Scorching hot winds whistled through the unforgiving and barren desert. All seemed silent and calm. A lizard dug itself into the cool sand. It seemed like a peaceful scene apart from the long lines of trenches dug into the sand. There were two sets of trenches. The men in the East trench were speaking a strange language while the men in the West trench were speaking English. This was the trench that Jack was in.
Jack is twenty-one and is in the Australian army. The year is 1916 and Australian Forces have invaded the Middle East, trying to stop the advancing Turkish forces. The Australian army has been in the same trench for six months, holding them back.
It is a fine day. Not too hot and not too cold. It is noon and Jack and his mate Roger are eating lunch. All meals are tinned food since they were on the front line.
"Nice day for a war", said Roger.
"Isn't it just", agreed Jack.
"We might get a few atta"- Roger was cut short as an explosion shook the ground beneath them. A moment later they were showered with dirt and sand.
Jack grabbed his rifle and helmet and ran down the trench in the direction of the explosion, Roger doing the same. Jack was the first to arrive, seeing that part of the trench wall had collapsed. He also realized that the enemy could easily spot him if he went over to that part of the trench. He realized that there was someone in the rubble.
At that moment Roger arrived and Jack pointed to the arm sticking out of the rubble. Immediately they both knew that the man had to be saved.
"Cover me", Roger said with a hint of urgency.
Jack lifted his rifle above the trench wall and then the top half of his body. He loaded the rifle and aimed at the enemy trench. At that moment, an enemy soldier jumped up from his position with his rifle aimed at Roger.
Jack pulled the trigger on his rifle and suddenly there was a load crack like a whip. Moments later the air was filled with smoke and Jack could see the enemy soldier fall.
Seeing this, the Australian machine gunner on duty aimed his rifle at the enemy's trench.
"I'll take it from here, mate", he said.
Jack ducked back down into the trench and saw Roger standing over a dirty looking soldier. The soldier was not hurt and he was thanking Roger for his bravery.
The machine gunner started to fire. Roger looked at him and saw he was shooting from side to side in a sweeping motion. He immediately knew that the enemy was trying to invade their trench.
"We're being attacked!" Roger shouted while grabbing his rifle. Jack already had his rifle in his hands.
Both Jack and Roger lifted themselves above the trench wall and aimed their rifles. What they saw was fifty enemy soldiers running towards them with guns.
Jack reached down to his belt and pulled off a grenade. He pulled the pin and threw it toward the mass of enemy soldiers. Five seconds later there was a load blast and a few screams. The soldiers who were near the explosion seemed to disappear or fly up into the air. There were about seven enemy soldiers who were affected by the blast.
Jack saw one of the enemy soldiers fire at the machine gunner. That was when the sound of the machine gun stopped.
Jack knew without looking that the machine gunner had been killed. Jack jumped back into the trench and ran to the machine gun. He pulled the machine gunner away from it and realized that he had the gunner's blood on his hands.
Jack grabbed the machine gun and started firing in a sweeping motion. At that time, there only seemed to be twenty enemy soldiers left. Jack soon took care of those before they could invade the trench.
As the last of the soldiers fell Jack stopped firing. He jumped down from the trench wall and grabbed his rifle. Jack found himself panting, even though he hadn't even run a metre.
Roger walked over to him and looked at the dead gunner's body.
"What do we do with the body?" he asked puzzled.
"I suppose the medic will come down the line and pick up the gunners body"
"We better go back to our position", said Roger.
Jack and Roger made their way back down the trench the way they had come and found the remains of their lunch tins in the dirt.
Jack slumped down into the place where he usually sat and took off his helmet. Roger pulled out a deck of cards and they played poker until dark, when they went to sleep.
Jack awoke to a very hot sun beating down on him. He lay there with his eyes closed, thinking about what might become of him and Roger.
At that moment an official looking soldier jogged into their part of the trench, while Jack sat up and woke Roger.
"You are to report to the fire trench immediately, you're going over the top", said the official looking soldier.
Jack and Roger both looked at each other at the same time, the faces expressionless. Roger grabbed his rifle and helmet and stood up.
"Let's do this then", he said and he set off down the trench, towards the fire trench.
"Wait up!" Jack called, grabbing his rifle and helmet and running after Roger.
Roger and Jack made their way to the fire trench where soldiers were fixing their bayonets to the rifles and some even writing letters. There were about fifty of them, stretching down the trench.
Jack fixed his bayonet to his rifle while Roger did the same. The order was given to stand against the trench wall and wait for the whistle to blow, so that they could run over the top.
Jack looked at Roger, who was silently saying a prayer. Roger looked really scared. Jack couldn't blame him, he too was really scared.
Jack loaded hi rifle and waited. The trench was dead quiet. Suddenly the whistle blew and Jack lifted himself above the trench wall and started running. Bullets started to whiz past his head and he could hear at least three machine guns firing. Roger was a little bit in front of Jack. Suddenly Jack saw Rogers's body shudder, and then fall. Moments later Jack felt a sharp pain in his upper torso....