Maxwelton Braes – 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).
I must confess that my story today is influenced more by the date than by Al’s clever photo.
I make no apology for this.

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

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the author read his short story:

Maxwelton Braes

It has been a long, hard road.
We signed up together, Jock and me, way back in 1914.
We grew up in the same district of Glasgow, Toonheid, that’s Townhead to you, and we always stuck together.
I got shot at Ypres and Jock carried me out of the mud.
He got hit at the Somme, and I dragged him back through the corpses.
We lived a nightmare for four years, but finally we started to move east, towards Germany.
The rumours were becoming more credible, we were told the Austrians and Hungarians had surrendered.
We knew the fighting was nearly over.
I’ll never forget the date.
November 10th, 1918.
We were camped by a small river.
It was a cold, clear night.
I started a tune on my harmonica, then Jock stood and joined in with his deep baritone.
Maxwelton braes are bonnie, Where early falls the dew, And it was there that Annie Laurie, Gave me her promise true…
It was the last shot I heard fired in anger, and it startled all of us.
Except Jock, of course.
He never heard it.

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16 Responses to Maxwelton Braes – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. athling2001 says:

    Man, what a bummer. Well done.


  2. The War to End All Wars, and the only thing it ended was 16 million lives.

    Story gave me goosebumps. Great story, C.E.


  3. James says:

    Sadly, I saw this one coming. One last shot claiming one last soldier.


  4. Theodore Roosevelt’s son was among those killed in the last week of combat. Too bad they didn’t end it the year before. Most of the Axis goals had been met. Had the US stayed out, the world would be a markedly different place now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan says:

    It took me a moment to understand how the story fit the prompt but I’m a bit slow. The story breaks my heart; it is told too well.


  6. Lynn Love says:

    This is so sad, C. And so much of this must have happened – how many men died in those last few days and hours, that time between the date for the Armistice being agreed and the actual time war ended. Wilfred Owen died just a week before the end – all the more tragic for having nearly reached safety. Wonderfully, movingly written C


  7. Iain Kelly says:

    I saw the date and knew Jock was in trouble. One more senseless loss of life, but was anyone counting? Expertly done.


  8. JS Brand says:

    Eerily good and painfully sad. Well done CE.


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