Flash fiction (very short story)
© 2022, Tanweer Dar
The red flower was little more than a smudge in his old eyes. The gentle breeze seemed impossibly cold, and biting. He closed his eyes, and went to another time. Another world.
He opened his eyes. The world was grey, and brown. Acrid smoke filled his nostrils and his ears bled, quite literally, from the incessant concussive force of exploding shells. The young man coughed into his clenched fist, red peppering the dirty bandage wrapped around his hand.
"They're going over!" someone shouted. "We'll be next... Get ready."
He turned. In the distance he saw silhouettes of men clambering up and over the trenches. Before they had even crossed a few yards of the distance which separated them from the enemy lines, merciless machine gun fire had cut them into ribbons.
If hell was real, then this was it.
The young man closed his eyes, and the old man opened them. He hobbled, resting his weight on the polished wood of the walking stick, towards the poppy in the field. They'd all be wearing them back home, he thought. And they'd all have forgotten what needed remembering.