Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred
Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)
The air screams and howls like an insane woman.
We are getting it in earnest now. Again we throw ourselves face downward on the bottom of the trench and grovel like savages before this demoniac frenzy.
The conclusion of the explosions batters against us.
I am knocked breathless.
I recover and hear the roar of the bombardment.
It screams and rages and boils like an angry sea. I feel a prickly sensation behind my eyeballs.
A shell lands with a monster shriek in the next bay. The concussion rolls me over on my back. I see the stars shining serenely above us. Another lands in the same place. Suddenly the stars revolve. I have been tossed into the air.
I begin to pray.
“God – God – please…”
I remember that I do not believe in God. Insane thoughts race through my brain. I want to catch hold of something, something that will explain this mad fury, this maniacal congealed hatred that pours down on our heads. I can find nothing to console me, nothing to appease my terror. I know that hundreds of men are standing a mile or two from me pulling gun lanyards, blowing us to smithereens. I know that and nothing else.