This was based off a prompt that I brought in for my class. I was originally going to do it so that there would be three prompts, so nature, then metal, and finally joining the two together. However, there wasn’t time, so I only gave them the final prompt to do. My first thoughts was that the scenario was going to be similar to the one in Hybrid, where a virus makes machines merge with human flesh. However, I thought that my current idea would be a lot better, so here it is. I hope you enjoy!
One day a troupe of men came marching through a forest. Despite being hungry, exhausted, battle-scarred, not one lingered or fell behind. Their feet seemed heavy, as if they were being held down by the sins of war, by the numerous dead, and their arms hung low, as if they were finally leading the children they hadn’t been able to save to safety.
They had seen horrors, these men.
And they had learnt, through the cruel experience of war, that these horrors would continue, regardless if they were there or not. The mutilations. The destruction. The look of death in the eyes of those still alive. This was the reason that the men couldn’t sleep easily at night. Well pressed uniforms contrasted against blood crusted hair, with mud under bitten fingernails, with filthy rags covering many wounds. They wore bandages on their heads to show that the main cause of their suffering was in their minds, but they would be regarded as heroes by loved ones and strangers nonetheless. They were on leave.
They moved quickly and clumsily, filled with enough visions of the future to dull and warp their present. They were careless and on leave, and not yet on safe soil. They were wounded from injuries that couldn’t be fixed, would never heal. However, all the other side saw were enemy soldiers, and their response was customary of those at war.
The shells ripped through the trees, ripped through the dazed men. Shrapnel flew like arrows in every direction, plunging into human flesh, plunging into the trees, plunging into the birds that had flown too low. The merging of the natural and metal to make strange creatures, twisted into awful shapes. Metal dust covered the green foliage, and glittered in the shining blood of the fallen and relieved.
I quite liked this one. I did find it quite difficult to do, despite having chosen it, but once I’d decided on an idea it was a lot easier, as I just went with the flow, and made only minor changes as I went along. Normally when typing a piece up I end up making a lot of changes, but I found that this wasn’t the case with this one. I like the imagery, such as the ‘metal dust’ and ‘shining blood’, and also the fact that I only linked nature and metal right at the end. I thought that the ending gave a real sense of pathos, by the fact that they’re so relieved that their suffering has ended.