Not quiet enough on the Western front.

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The enemy of man

It had been a sunny day, despite the constant cordite smog. But the sun had nearly set now, and long shadows were cast.

'So tell me Sid mate, what were you running from?' Queried Jenkins. Sidney looked up from his bowl of stirred up rations, and let off a slimy grin. 'It was the teeth, that was nearly the only bit you could see, they only shone when it was about to kill. Everything else was... no... size? No that is wrong. No... uhh... Shapes? It had no shapes! We were digging. Always digging. We dig up a monster!'

'Well it's gone now mate.'

As if in reply, a short scream sounded from the former German trench. Kind of like a coyote and a fox, but more like an ape attempting to mimic the two. Immediately, Sid ran down the trench. 'It hungers once more! Nooooo...' The rest was some gibbering and German combined. Sid had left him there.

Confident with poking his head over the top of the trench now, Jenkins poke his head up as if he was answering the door instead of fighting a war. He was horrified by what he saw.

It was black, that was the first thing he saw, it was so low to the ground that he at first thought it was a long twilight shadow. But it was moving, He could make out powerful muscles underneath skin, or scales, or whatever it was, twisting and roping in strange ways that made him feel nauseous again. He stood there, frozen on the spot. His hand reaching achingly slowly for the Webley he had obtained from his C.O.

All of a sudden, he saw the teeth. Just as Sid had said. Pure white.

It hadn't seen him, or seen Sid running, thought Jenkins, surprisingly cool. The instant he saw those teeth, it was like a spell had been broken. He raised his weapon in an instant... Crack!-Crack!... Crack!

He had fired three shots, the first two in quick succession, and was pretty sure he had hit it both times . The Webley was a new weapon to his hands, and the recoil surprised him. He was pretty sure his third shot missed, because faster than he could even swivel the revolver, it had kind of bunched up, like it was hardly using any of its muscles before, and had just kicked in to complete action. It was insane how fast this thing could move and change direction. As if no matter how much energy it put into stopping, it could put even more into moving off again. This thing was immensely strong, that much was clear. He definitely needed more than a handgun to kill it. In an instant, he had ducked down to his rifle, grabbed it and shot back up, breathing hard from fear now. He looked down the sights with wide eyes at... Nothing. There was nothing there anymore. It must have moved at least 100 feet in 2 seconds, to the nearest cover, which was further down the trench...

Another scream filled the air. It was definitely Sidney.

Jenkins sighed, and slumped down into the mud. the rifle held across his torso in an almost defensive fashion. It was fully dark now, and he was truly alone.

Jenkins waited.

This time, all he saw was the teeth. It was moving ponderously, somehow seeming to fill up parts of the trench, sliding, yet rolling simultaneously.

'You are a disgusting bastard aren't you?' He stated, unconcerned at what the future held. The monster almost seemed to grin horribly in response. He raised his weapon, the thing seemed to know what that meant, as it suddenly bunched up again, and rushed towards him. Jenkins couldn't even let off a single shot in time. As it got close, time seemed to slow. He was, once again, totally calm.

He observed it, closer than ever before. All he saw were the teeth. Kind of like what his dad bought up one time when he dragged him along on one of his deep sea fishing trips. His dad had told him the teeth were to stop fish from escaping its mouth, but Jenkins knew better.

He really missed his father.

He thought of Lauren too. Of why he didn't try harder. Yes, she would probably cry when the letter arrived at his empty house. She knew what that letter meant. Maybe she would think of why she didn't try harder too, and this thought comforted him somewhat.

The creature was nearly on him now. This was it.

He saw the creature's jaws open impossibly wide for any animal. He shut his eyes.

Nothing

Mysteriously, it had stopped right in front of him, gaping idiotically at him. There was seemingly nothing at all bejind those jaws. But it would have been too dark to see anyway.

Then Jenkins heard the old buzzing noise again. It had been imminent shelling that had stopped it in its tracks. He could tell from the noise it made that it was directly above him, if he didn't move, he would most likely be seriously hurt. More likely than not killed. The creature turned, flexed.

BANG

It was gone. A direct hit.

Smatterings of black flesh and ichor steamed in the darkness. His first thought was 'Victory!!'

It was also his second last thought. He looked skywards, smiling as the buzzing vibrated the air around him in a destructive fervor. He thought. 'War. The true enemy of man!'


THE END

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