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The Battlefield

by 4revgreen

(I wrote this in year 9, so two years ago, and just found it on a memory stick so thought I'd post it here. It's obviously not the best as I'm pretty sure it was written in like five minutes)

As it grew darker and colder, the looming threat of death grew stronger. The icy wind whipped round and lashed at me like I was a prisoner. My heavy boots sunk into the deep snow as I trekked across the battlefield, shielding myself from the blood lust that surrounded me. I looked ahead of me, and watched as my own breath danced around the falling flakes of snow. It was almost as if it were mocking me. The contrast between the rhythmic sway of my breath and the seeping red blood that squelched beneath my boots made me sigh in anger.

I wasn’t far away from the action; I could hear the screaming and the metallic clinks as swords met in mid-air. I wanted to hide, but if they knew I was hiding, I’d be shot, and I would be labelled a coward. I admitted to myself that I was a coward;but I didn’t want to die one. Hands trembling, I clutched at the sword by my side, just in case. Then, trying to steady my breathing, I advanced towards the action.

As I approached the brow of the hill, my ears were pricked like an alert dog as the sounds of the battle echoed around me. It was egregious, and my heart skipped a beat, interrupting the calm I’d been trying to maintain. The foul stench of burning flesh lingered round me, making my stomach churn. I wretched, feeling the burning sensation in the back of my throat rise.

There were hundreds more of them than us, and fear dripped down my forehead in the form of sweat. They were all heading this direction, and my instinct was to run. But I didn’t run. Why didn't I run? I drew my sword from its sheath, the moonlight bouncing off the sharp edges as I held it up to the horizon. I knew I was going to die; I was going out like every other soldier I knew. With a fight. With blood spilled across the earth that was not my own. With the terrified tears of the opposition. With anger.

And then I waited.

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Points: 49
Reviews: 4

Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:35 pm
NaomiPeppurrcorn wrote a review...

Hey there! :)

That's a really nice short story you wrote. During the first paragraph i could actually feel the intensity of the scene through your words. That really made my heartbeat speed up. I love the kind of writing where you get almost drawn in by the words and can imagine yourself in the situation and you did that so well! I admire your huge vocabulary as well. Your writing doesn't seem repetitive at all and most definitively it is not boring.

the only thing that i think might be a bit strange is how in the paragraph with
"It was egregious, and my heart skipped a beat, interrupting the calm I’d been trying to maintain. The foul stench of burning flesh lingered round me, making my stomach churn. I wretched, feeling the burning sensation in the back of my throat rise."

the sentence structure keeps repeating almost a bit too much, maybe that was intended though. If thats the case, I apologize.

Anyway, amazing work! Keep writing!

Much love,

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11 Reviews

Points: 747
Reviews: 11

Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:53 am
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Dilbert64 wrote a review...

This is really good! You gave excellent descriptions, especially in the first paragraph, that helped the reader visualise the scene before them, and put themselves in the soldier's position, capturing the horrors of war. You also managed to tell a full story very concisely, preventing it from feeling rushed which can be a problem in flash fictions. I also think that the descriptions of the soldier were well done. He is automatically sympathetic due to his situation but adding in how he was hiding from combat and, ultimately, his decision to join the fight again was very sad, since the reader is rooting for him to survive.

I only have a few nitpicks about the story. The line 'The icy wind whipped around and lashed at me like I was a prisoner' came off a bit strange since prisoners aren't whipped. I think it would have made more sense to say something such as 'like I was it's slave'

This is very impressive, especially for something you wrote two years ago.

4revgreen says...

Thank you so much x

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57 Reviews

Points: 548
Reviews: 57

Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 am
1nspire wrote a review...

Hey, 1nspire here for a review!

Great work on this piece. The thing they really stuck out to me here was the detail with which you describe each and every part of the scene. From the battlefield itself to the emotions of the protagonist, you did an incredible job of pulling the reader into the story and creating a vivid mental picture. Your use of imagery and figurative language was impeccable. I especially liked the line “fear dropped down my forehead in the the form of sweat.”

I would suggest that in the second paragraph you take out the adjective “heavy”. If the boots are sinking in the snow, the weight is implied, so I think it helps to leave that description out. Secondly, the lines about dying as a coward seemed a little awkward to me for some reason. I would suggest that instead of “and I would be labeled a coward” you just say “I would be shot, labeled a coward.” Also, since everything else is in present tense “admitted” doesn’t make since. I would suggest used “I would admit”

Overall, amazing job! I hope this review was helpful. Keep writing and have a great day!

4revgreen says...

thank you! and for the suggestions, it really helps!

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8 Reviews

Points: 667
Reviews: 8

Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:51 am
Chase7 wrote a review...

Hey Che!😁 This is Chase with a review

First off this is actually a great piece of work. You've managed to describe the environment and what the protagonist is feeling in a way that you can even picture yourself in this story. I loved how you commented on the senses; what he saw, smelt, felt and even his breathing. Really good.

In the first paragraph you wrote:
"... surrounded me. I looked ahead of me, and watched as my own breath..."
In my opinion the second "me" sounded a little weird when said aloud. I think if you remove the "of me" in the sentence it would flow more smoother, but you don't have to.

Ya there's not really much else to correct, so once again, I really Enjoyed reading this passage and can't wait to read more of your work.

Keep writing

4revgreen says...

Thank you for the review! I will change that sentence as it does sound better without it :-)

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8 Reviews

Points: 564
Reviews: 8

Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:02 am
NathanielZykov wrote a review...

I really enjoyed this amazing work of flash fiction. The descriptions are all spectacular and really grips the reader. Something I noticed that I didn't really understand was the part where the narrator says: "...but if they knew I was hiding, I’d be shot:... before that I assumed the setting was medieval/fantasy. But with this one exception it makes me doubt about what time period it is. Maybe change the wording there to something like: '...but if they knew I was hiding, I would be executed'.. Or maybe in the description of the battle mention that there are some gunshots in the distance. besides that and a few very minor grammar errors everything is good. (Feel free to disregard anything I said).

Keep up the good work!

4revgreen says...

Thank you! What you said about gunshots makes total sense and I'll probably change that

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— April, Parks & Rec