Like Demented Wights

Scene from The Eternal Front
by Walter Blaire on Sun, Aug 14, 2016

While on Pinterest, I found an actual historical photograph from one of my books! It was an odd experience, because I write science fiction.

My book The Eternal Front has interstitial sections that form a kind of travelogue of the main planet.

This excerpt describes how the trench pantheon came about. The pantheon is the collection scary ‘trench gods’ that even hardened soldiers will claim to have encountered: Brutal Butcher, Sister Sneeze, Nurse Angry Revenge, Stompfootie, and many more. Each trench god is a different way to die on the eternal front.

The pantheon of trench gods rises out of the Tachba’s credulous nature and the war itself in all its unpredictability. Swirls of dust look like striding spirits. Piles of dirt are whittled into evocative shapes by shrapnel. Corpses are blown into organized stacks by detonations. Bodies zigzag through the air like demented wights, illuminated in flashes, waving dead arms and kicking dead legs, held aloft by the barrage and never seeming to fall to the ground. The occasional clean-outs: eviscerated men who flee from the middle of an explosion and go minutes before they know they are dead. The rare fuckwhats: they keep fighting for several minutes after decapitation.

— The Eternal Front

Try to write something horrifying and sad, like bodies kept aloft by strings of explosions, and along comes actual history to show you something even more horrifying and sad:

Image of two French soldiers blown into a tree by artillery

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