The other companions of the company continued through their ordinary lives while waiting for new orders to continue their military service, calmly without knowing that the cruel destiny was preparing them at that moment. In a second, everything was quiet until in the blink of an eye everything changed. A shout went through the peaceful air. It was a sharp and painful scream that made the ears of those who heard it hurt. It lasted only a few seconds before disappearing as suddenly as it had appeared. It was a scream that had occurred several times before that afternoon, but there was no one who could prove it. After all, there were not enough people who had lived long enough to hear him more than once in their lives.
And just as that scream reached his ears, a roar followed him. Earth shot out from one side to the other, generating a huge crater of fire. He could see how the bodies of the soldiers around him were thrown from one side to the other. He felt as his body was thrown against the wall and how the bones of his left arm were broken into thousands of pieces as soon as he hit the wall of earth and moss. His helmet slammed against his skull at enormous speed and then fell to the edge of being unconscious on the dirty, cold floor. He barely managed to keep his eyes open while he saw himself completely freezing, thrown away like a garbage bag. He could not hear anything, his ears only caught the burst of mortar. He didn't felt able to move. His arms and legs were completely numb, something strange considering the thunderous blow he had just gone through. He tried to move some of his limbs. Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing.
He turned his gaze towards the trench. He saw how hell had broken loose as soon as the bomb had fallen. Soldiers ran from one side to the other, in the midst of their anxiety and fear, carrying cargo and wounded soldiers. In the midst of that disaster, in a dirty and abandoned corner, he could see Gómez-or, rather, what was left of him. Apparently the mortar had fallen to his side. His body had been thrown to the other side of where he was, his uniform completely obliterated and his arms mutilated. It was covered by a kind of black powder and by dark spots of fresh blood. On his face you could see an expression of pure horror. His eyes had been fully opened (though clearly it could be because the explosion had ripped apart his eyelids), with bags hanging from them and on his lips what seemed to form a moan of both pain and fear. When he had thought of the fateful day of that poor bastard's death before, he imagined that he would finally feel at ease about not having to put up with his annoying existence, but now that the day had come, he could feel nothing but sorrow. He felt sorrow for that "girlfriend" of whom he talked so much, opening the door of her home to face one young colonel who had come with the mission to tell him that tragic but inevitable news.
A few meters south of where the body of Gomez rested, what appeared to be both Marquez with the gringo beside him. At first I could not recognize them because of the countless amounts of smoke that had risen and clouded the view. It took him a while to finally be able to see what was left of the two after the bomb. Marquez was lying on the floor , with an expression of complete agony on his face. Covered in shrapnel, he was leaning against the wall looking at what was left of his legs, bruised and bleeding. He screamed loudly in the middle of his agony asking for help, with his hands firmly gripped by the scorched uniform of the gringo. Williams had been completely dismayed to see what had just happened. His eyes, fully opened, could show the earliest signs of tears while trying unsuccessfully to assimilate everything that had happened. But what really scared him most of that show was to know with complete certainty that, even if they managed to survive the hell they were suffering, they would both be marked by those scars acquired in battle for the rest of their lives.
He decided to look away from the madness that was happening around him and look in the direction of the blue and thin sky that covered them, despite everything they had been through. It was a nice afternoon, in retrospect. It had a mild heat that mixed perfectly with the cool night air. The sky was almost perfectly clear, despite a single narrow cloud floating carefree through the vast void . Not one bird was flying during that afternoon, although the thin hiss and song of them was still hard to hear. In a way, it inspired a certain peace to contemplate that calm sky. He knew that if he didn't survive after that fatal day, at least that heaven would always be there for the rest of eternity. I didn't know if he was supposed to take faith in that idea, but still took it and as he felt that life escaped from his hands like sand, let out some words, silented by the screaming crowd.
-... and that 's how it ends ...
And with a slight sigh, he died. When the night finally fell on the trenches, the regiment was forced to give up more territory than the press would like to admit. Between that no man's land was that abandoned trench, full of bodies, destroyed and unrecognizable. Never would a funeral be given to those souls, they would never find peace, they would never be found again to finally be able to put an end to the anxiety of their relatives. They would only be used as fuel for the bonfires that kept the other soldiers heated. They became mere statistics that appeared on the nightly news. They had left in the direction of the front to never return home.