Cathal Brogan – The Flickering Candle

The Flickering Candle

By Cathal Brogan

The candle. My candle is flickering. I sit here in my dugout watching my candle slowly dying. I’m down to my last bullet and the battle is as good as lost. I listen to my friends groan in pain, be it from shells, bullets, or grenades. All that’s left to keep me company is my flickering candle and its dying flame.

The Germans are   advancing and a ‘Fritz’ will probably shorten my life. But despite all of this I am calm and slightly happy that I will at last get to see my brother again. I will see Mum and Dad and I will live with them up in the starry sky. After the torment that I’ve been put through this year in the trenches with friends dying and shells pounding my trenches like thunder… Death is a gift.

The candle has nearly lost all of its wax and with it I feel that I am nearing the end. I know that once that candle goes out and loses its light, Death’s cold scythe shall harvest me and bring me back to my family.

Suddenly I am brought back to reality by a German soldier who leaps down into my trenches, He must be a scout… without an ounce of hesitation I shoot the German right in the heart with my final bullet. The poor soldier collapses into the mud with a sick splat

I watch his blood leak from him like a rusted pipe.

The candles flame has diminished   and with it I have become colder.  I sit here as my life is slowly wasting away. I hear a sound that I’ve wished I would never hear, the sound of a grenade falling into the trench

As it explodes I feel the pain of a thousand nails lash through my chest as shrapnel flies out from the grenade. The last thing I see before the darkness consumes is my flickering candle finally flickering out.

Cathal Brogan, 6th Class,  Scoil Chiaráin Naofa Doorus NS, Doorus,Kinvarra ,Co.Galway

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