Apologies for the long period of silence, enforced by a combination of illness and traveling. Thanks for your patience!
It’s been so long since I last posted, that the Friday Fictioneers are on another photo prompt from the same contributor, J Hardy Carroll. This picture reminded me of the nonsense poem, “One fine day in the middle of the night,” and the line “back to back, they faced each other.” Beyond that, my story reflects a deeper feeling I have about the way we behave as humans, but that wasn’t my original intent. Your feedback is welcome, enjoy!
The Valley of Death
There they stood. Line upon line of them; back to back like the school desks of naughty boys caught cheating. Each man could feel the warmth of another against his spine, but he could see only desperate, calculated cold in the eyes ahead.
An army, weaponised by their enemies, bent on self-destruction, this was to be their end.
What they could have done if all had moved as one, turned together and risen up against their oppressors. But here, on this field of death, they could think of only that the man opposite must die.
A distant bell chimed once.