She was never sure just what planets converged that they might meet. In all the horror of the mud, the blood and cries of pain, he smiled at her and said “Water, please. And I’ll marry you for your generosity.”
Like the others, he’d been prodded out of the trenches, the burrows where men ate, slept, wept, and kept on. “Over the top, m. . .” The sergeant never finished the sentence as shell fragment pierced his neck.
And over they went. Too many each time meeting the Messiah. Hung up on barbed wire. Picked off by snipers. Hit with artillery. Gains measured in inches, in feet. A whole generation lost to the folly and romantic ideals of war.
“Mine’s the folly,” she thought. Working in a nursing station not far from the front, she saw the limits men’s bodies could be put to. She learned not to gag, not to show any negative emotion, no matter how badly wounded, not matter how infected the limb, no matter which limbs had been lost.
The thirsty man, shot in the tendon, would recover, but always with a limp. He felt himself lucky.
She very carefully applied poultices to his wound, pulling out the poisons that cost men mightily. Peroxide to stop new infections.
She was prickly, sharp like nettles, but he was sure he could intenerate her. After all, he had already proposed.
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle 66, June 22, 2015
@ Phylor, 2015