The Soldier – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week’s excellent photo by our brave leader, probably taken from his front doorstep, made me think immediately of a tale I first heard many, many years ago.
It is a soldier’s story, encompassing courage, humour and the tragedy of war.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the story read aloud by the author:
The Soldier

Big Andy never wanted to be a soldier.
He was a nice big lad, but a bit slow, mentally and physically.
But when the invasion came he got drafted.
Much to everyone’s surprise he was found fit for service, and underwent basic training.
This broom handle is your best friend, he was told, it is the difference between life and death.
Most of the guys were upset, wanted real rifles, real bayonets, to train with.
Andy just concentrated, and practised hard.
Banga, banga, he would shout, pointing his wooden weapon, banga, banga!
When they got to close quarters, he screamed his war cry.
Inna, twista, out! Inna, twista, out!
He was the best shot, and by far the best with the bayonet in the whole company.
He loved the army!
When they finally faced the enemy he was not perturbed that he still carried only a broom handle.
He was afraid of nothing.
Banga, banga, he shouted, pointing his wooden weapon, banga, banga!
The enemy fell.
Inna, twista, out! Inna, twista, out! he bellowed, crushing hordes beneath his violent assault.
So when the end came it was unexpected.
Hearing a strange noise he turned, handle ready.
Charging towards him was a huge foe.
Tanka, tanka, tanka.

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10 Responses to The Soldier – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. athling2001 says:

    Nicely done. Love his battle cries.


  2. James says:

    Decades ago I heard a joke that is surprisingly similar to your tale and “tanka, tanka, tanka” was the punch line. Was that your inspiration or is this just a matter of wild coincidence?


  3. Hah, great twist. Really ingenious in how you brought humor into the tragic.


  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Fascinating story. In one sense I, glad this big guy with little mental ability found a place he was useful. On the other hand, such a sad ending and I doubt new much what ” tanka tanka tankas” even were or what they could do. I see resemblance between Steinback’s character in “Of Mice in Men,” Lennie who was very much like Andy. Hugs CE hope you have a great week!


  5. Hey, this is simply great – a kind of tragicomedy! Bien joué mon ami!


  6. Lynn Love says:

    Poor Andy. He was just tht kind of keen, big lug that the army loves. Eager to obey, no matter what the circumstances. Great last line C to a tragic tale


  7. A stick if used in the right way can be a reading the post.


  8. Nothing beats a man with a stick!


  9. Susan says:

    I hope Big Andy received a real metal for his valor. Nicely done.


  10. Hahaha great story. I remember it well. If I remember correctly, it was one of the things I thought of when I saw this. The first was “holy *!$% It’s a tank!”

    This was indeed taken from my balcony.


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