Sunday, 21 April 2013

Wednesday Blog Hop - Heading Home


This story is part of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop,
a wonderful weekly hop created by Nicole and Carrie to
stretch those creative muscles. Along with their co-hosts Tena and Leanne each week they provide the writing prompts for you to create what you can.

The rules are simple:
  • there is one photo and five words, all of which must be incorporated
  • there is a maximum limit of 500 words
  • you have until the following Tuesday to write your post and link up to one of the hosts
  • have fun!


This weeks picture:

This weeks words:        Threat, vitamins, summer, quarry, eating

 Heading Home

Greg kept his eyes on the ground in front of him, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. The threat was gone, dealt with. All that remained was the long trudge back to base.
Getting in and out of the enemy camp had been the easy part, he knew the toughest test was going to be getting back. It had taken less than a day to get there in the jeep, charging as fast as it would go. It was still where he'd left it, the charge set and ticking away now. It was the only dispensable thing big enough to carry the weapon, and he hadn't hesitated to volunteer for the mission. A three day walk to get back to base in the searing heat was a small price to pay for the victory. And if he didn't make it … Well, he'd be remembered.
The sun beat down making him sweat, but he rationed his water well, not giving in to the overwhelming temptation to drain his canteen. He thought summers at home had been bad, they were nothing compared to this. He stopped only when necessary, to catch a couple of hours of sleep before sunrise. He was careful with his food too, eating on the move, making it last as long as he could.
He'd broken through the physical pain barrier sometime the day before, and now the battle lay in his mind. Staring at the horizon for too long he began to see all kinds of things, the haze and the heat playing tricks on his sight. The only break in the barren scenery had been an abandoned quarry on the first day. He tried a more inverted approach to deal with it, trying to remember the advice given by the medics. Letting his mind wonder he popped one of his vitamins in his mouth, savouring the sensation of eating something.
He was determined to get back, in three more weeks he'd be going home, he'd be seeing his wife and little girl. He could see in his mind the welcome he and the boys would get as they walked into town, a heroes welcome. As he opened his eyes he could see them now, lining the streets, waving their flags. They were cheering and shouting their names, his chest swelled with pride. If he reached out his arm he was sure he could shake hands with some of them as he passed. Just as he held up his hand an explosion brought him out of his daydream. He turned around and saw the plumes of smoke and fire rising to meet the sky.
He smiled to himself, knowing the mission was a success. He'd done his job. Turning again, he carried on walking, one foot in front of the other.

Word count: 469



  1. I LOVED this! My father and 4 of his brothers served together in WWII and I never talked to any of them about what they went through. I can imagine they felt some of these same things. You've created a great arc, showing the pain and the admiration. Well done!

  2. Wow! This was so good, Heather. I loved how you put me as the reader both in the environment and in the soldier's mind. I felt every step, the heat, the thirst, the sensation of the vitamin, the desire of home, the honor of the mission, all of it. Also, the way you wrote it is very poetic and has the perfect weight of words and cadence... it's intense (in a good way!)

    Well done!