Tag Archive for: war

Was It Plato?

by Avery Hunter


Caked in No-Man’s-Land mud, ears still ringing from the explosion that took my leg—I haven’t yet realised its gone, there’s just a dull throb where it used to be—I blink shit from my eyes.

Jimmy lies next to me, a smile on his face. “It’s over, Lance,” he says, clear as day. “Isn’t the end of war beautiful?”

A mortar lands close by. We get showered in dirt again. “What’re ya talking about, y’dumbfuck?”

I look over. He’s long gone; his brains are seeping into the mud.

“Only the dead have seen the end of war,” he whispers.


Avery Hunter

Avery Hunter invented writing, the quokka (but not its propensity for sacrificing its young to predators), and mudguards for bicycles (after an unfortunate incident one muddy Monday morning). Now they teach tarantulas how to make a perfect mimosa.

The Fog of War

by Warren Benedetto


Jameson surveyed the battle-scarred landscape. Shadows rose from the mud, moving through the fog obscuring the carnage. The sharp smell of cordite hung in the air. Jameson’s ears were numb—the only sound was the agonising wail of an injured soldier on the ground beneath him. Shrapnel had shredded the man’s face; his stomach was a gurgling pile of entrails. Jameson read the patch on the man’s blood-soaked uniform. The name was familiar: T. Jameson.

His own.

Damn it, Jameson thought, recalling the whistling of the incoming mortar. Direct hit.

He sighed, then joined the other shadows in the fog.


Warren Benedetto

Warren Benedetto writes short fiction about horrible people doing horrible things. He has a Master’s degree in Film/TV Writing from USC. He is also the developer of StayFocusd, the world’s most popular anti-procrastination app for writers. He built it while procrastinating. For more information, visit www.warrenbenedetto.com, and follow @warrenbenedetto on Twitter.

The Skittering

by Stephen Herczeg


Insects. After decades of Hollywood telling us that aliens were little green men, they finally arrived. And they were insects. Bigger than rhinos. Tougher than cockroaches. And hungry.

The first wave hit New York. Ripping apart people like they were dolls. We deployed within hours. Thousands swarmed the streets; the sound of skittering feet was everywhere. Filling my mind.

Regular bullets were no good, only armour piercing rounds.

Suddenly, the skittering stopped. They disappeared. Leaving only silence.

And waiting. For hours.

Then the skittering started again.

I see one. Fire. Nothing.

The bullets don’t work. They’ve changed.

God save us.


Stephen Herczeg

Stephen Herczeg is an IT Geek from Canberra, Australia, between work, family, and Taekwondo training, has over one hundred published stories, and somehow manages to write thousands of words a week. His mottos are: “Sleep is for the weak”, and “Just finish it”. 

Thank You for Your Service

by Steven Lord


The crosshairs rest just above the target’s spine.

Cold zero.

That’s what we call these shots. No chance to learn the pull of the rifling, or the lie of the scope.

The flag flutters slightly in the wind. I adjust my aim half a degree left.

I’ve scored seven kills this way in Afghan. A lifetime of war, Medal of Honor to show for it.

I exhale halfway out, gently squeeze the trigger.

You thanked me for my service, then sent me out again. And again. No more.

I turn and walk away as the crowd’s cheers turn to screams.


Steven Lord

Steven Lord is a fantasy and sci-fi author from the UK. After spending 16 years travelling the world, he has settled down a bit, taking advantage of the change of pace to follow a long-held ambition to write fiction. His influences include Neal Stephenson, Stephen King and Iain M. Banks.


by Pauline Yates


Why’d you bring me home, Jimmy? Couldn’t hack a third tour of duty? The war ain’t over. You and me, we make the best team. But you’re a coward, ain’t ya, Jimmy? Shit, if it wasn’t for me, you’d be rotting in a body bag.

Is this how you repay me? Drag me into fucking therapy, get drugs to stop our nightmares? I don’t want them to stop. They keep us wired and fired, Jimmy. Wired and fired. Get that into your chicken head.

The war ain’t over, Jimmy. It will never be over. Not while I’m in your head.


