by Brian E. Turner

I jumped into the hole to escape from the battle and he was there. He in his blue uniform, I in my green. He looked at me with pain in his eyes and uttered a word in my language.

-Leg.

His leg had been hit near the ankle. Broken bone stretching skin. No blood, just blue bruising. I took a field dressing from my kit and managed as well as I could. If the doctor didn’t get to him, the gangrene would. We sat there in silence.

-Cigarette?

He took a pack from his pocket, gave me one. Blue cigarettes. We both lit up, sat there in silence smoking.

-Wife.

He took out a crumpled photograph, handed it to me. She was a stern, dark woman with a child in a pinafore. I showed him my photograph of Mitzi, blonde hair in the sun. He smiled, pressed the photo to his heart, gave it back.

We sat in silence.

The noise of battle abated. The all-clear sounded. I picked up my rifle, shot him through the heart.

He was the enemy.

Brian is a New Zealander and primarily a playwright. He has had productions in local back alley theaters. His first novel has been published electronically.