THE ROAD WAS A LONG WAY HOME
Captain Johan Smith didn't know it at the time, but his luck had run out...
He had been on duty for more than forty-eight hours. His eyes were gritty, his temper short, and his men skittered around him like rodents on the last day of the fair, desperate for food before the smorgasbord was all gone.
He focused through his spy-glass, his mind on the job, his only thoughts on getting them through the next few hours until reinforcements could reach them.
The thunder of artillery rung through his ears when a shell landed near them, spraying rocks and dirt in every direction; they coughed, gasping for air as they dove for cover.
Captain Johan just stood still, looking out over the horizon, "42 degrees, South, Southwest," he barked out the order. And a mortar shot past his ear with a boom, landing in the opposite field.
Colonel Jonathan Smith scanned the battlefield, looking for his brother, who had been stationed here.
He didn't think that he would ever forget the sight that greeted him with the morning sun as long as he lived.
Bodies littered the ground like discarded cigarette butts, torn into bloody gore and scattered about.
"Dismount and lay them out as best as you can for burial."
"Yes, Sir." The company got off their horses, and the rest of the men behind fell in, scouring the battlefield for the living and the dead, though they didn't find any still living.
He dropped to the mud beside his brother’s corpse. Half the torso was missing, and he still clenched his spyglass, hat still on his head. Colonel Jonathan pulled his brother Johan to him as rain poured over them, masking the tears running down his face from his men.