The rain turned the trenches of the western front into a hell of muddy immobility. Edward Royce, returned from leave, stepped back into real life. Back home he’d worn a mask made of pre-war life, but every conversation, joke and smile was something he’d simply worn.
Back home they said the enemy was monstrous, barbaric, guilty of vile atrocities. He’d nodded, but knew that in the trenches Death was impersonal. Moral high ground was a precarious perch easy to slip from.
They said the war would be over by Christmas but nobody here believed that. One sergeant in B platoon had planted daffodil bulbs on the lip of the trench so that if the war lasted till spring they’d have some colour and even a bit of cover.
Private Royce was a clearer thinker. He’d brought back a dozen acorns to plant on the muddy edge between life and death.
(inspired by a prompt from Studio30Plus to incorporate the phrase Precarious Perch)