The Great Peace – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by Susan Spaulding, who has taken over this great weekly prompt from my old friend Al Forbes.
This week’s fabulous photo of The Kelpies, near Falkirk in Central Scotland, comes courtesy of JS Brand.
My apologies, John, if my story, a rerun, is more influenced by today’s date than by your excellent photo.
I visited there in August this year, and they are staggeringly impressive.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

© JS Brand

Click here to hear the author read his words:

The Great Peace

The pain surprises me.
The rain falls steadily, but it is not the cause of the pain.
The wind blows briskly, but it is not the cause of the pain.

I look around the small cemetery, one out of around 940 in France and Belgium.
It is the cause of my pain.
It contains the graves of 1262 British, 4 Canadian and 29 German soldiers and airmen.
There is no segregation by rank or nationality, and each grave is immaculately tended.
They are arranged in chronological order of death.
Think about that, just for a moment.

The peace is in sharp contrast to those bloody days 100 years ago.
The days when this part of Northern France was the world’s battlefield, bringing men from all parts of the planet to die here.

The Great War.
I almost smile at the oxymoron.
But find I cannot.
Because of the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat.

the great war they said
was the war to end all wars
flowers grow in tears

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25 Responses to The Great Peace – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Indira says:

    Each war is fought with the understanding that it will end…Then they are ready to fight another.
    Touching realistic story.


  2. Corine Gouy says:

    Repose en Paix 🙏
    Émouvante ! Ton histoire.


  3. Lynn Love says:

    Sad and lovely words, C. War is so cruel, to take so many young lives that might have given and enjoyed so much


  4. Abhijit Ray says:

    I can feel your pain. Those who gave their lives in the war will never return. Their graves only remind us of their sacrifice.


  5. Joy Pixley says:

    A powerful and timely piece. Indeed, that war did not end all wars, as I suspect no war will ever be able to. Unless it ends all humanity in the process.


    • ceayr says:

      All we can do, Joy, is remember the stupidity and futility of so many wars, and try to prevent recurrences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I wish that were so. And yet I wonder if every society over time has faced the same dilemma we do: the contradiction between valuing the sacrifices and honor of veterans and simultaneously arguing that the war they fought in was futile and should not be repeated.


  6. michael1148humphris says:

    My family lost men in both so called world wars. Your story helped me recall them today. Thank y ou


  7. JS Brand says:

    No apology required CE; it’s a beautifully written piece. Anyway, I also went for a story suited to the date. On another day I’d probably have opted for anthropomorphic frippery or tried to step outside my comfort zone and write fantasy.
    I think we must have been following you around. The photo was taken on 30 August.


  8. Iain Kelly says:

    A fitting remembrance.


  9. Susan says:

    Beautiful story CE. I have a great-uncle who died during WWI who is buried in a French cemetery.


  10. Thank you for this timely piece.


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