Category Archives: War

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2245)

The Challenge

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. This week’s challenge remembers the men and women who fought and died for our way of life. Although the challenge does not adhere to a weekly theme, the group of words presented may occasionally share a common thread. You as the author can write about anything without being bound to a theme.

beachhead | sacrifice | conscription | trench | front

Click here for Rules and Guidelines

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Andi survived alone, hidden from the Chinese military patrols. America’s interest in democracy had waned three generations earlier, inevitably falling to the Communist regime in the anarchy that ensued. Her only escape was imagining the picturesque herds of wild buffalo, tall grasses and the endless blue mid-west sky she’d read about in forbidden books.  

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The Cipher

The Cipher

A Month had passed since intercepting a message. Most believed it was intercepted from a Chinese-Russian military satellite, our enemy in a war the Allies were losing, but I believed it had come from someone or something else. Everyone knew cracking the code, completely indiscernible to the best and brightest working around the clock, was key to our victory.

As I sat staring at the letters, numbers, and symbols, my eyes bugging out of my head, they began to lift from the page and realign before my eyes. I had done it, I’d found the key to deciphering the entire transmission. The message read,

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Never Surrender

Bombs rain down indiscriminately as sirens pierce the evening air.
A city set ablaze as it crumbles to the ground.
Plumes of grey and purple smoke rise into the red dusk.
A mother and her child dance through the streets.
Arms outstretched as the ashen sky falls like confetti about them.
Choosing to join the dead than ever surrender.

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Hero of War

Hero of War

In 2003 a United States led coalition invaded Iraq. The Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed leading to the fall of the Ba’athist government led by Saddam Hussein. The coalition would remain in Iraq for the next 8 years, officially withdrawing from the country in 2011.

In October 2008 Chicago based punk rock giants Rise Against released their 5th studio album entitled “Appeal to Reason“. The theme for this week Song Lyric Sunday is Army / Soldier / War and I have chosen to highlight the track “Hero of War” from that release. The track was only released as a promo single but did receive significant play on alternative radio.

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The Blood of War

This originally started as a reply to a post that Jim at A Unique Title for Me posted. It got me thinking about the broader context of government and in particular the idea that the people are accountable for the action of their government. In particular, Russians when it comes to Putin.

Yes, Vladimir Putin gave the order to invade Ukraine, the former Soviet republic that declared its independence on January 22nd, 1989. Putin has chosen this path not because of the excuses such as “denazification” or the perceived threat NATO presents to Russia if Ukraine achieves member status. It is all smoke and mirrors to hide the real reasons for Putin’s war, to turn back the clock to a bygone era. To return to some perceived Russian greatness that never really existed. He alone must answer to the world for his illegal actions in Ukraine and the war crimes he has committed in the name of Mother Russia.

I will say that from a world perspective I do not believe the international community and the allied countries of the West are doing enough to quell the Putin threat. Russian aggression in Ukraine has the eerie feel of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. The parallels are well documented elsewhere and too many to list here. We the world must stand with Ukraine and prevent history from repeating itself.

I believe the Russian people are good people. Historically they have suffered immeasurable hardship. For the record, the Russian experience is not unique. Many other peoples in various parts of the world have suffered repeatedly at the hands of internal and external forces. That type of suffering creates a certain pathos that brings about insecurity in the people of a nation. It doesn’t require a great leap to see how people end up following someone like Putin who instills a sense of national pride by assuaging their collective vulnerabilities and making them feel whole again.

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The Things I’ve Seen

Down the stairs, truth be told,
In grains of sand, each truth I hold,
The winds of change blowing through,
Where I stand a desert grew.

Long ago, a secret past,
In this cellar, the die was cast,
For trade in skin, bought and sold,
When all used up, left to the cold.

During the times of Jesus Christ,
The pagan north made sacrifice,
Long before the Romans tread,
Countless times, my floor, blood red.

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The Cost of Indifference

Unrelenting darkness pressed down above the northern city trapped beneath the rubble of an intercontinental war it never asked for. Its only downfall is being landlocked between a wicked aggressor on the eastern front and indifference amongst the free and democratic societies to the west. The democratically elected government had aligned with the Western powers during the peaceful years following the Planetary Armistice of 2740.

The Eastern airforce was engaging in a campaign to carpet the rural grain and sheep farms with clusters of bombs precisely spaced to ensure maximum destruction of the arable countryside. Facing certain starvation, anger grew as it became clear that their allies had abandoned them. Sure, the West was providing stockpiles of old and neglected weaponry to shore up the National Resistance but compared to the weapons of modern warfare they were playing in the technological dark ages.

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Safe Passage

Bombs rained down around the village, now a target in a tyrant’s senseless war. Heorhiy thumb the cracked screens on the electronic gadgets in his hands hoping the screens and circuitry survived the concussive force of nearby explosions.

He was a farmer, not a fighter but she knew he would defend his homeland to the end. First worked to secure safe passage for his family. Lesya did not want to leave him but he insisted. She understood and accepted his need to see them safe. She watched him frantic, harried, as he searched for a signal from anywhere. Seeking information on the safest corridor, ensuring they safely fled to refugee centers across the border.

As they joined the convoy of millions moving north she could see he was torn, tempted to stay. She begged him to abandon this foolish fight and stay with them. The losses inflicted were enormous. She knew staying was a death sentence.

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