Three Things Challenge #779 – Lest We Forget

Welcome to the 3TC hosted by Pensitivity101.
Click HERE for the rules and to play along.

Image source: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images/File

World War I veterans (from left) Henry Allingham, Harry Patch, and Bill Stone, all over 100 years old, gathered for Armistice Day commemorations in London in November 2008.

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

Flash Fiction: Synapse Collapse

Image credit:

My dad said I would see some terrible sights if I became a paramedic. He should know he used to drive ambulances in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. And he was right. The things I saw, the things that can happen to the human body, are beyond words. Beyond comprehension.

The carnage is timeless but not the changes in people’s behaviour. Some things have stayed the same. You can always find the accident spot. Night or day, there will be a ring of people standing around the wrecked car or the wino lying unconscious on the pavement. When a crowd gathers, you know something bad has happened or is about to.

But now, people don’t stand around looking helpless. They whip out their mobile phones and capture the dying moments of strangers for posterity. What is wrong with these people? And their anger when I push them out of my way to get to the casualty. Do mobiles emit poisonous waves that damage the neurons and send the wrong signals?

It’s a lovely thought that if, rather than rushing to your aid, these fine folk will film you. Not everyone, those with a remnant of human dignity among the bystanders, will be just as fast to the scene ready to help, struggling through the crowd taking photos. These idiots don’t care about your life or your right to dignity. A picture no longer tells a thousand words: it gets a thousand likes.

Written using these daily prompts:
Three Things Challenge (RING, THROUGH, FAST)
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (Remnant)
Ragtag Daily Prompt (Neuron)

Three Things Challenge #743 – Best in Show

Welcome to the 3TC hosted by Pensitivity101.
Today’s words are LITTER, PITY, and DREAMS.
Click HERE for the rules and to play along.

Libby snatched up the phone on the first ring.
“What’s happening?”
“I’ve got good news and bad news,” her husband announced.
“Oh, no,” she wailed. “You’d better tell me everything.”
“Well, we have a litter of four puppies—”
“Is Trixie all right?”
“She’s doing fine. It’s just…”
“For pity’s sake,” Libby bellowed. “What’s gone wrong?”
“Our dreams of breeding a Crufts champion are over.”
“The sire wasn’t Randolph Saxony the third, but the mongrel next door.”

Three Things Challenge #736 – Hung Up on Love

Welcome to the 3TC hosted by Pensitivity101.
Click HERE for the rules and to play along.

If you get a buzz from the thought of an illicit dalliance
Don’t take it any further: just keep it in your pants
You may lose all you hold dear if you don’t abstain
And in some places, this means hanging from a crane

1-Minute Fiction & 3-Things Challenge: Buyer Beware

The house looked perfect. At least it did in the glossy brochure sent to them by the seller.

Their only concern was the distance to the nearest town. But that was what they wanted: a quiet place in the country.

It was during the spring rains they discovered the reason for the two paddleboards lying in the garden.

By summer, the house was back on the market.

Flash fiction inspired by:
Cyranny’s #1MinFiction Challenge
Pensitivity101’s Three Things Challenge #723