Pauline Yates

Queensland writer, Pauline Yates, loves exploring the dark side of humanity through her stories. She has published works with Metaphorosis, Aurealis, Redwood Press, plus others, and is the winner of the 2020 AHWA short story competition. Links: paulineyates.com.

Battle of the Bands

by N.E. Rule


On her patio, Linda’s jaw clenches in determination as she starts her classical music. Exactly one minute later, punk rock blasts back at her from her enemy’s yard.

She storms onto his deck. His words strike first from his hot tub. “Dumb bitch, stealing my batteries is the best you got? Here’s a shocker, I got a cord.” He nods to the boombox plugged into an exterior outlet.

Linda smiles. “I hoped so. Here’s another shocker.” She tips the boombox into the water. His music stops dead. Wide eyes slip below the surface as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture hits a crescendo.


N.E. Rule

N.E. Rule attended Toronto’s Ryerson University for both creative writing and business communications. Her writing portfolio includes software specs, marketing copy, and training materials, however, her passion is fiction. The characters in her head are getting louder and refuse to wait for her spare time to come out and play.

My Body

by Marion Lougheed


I float above the body that used to be mine, imagining I will break free if only I tug hard enough. Our corpses blanket the field, our blood already drying. Our enemy has slain us all.

“Help me!” I call, but I am voiceless. The survivors straggle up the hill. A chill replaces the heat of battle.

An enemy soldier passes close enough for me to touch with my ghostly fingers. He shivers and a spasm shoots through him. He falls. My ethereal grip sinks into his warmth, then I am pushing his essence aside.

This body is mine now.


Marion Lougheed

Marion Lougheed is a writer, editor, and cultural anthropologist whose words have been published in print and online by Gypsum Sound Tales, The League of Canadian Poets, and The Capra Review, among others.  She grew up in four countries and currently lives in Canada. Twitter: @MarionLougheed


Private Edad

by John Lane


Before the commencement of Operation Overlord, the newest soldier of First Infantry Division composed a letter, an effort to reassure his mother. She feared losing him to a bullet like her father during the Great War.

In writing, Private Joseph Edad promised to see her again.

Then, on D-Day, as he marched up Omaha Beach, several rounds of ammo from a German’s MG-42 drilled into his neck. The soldier was the first to fall.

For his last seconds of life, he never thought about his fellow soldiers silencing the German gunners.

He only hoped he didn’t make his mother angry.


John Lane

John Lane’s fiction has appeared in Black Hare Press, Ghost Orchid Press, Black Ink Fiction, Dark Dossier Magazine, Six Sentences, The Disappointed Housewife and other venues. In 2020, John’s story, “Dimension Traveler,” tied for Rejected Manuscripts’ third most voted entry out of 130 stories. 

Army and National Guard veteran.


Abraham and Isaac

by James Rumpel


Daddy, can I have a gun?” asked little Isaac. “I can shoot the monsters just as well as Jimmy.”

“I’m sure you could, son. But you have a much more important job to do. The government says this is the best way to defeat the invaders. We have to slow them down. Otherwise, they are too fast and we wouldn’t have time to get our shots off.”

“Okay, but I want a gun next time.”

Abraham smiled, though he felt no joy. “Sure, you can have a gun next time. Now, go sit on the rock and close your eyes.”


James Rumpel

James Rumpel is a retired math teacher who enjoys spending some of his free time trying to turn some of the odd ideas in brain into stories. 


Phoenix Fighters

by Dawn DeBraal


Thousands of them, dead. Commander Helmet observed ravaged bodies as far as his eyes could see. Total devastation. His exhausted men sat, welcoming the reprieve while fresh recruits took up the grave detail. The men dug trenches, throwing dead bodies into them, while great fires rose, hot enough to burn the corpses.

A scream in the night. Helmet mounted his steed, riding out onto the battlefield. Even though his men had annihilated the enemy, the dead were coming back to life.

Soldiers screamed, running off. Mesmerised, Helmet watched the jerky movements of the newly risen, willing to do battle again.


Dawn DeBraal

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, two little dogs, and a cat. She has discovered that her love of telling a good story can be written.  She has published over 200 stories in many online magazines and anthologies. Falling Star Magazine’s 2019 Pushcart Nominee.