The shells whistled overhead and exploded behind the line, throwing shrapnel and mud high into the air. Jenson clutched at his helmet with one hand, his gun with the other, and ducked down, throwing himself hard against the trench wall as hot metal and wet glistening mud rained down.
“This is a bloody farce,” he shouted to his companion.
“You said it, sir,” the younger man replied. His helmet had slipped down over his eyes – they hadn’t been able to find one that fitted him properly – and he tilted his head back to see.
“They must’ve signed it by now,” Jenson continued. “Why in seven hells are we still trying to kill each other?!”
“They’re the ones shelling us,” the younger man said. He broke into a grin, his teeth shockingly white against the mud and blood covering his face. He gestured to a nearby ladder. “Fancy popping over to ask them?”
Jenson leaned against the trench wall and shook his head, laughing despite his anger. “Touché, Harris. Still, at least we’ll know quick enough when they get the news.”
Another shell exploded behind the line.
“If we’re lucky enough to live that long, sir,” Harris replied quietly.
The two men looked at each other, smiles gone. Jenson patted his young colleague on the shoulder, and, their breath regained, they continued along the trench to their positions.
(Author’s Note: The weather broke, and it’s now cool enough for my brain to work again! This week, the Three Word Wednesday prompts are Farce, Glistening and Lucky, and since I’m currently watching a documentary about the last day of WW1 it seemed a suitable subject.)