Firing Squad by Louise Martin (9SL)
Our very own Louise Martin (9SL) has received a ‘Special Mention’ from The Young Fiction Writer of the year 2010 for her story ‘Firing Squad’. This is an astounding achievement. The Young Fiction Writer of the year is a national competition and highly competitive; over 3, 500 people entered the same category as Louise. An extract of Louise’s story will be published in a special edition of the Take A Break magazine.
Firing Squad is a superbly written story set during World War I. Louise gives the reader a cold and chilling insight into the mind of a soldier who is a member of a firing squad. Louise’s writing is sophisticated and engaging. The maturity of her writing is far beyond her years and considering this was penned at the end of year 8 we look forward to many more stories from Louise as she moves into GCSE.
The English department and all at Stewards are very proud of Louise’s exceptional achievement. Well done Louise!
The silent suffering that scattered the uninhabited world before me, the deceitfulness of fellow beings that fire bullets upon us, the motionless scenery never changes. This is my life, beginning to end; never lived to see victory, never died in bravery, just one of many who silently endured the war. The Great War.
The morning sun arose above the trenches and the soldiers awake in their makeshift beds; the harsh reality of war is plain for any sane man to see, but the trenches are riddled with men whose shoulders lay heavy with death and guilt, some driven mad by their own company that their reality becomes lost. With this comes the loss of sensible decisions and suicidal missions.
I awoke today, with my eyes already set on the gun; the disgust of friends and colleagues was clear by the silence. I walked towards the gun but avoided their eyes; the muffled brushing of my clothes splitting the silence. Today I shall be killing innocent men, who acted according to their common sense; I shall be a part of the firing squad, not by choice but by force.
At the secluded spot, the first man was positioned with a hood over his head. Six men all firing at the same target stood with their guns poised. A signal was given and I pulled the trigger, it didn’t hit the hood but went into the ground a few feet away, but two bullets were on target. The figure turned limp and motionless. Many more were in line for this deceitful murder. I did not kill a man that day, yet my conscience is stained with their blood.
When I returned to the trenches, they were deserted; not a man in sight. I stared at the mud lining of my trench. The others had been ordered to go over the top. I knew, for some reason I knew I had been saved from death by killing others; this made me lose faith in God. Why would something so bad be rewarded?
I lay in bed that evening, watching the stars, listening to the gun fire of the night and the rhythm of my heart; the cold grabbed me but still I lay there. The gun lay beside me; I took a deep breath and held the barrel against my head. The crows fly at the sound of the bullet; I close my eyes and bid the world farewell.
By Louise Martin