The General watched from his guarded post, the battalion, was to charge over the top of the trenches, day two in his war with the Germans, after three years watching nothing happen, and wanting his second star, the general was desperate. He had put in Corporal Abernathy for the Distinguish Service Medal, and there was much talk about it, everyone now wanting a medal to bring home, and he General wanting the second star, and everyone’s blood was like hot vinegar, hoping to empress him the general, and so he ordered another attack, he was reinforced with a new company, a new 172-troops, soldiers, untested under fire, and these new troops knew, the General lost 125- soldiers a day ago, the day before, and they had just arrived, to be told there was a second suicide mission, and they heard about what happened to the to that 125-soldiers, and they didn’t like what they heard, and they were causing trouble with the other three companies, over 600-soldiers.
Corporal Abernathy being the only one that survived the slaughter yesterday, some soldiers had made it to the first trenches, the ones five-hundred feet away, and took them, but the Germans that were 900-feet away from them, took it back an hour later, supported by those other Germans, 1500-Germans 3000-feet away, but the General figured if one company could reach the 500-level, six-hundred might make it to the 3000-level, and that was his new star, his second star.
Forenoon, the fields were quiet, empty, no firing of artillery or of any kind of ammo, the Germans just waiting as always eating their sour cabbage, and bratwursts eating lunch one after the other, bored, and perhaps wanting the General to send some more troops their way so they could practice shooting them down like pigeons, as usual.
Corporal Abernathy figured it was hard to beat the Germans without air support, that is really what they needed, but he, the general didn’t want to wait, he wanted that star now, before he was sent back to Paris to discus the rest of the war with Pershing and the other generals, he didn’t want to be standing in the last line of generals.
When they call the six-hundred to get ready for the advance, the offensive, they sat around where the officers were, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, just like the officers.
“What’s the problem?” asked the General to Major Sharp.
Major Sharp, said somewhat tongue-tied, but spitting out the words though, “The troops heard what happened yesterday, the new ones and they see the officers safe in their dugouts, and they see the sergeants not too willing to go over the top with them, and they want everyone to go, if they’re going die for a worthless cause, everyone should die with them, everyone but you, they said.”
“So the soldiers are on strike, is what you are saying, and that is not possible, that is treason, and I’ll have them shot.” Said the General, but ordered the Major to remain where he was while he thought this out clearer, then remarked:
“Well, Major, the only thing left is for everyone to go over the top, and you too!” said the General.
“Perhaps we can get some air support,” asked the Major.
“Major,” said the General, “if you do not go over that top with you troops, you’ll be a Second Lieutenant tomorrow; where is the devotion in this war, you are like a vegetable tree, fate has me in for a second star and you are in my way Major,” and he pulled out his silver plated revolver, ivory handle, and aimed it at Major Sharp’s forehead, as he dropped his baton at the same time, and when he went to pick it up, the Major jumped on him, and in the struggle, the General was shot in the heart-dead.
In the investigation, they could not find the weapon the German insurgent used to kill the General with, the Major being the only one to escape the fatal disarray that took place in the General’s shelter, and the only eyewitness. The German, the report read was hiding in the General’s closet, and when the Major came in he had the General’s gun in his hands, and escaped right past the Major, knocking him down. The inquiry asked how this could be possible; it all sounded so far fetched, kind of fishy, like a cover-up. The Major said it was as possible as sending 126-soldiers out to commit suicide, and only one returning, and there was no questions asked about that, that wasn’t fishy or abnormal, to Headquarters, matter-of-fact, a Distinguish Service Metal was handed out to the one and only survivor of the suicide mission, and after the fact, not a word from Headquarters was said, and no investigation for the 125-privates now dead as a door nail.
Thus, the Major, received a Distinguish Service Metal, for his bravery, like Corporal Abernathy, and the war went on for another year as normal.
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