The metal tip dove into my chest, driving into my bone. I could hear the cracking of resistance, the fractures, ultimately the heavy thud of inertia fading to none. I was thrown to my back by the force of the impact.
The ground was unevenly padded earth, with patches of vegetation sprouting from it. A field shaped by soldiers boots. Lumpy and cold, just begining to reek.
There I laid.
The pain was visceral, it shot into my eyes, my mouth, my ears, my entire self was flooded by it. All thoughts overwhelmed, all regrets overshadowed. My family gone, my daughter, my wife. Only pain in its greatest.
Blood was pouring from the deep ravine carved by the steel-tipped arrow, still buried in my chest. A lethal wound. I was gasping, searching for a breath, desperately. The blood was pooling in my lungs, it was spewing from my mouth. I hyperventilated.
Each breath gurgled.
I could hear infantry coming from behind, the solemn rattle of metal plates clattering, faded footsteps aproaching. A mass of men coming closer. The second wave was coming. Maybe they would get through, unlike us. And victory might be earned.
Feet were landing around me, feet of men preparing for death. Their eyes riveted to the line ahead. They gave no attention to me, no shock came in that. I would have given none to them. To them, I was just a reminder of the line waiting ahead, the coming bloodshed. The tears, the fear, the murder. To be a soldier is to live in the present. They remained focused.
The time had come.
A charge was called. A roar expanded from the mass of men. And the feet of men trampled me into slumber.