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Posts Tagged ‘Short story’


At dawn on the 25th of April, we remember the ANZAC’s who fought so bravely on the shores of Gallipoli. The men who fought for our country, our freedom and our families. As they charged onto the shores of Anzac Cove, 2km north of where they should have landed, hell rained down from above and the surrounding hills for months on end. More Information

Cenotaph in Wellington, New Zealand

“Those heroes that shed their blood

And lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well.”

This story is the work of myself, and whilst based on the ANZAC’s and the battles that they fought, may not be completely factual or correct and is merely an effort to get across what went on in Gallipoli that month.

Wellington Battalion – 6am – Sunday the 25th – 1915

As the cannons boomed throughout the morning sky against the bay as the British, French and Russian soldiers attacked the Turks, we sat on small boats making our way in. We were confident that we would call victory soon after we landed and many of us were un-fazed by the ongoings around us. Some of the men were reading books that they had brought along with them and some were drawing deep breaths from the cigarette that hung from their lips.

There was a chill in the air as the day came upon us and the sun began to rise lazily through the sky, the sound of water lapping up against the side of the boat, brought an ever reminding knowledge that we were on our way to where we would begin our assault.

What could possibly withstand these cannons? Surely their firepower would destroy anything that was in it’s path!

                                                                          – 9am –

As we drew into the bay bullets started to whizz by, if we were lucky, none of them would hit us. We had our packs strapped to our backs and guns at the ready, a steely look of determination in each man’s eyes. My friends, many of the men in my Battalion I had grown up with, we had shared laughs and tears, many memories and our fears. Now here we stand, side by side, tall and proud, fearless  and strong.

The closer we got, the more the bullets seemed to draw near. As I was thinking of my family, one of my soldiers walked towards me, swaying with the ocean waves as he stumbled closer, laden with heavy gear. Before he could open his mouth he dropped to the deck and a spray of blood coated everything around him, we rushed over to him and saw that a bullet had entered into his spine and he had died instantly, without even firing a single shot.

We had to put it at the back of our minds as we were now seconds away from landing, the crack of gunshots filled the air and we were paused, waiting to disembark.

Tension was present among all of us as we looked around as soldiers in ones and two’s were picked off like flies, slumping off the side of the boat or floating, motionless on the water, encapsulated in an everlasting peace. At that point in time they seemed like the unlucky ones, unable to continue on and take part in the unfolding events.

                                                                     – 9.30am –

As the boat crashed upon the sand, we jumped off in unison and tried to make our way up into a covered spot from enemy fire but the bay was to narrow for it and the surrounding terrain was a lot harder to get around than what was expected.

I was nervous now, volleys of bullets rained down on top of us and the ground became littered with bodies as men lay still, sometimes shaking with shock as they bled out, alone. I shouted out to my company and grouped them back together with what also remained of another company whose commanding officer had been killed on shore.

Chaos was all around, the deafening snap of gunshots mixed with the screams of men, outboard motors humming in the background and the cannon shots that were blasting into the walls, some 60km’s away. Men were running everywhere, there was no direction and no escape. The Turks were buried up in the hills above that overlooked the bay and shot constant rounds off into us, while also seemingly out of reach.

The Australians that had landed earlier were starting to take the crest, I still don’t know how they managed that and the machine-gun that was laying into the troops was silenced but the noise carried on in my head for long after. The shock from this ordeal nearly made me lose my mind there and then, for months we had been stuck in the deserts of Egypt, training and eager to get out into battle, to defend our countries and to take part in this new adventure. But nothing could have prepared us for this. Death hung like a shadow, creeping up silently and quickly taking soldiers from around us and pulling them into Mother Earth’s embrace.

It was pointless trying to control what was going on around me, men were scattered throughout the knee high scrub that was as much as a problem as the Turkish troops we were facing.

Up ahead we saw a hill that was of great importance, it is what we had planned on taking over when we had moved up over the plains but because we were dropped near the base of the Highlands it was a much more difficult effort to accomplish that task. The hill was dubbed ‘Baby 700’ and would allow us to take control of Chunuk Bair.

                                                                      – 6pm –

The sun was beginning to fall and the thunk of pick-axe’s reverberated around, the sweat, blood and tears of each soldier running down the handle into the cold, hard earth.

