Is this what hell is?
Hell fires burn all around me, and yet in contrast the bitter, biting cold separates me from my fingers and my toes.
Even my thoughts are lost in a frozen fog.
This used to be my beloved home town of Stalingrad which sits shattered like my dreams for the future, once beautiful but now lost in a fiery cloud of dust and rubble.
Another day of fighting in this endless, bitter war.
Like yet another unwelcome visitor the cold weather came to visit and will not leave.
Gone forever, in an instant.
The best memories of my childhood are dissolved in the puddle of blood, six feet away from me, where the broken remains of my best friend now lie.
My body is breaking down. I can no longer stand. I am exhausted.
I sit and huddle in these ruins which were once someone's home.
But sleep will not come to me in the midst of this nightmare and a sudden scurrying noise startles me to my antagonising feet.
A vile squatter has made these ruins his new home and is scavenging for food in the corner.
I watch him. He feels no pain. Even better, he doesn't know to fear the possibility of pain.
In his blissful existence he doesn't even understand what is going on.
This rat that scavenges in this savaged wasteland isn't scared, not even of his enemy. He does not live in fear.
He appears unaffected by the freezing cold and bitterness which cause so much suffering for me.
While my starvation slowly destroys me from within, he feasts with delight on those that were my closest comrades.
While I battle with disease and illness he has no concern about the germs which riddle his feast.
Already taken down by one enemy, my comrades are an easy meal which he doesn't even have to hunt for.
Filth is his natural home, his paradise, a rodent's paradise.
My wasteland is his playground.
by © Cillian Webster (0)
St Columbanus' College, Bangor
Competition - War Of Words
Copyright remains with the author.