once more into the breech

“On the left Charles! Shoot him!”

Charles span, almost toppling in the muddy ditch he was residing in. Pulling the trigger, firing from the hip instinctively, he hit the German soldier in the chest, throwing him backwards.

“That was a little close Alex. Are you nearly done with that?”

Alex and Charles had crossed no man’s land under the cover of darkness and were currently sabotaging the German communication line as it ran to one of their forward operating posts. It wasn’t going to change the pace of the war, but it was something that might push the stalemate to favour the British forces.

“OK, it’s set. Five minutes should give us enough time to get clear.”

At that moment a familiar moist thud occurred behind the two men. It sounded a little like a small pineapple falling into custard. After an almost imperceptible pause, the cousins came to the same conclusion.

“Oh shit, grenade!”

They jumped away from the source of the noise, just as the stick grenade exploded. They were dazed for a moment, Charles coming to just in time to see the first enemy appear above the trench.

That five minutes was looking a little short now.

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