The wounded were being carted off , too many too see and many dying alone in the silence whilst waiting to see a medic. The dead numbered in the hundreds, with the injured at a much higher toll. Whenever I looked into another soldiers eyes, I could see a place void of any hope, empty of feeling and dark red with anger. Many a friend had been lost in the battle, people they once knew, now still, lain among the dirt.

The Otago battalion were keeping watch and holding the lines as we dug into the unforgiving earth that would more than likely claim our bodies. We were different now, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is but we are not who we used to be, or ever will be once again.

To be continued…

(Writing now)

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I feel like writing a short story since I can’t ride at the moment, will write a couple of chapters at a time and see how long I can draw it out for. Wish me luck as my hope is to get this Freshly Pressed.

Chapter 1:

The morning sun is starting to rise over the distant hills, far-away trees illuminated by the warm glow. The sky is painted in a deep blue, small whiffs of clouds hovering overhead and birds of all shapes and sizes fly above, emitting their morning call.

A deep rumble cuts through the crisp air, the monotonous bah-bah-bah from the powerful engine, hanging like the early morning fog around the bike, steam rises from the race-can, giving the impression of a dragon, ready to decimate it’s foes. The matte black fairings hug the bike and the sunrise gleams in the mirrored visor of the rider who sits atop the tuned beast.

He clicks it down into gear and with a twist of the throttle, the bike launches into the distance, rear tyre spinning with a cloud of smoke and drifting out onto the cold tarmac beneath the rubber. The roar from the engine penetrates the picturesque scene and echoes throughout the hills. The wind pushes against the rider and as he pushes on the bars going into corners, the bike settles down and grips the road with what seems like an unbreakable bond, his knee scrapes the road as the bike pivots through the canyon. Coming up to a tight corner, he gradually pulls on the front brake, getting harder and harder and the weight lifts from the rear and the front of the bike loads up as he approaches the corner, lifting off the front brake he locks his leg into the tank and leans out, feathering the throttle and kicking it down gear by gear, maintaining traction little by little.

He is getting faster and faster as the bike and him become one, corner after corner and the constant rise and fall of the engine revs. It seems like nothing can stop him now, moving like a bat out of hell he tears through the canyon, alone and alive he is on fire, with not a worry in the world. With a glance in the mirror he notices the flash of a headlight, quickly gaining on him, he looks back to the road in front of him and picks up his pace, barely braking into corners, he looks to carry as much speed as he can through each corner. The rear tyre starts to break free on the corners from the enormous amount of stress being placed on the tyre, as this happens he weights the outside peg and drifts it around each corner, but yet, he can still not lose this light behind him. The engine is screaming out in ecstasy as he pushes it harder and harder, as he comes up the a tight decreasing radius corner he pulls hard on the brakes and drops off his speed, kicking down a few gears and breaking the rear tyre loose and drops once again into the corner.

The light behind him comes up beside him like a shadow into light and moves around the outside of him, they are almost touching as they scrape through the corner and into the next one,  the shadow rider pulls ahead of him and blocks off his line into the next corner, forcing him to brake early and adjust his line, bewildered by this mysterious rider that has just overtaken him. He follows the rider through the next corner, slowly losing ground as he tries to push harder and harder, riding at 100% of his ability to try to match the other rider.

As he comes into the corner before the one way bridge he looks to go around the outside of the other rider, dropping in later than his competition, pegs scraping the ground in a flash of sparks, it is now that he realises that he won’t make this corner and tries to turn even tighter, much of his body is now close to the ground that is sweeping by, at what seems like the speed of light. His peg digs into the road and before he can realise, the bike digs down and flicks him off.

Tumbling through the air like a rag-doll with the bike following him like a dog and his master. The ground seems so far away now and he is hoping to land on something soft, though in this canyon, it is unlikely that he will find anything resembling soft. He falls back down the the ground and just before he hits, he comes into contacts with the branches of a nearby tree, limbs flailing he now falls to the ground with a loud thud and the crumpling of bones throughout his body, he lies there alone yet alive, on fire with the rise and fall of his chest as he loses conciousness.

The other rider notices he has come off and returns as soon as possible, he sees the bike strewn across the road like an abstract painting and hears the muffled moans of the rider he passed earlier. He pulls out his cellphone and tries to call an ambulance but as he goes to dial he realises that there is no reception this far into the canyon, with no help to arrive he removes his helmet and makes his way down the bank to where the body lies, twisted and beaten, alone but still alive…just.

 

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