order.”
His left foot ached and sang for his attention, but Kirkham had to ignore it now. If he lived, maybe he could get a clean pair of socks or see the medics. He called the men to attention.
“Gentlemen! Now’s the time not for words but for swords, guns, for blood and for tears! Now, draw your weapons and go!”