"When Half-Gods Go"

Europe, World War I...

German soldiers in trench, World War I

It was a quiet day in the trenches. The men, grateful for the respite, relaxed slightly. Each soldiers looked for some reminder of the world beyond the trenches. None of them noticed a crow that landed and chattered inanely.

Most of the men studied photographs and drawings of women and sweethearts, each depicted in varying degrees of dress and decorum. One man sat alone, different from the others. He filled his sketchbook, not with women, but of a cruel, soulless architecture; an Iron Empire that stretched as far as the page would allow. Nearest the bird, he seemed to be almost listening to its mindless chirping.

As if sleepwalking, the lone soldier stood up and walked dazedly further down the trench. The other soldiers had just enough time to chuckle before an enemy shell turned to them all to thunder and ash. The entranced man did not even look back.

The other soldiers found him after the skirmish, calmly drawing a mocking raven. “You will hear great things from me. It is my destiny!” Annoyed, the commanding officer ordered the Corporal to be examined by the medic for shell shock. The soldier saluted and walked off, whistling.

Still unseen, the crow flew away, it’s cackle like mocking laughter…


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