But what fun is it for me to tell you all this? So I'll give you my first writing prompt and response here.
My first writing here I thought of because of a writing prompt off of Writer's Digest entitled "War Never Changes." I hope you enjoy!
Mark surveyed the ratty room with dark jaded eyes. The walls had a film to them, yellowish, musty, he feared touching them would leave a yellowish green streak across his clothing. The room's air was clouded by two faint scents doing battle, that of mold and that of the cheap cleaning materials used by last week's room service. An inspection of the dresser revealed the cardboard inner had surrendered to water damage.
Setting his duffel bag by the foot of the bed was a better defense for the integrity of clothes for the single night he would be forced to spend while his father wired him money. Mark unbuttoned his shirt, and found no interest in the room. It was darkening outside but he had not been assaulted by exhaustion just yet and thus tried to find something in the room of interest. The bathroom was equally filthy and basic with the simplest of commodities.
Giving up, Mark plopped onto the foot of the bed. The mattress sank, and he immediately was greeted with a solid thud. He bounced back to his feet. Either something was stopping the springs or that was the most uncomfortable box spring he'd ever encountered. Mark let out a sigh of boredom. He had never been a handyman, but fixing the bed sounded better than waiting to fall asleep.
Lifting up the bed cover and skirt, Mark peered under the bed. Tucked up in the center where the bed left the wall and corner was a beaten wood object. Mark grasped both side and tugged, a second tug dislodged the box and it slid across the grimy carpet into the stale light. A rugged green wood box sat before Mark. A brass latch and lock hug loose on the weak wood, holding the box closed away from unknown lengths of marching time.
Mark fiddled with the edge of the clasp where it had separated from the wood only to find it gave way with little resistance. A red tattered flag spilled over the edges as the lid was lifted. Mark stood unfolding the flag revealing tears and the end where it had been cut. A white star and crescent still stood out in the middle. Next Mark removed a tan, moth eaten uniform. Mark delicately unfolded the uniform jacket and laid it out upon the bed with the flag. The last item was an old photo of a young boy, his face dirty, his feet bare, standing in a dirt field next to a tree. His face neither happy or sad, angry nor joyful. Flat, emotionless, and plain.
Mark inspected the uniform closer. So much damage, small holes emptied small shard of metal when he manipulated them with his fingers.
A sudden wave of nausea swept Mark. The idea of being one of the soldiers, at the end of the war, knowing that defeat was inevitable sank into him. Having to be strong and courageous knowing full well the futility of the situation.
Like a flock of sheep lying in the middle of the field, men lay still alive, plucking at the legs of those still healthy enough to continue to fight, begging for water. The silent cries of despair from the hanging mouths of the dead left only questions to linger on. What was it that men must stab each other, strangle other over, like mad ravenous dogs? So plain on this field where civilization came to die.
Men don't go to war, boys do. Boys put their bats down, deflate their playing balls, and chain their bikes to trees. Boys pick up rifles, load cannons, and drive tanks. And the bats decay, the balls wither and rot, and the bikes rust and become trapped in the trees' roots as the boys never return. Those who do return come back not as men, but as animals. For where they came back from, there is no place for society.
Young Ottoman boys called to defend lands they had never heard of against people they never knew. The clap of explosions. The snap of bullets. Placing his hand is soft dirt the Ottoman boy would only discover how rough the individual rocks could be. How sharp each edge was. How warm urine is against his own leg.
Mark folded the uniform once more and returned it to its resting place. He placed the flag back across the top and laid the photo of the dead atop the flag. There was no story he wished to seek anymore.