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KichigaiKitsune
KichigaiKitsune's Gallery (59)

Warmth in the Trenches

Warmth in the Trenches (Human Version)
warmth_in_the_trenches_-_pt1.doc
Keywords cub 138319, love 17400, romance 5079, uniform 3689, kit 1903, war 1362, trench warfare 9
Warmth in the Trenches
A random short story by Kichigai Kitsune.

The ground shook furiously beneath him, trembling as though beset by a wrathful earthquake. Jaeger’s wiry legs buckled and the leopard boy staggered into the trench wall, fighting for his footing. Hoarse shouting and thunderous, ear-paining detonations filled the air, and he struggled to hearken to the one strident voice that moments before had been calling him by name.

“…the sixth battalion!” the voice cried at him. The boy struggled to make sense of what he had been told, the disorienting explosions having scattered his thoughts and filled his head with a shrill ringing – it felt as though his head had been replaced by an empty, tinny bell. He could see almost nothing in the choking dust and smoke made heavy by the cold rain. Out of habit, he nodded at the murky shape he knew was an officer, though whose name he could not recall.

“Yes, sir!” he shouted back, barely able to hear himself over the relentless sound of cannon fire.

“Go, go!” the officer told him, shoving the slender preteen in what seemed to be a random direction.

Jaeger fought to stay upright as countless other shells and mortars blasted chunks out of the ground scarcely ten feet from the top of their hastily constructed fieldworks. His boots, designed for traction and stability, nearly slipped out from under him several times as he tried to wade through the six inches of mud that the narrow trenches had become.

It wasn’t the first miserable day he had experienced such heavy rain in the trenches. It hopefully wouldn’t be the last. Ever since he had arrived on the front, a distant eight months ago, with his father, Jaeger had been one of the fourth battalion’s prized trench-runners: slight, agile youths, able to dart quickly through the tunnels and shallow ditches especially designed with their size in mind, connecting the various trenches where the adult soldiers fought, slept and died.

It was highly dangerous. Ten years of age and no idiot, Jaeger knew that streaking so boldly across the corpse-littered No Man’s Land, or crawling desperately between one trench and the next… each time, his life depended on the attentiveness or mercy of an enemy machine-gunner. Though, this time, they seemed to have no mercy, and no lack of murderous determination.

Shells crashed down on all sides while the sharp staccato of enemy guns droned on. The last time this happened, Jaeger had lost his father.

He wasn’t even able to cry for him.

With a youthful grunt, Jaeger hauled himself onto the trench-ladder, readying himself for what would hopefully be just another of many mad dashes from one network of foul dugouts to another. He prayed that the artillery had not eroded the cover of the meagre breastworks along the shallow ditch that he now had to traverse.

At least, if this was to be his time, it would be an artillery shell or thick machine-gun bullet blasting him to heaven. Not like his friend Stephan. Jaeger couldn’t handle being buried in the tunnels. No thanks to a slow death, said he! If it was his time, he’d rather it not be drawn out.

Dulling the anxiety in his heart, ignoring the storm of explosions that assailed his ears, the leopard boy gripped the ladder tighter, and then hauled himself over the parapet of wet dirt with shaking arms and a kick of his strong, young legs.

Determinedly, he crouched as low as he could and dashed through the silty mud, following the path he had taken before, though never before under such fire.

A gigantic blast took his paws from under him, and the boy fell elbows first into the mud. Ears ringing painfully and disoriented, his sight returned and he realized his face had ploughed straight into the soaking ground. Spluttering, he forced himself to a crouch again.

Scarcely several meters of ungainly staggering later, he heard it. A sharp whistling that could only mean one thing.

The massive artillery shell landed not far from him. How far, he would never be sure. The blast hurled him sideways with unfathomable, irresistible force. A panicked voice inside him proclaimed that he was now dead – the shell must have landed right beside him. He was flying now, through the air, nothing but disembodied head and bloody giblets.

Everything went black… for what seemed to be a single moment.

Coughing and gagging, Jaeger rolled onto his back and looked desperately down at his body. It seemed to be all in one piece, though the uniform he proudly wore was stained with black mud, and his ears stung painfully. Everything seemed muffled, and even the greatest explosions sounded like quiet thumps on a comfortable mattress…

Shaking his head, Jaeger managed to get back onto his stomach. He had to complete the task given to him. It wasn’t merely a matter of duty or honour: the sixth battalion had several medics. There was no denying that, while still in one piece, that blast had hurt him. Tears pooled in his eyes as he prayed the marginally trained field medics could keep him from dying to a horrific infection or some sickening equivalent.

Struggling to focus through the chalky smoke and heavy rain, Jaeger forced himself onwards. It was scarcely twenty seconds before he found himself at the edge of the Sixth’s trench – though it seemed much longer. With a pained gasp, his balance at last deserted him and he fell down to the muddy hole with a sickening splat… and found himself unable to move for some reason.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long before someone came to his aid. He smiled gratefully up at the faces he could barely see before once more everything drowned in a thick, tarry blackness…



When he awoke, Jaeger didn’t recognize where he was. He was in a hammock, or gurney, something like that – he knew instinctively somehow. Everything was just a blurry mess as he looked around, trying to understand where he was.

It was all familiar. All too familiar by now. A trench, of course. Most of the waking moments he could remember now were all in a trench. But just as he tried to find the strength to sit up, a fur dashed past him in a strange uniform.

It wasn’t like his uniform. It was an enemy. His heart fought to beat faster, though little energy flooded the kit’s heavy body.

What was wrong?! Was he hurt?! Why couldn’t he fight? Couldn’t even move! This couldn’t be!

Another uniformed fur dashed past, and Jaeger moaned, forcing himself to roll over. Being in a hammock however, he simply flopped onto his back again.

“No!” he whispered as the world spun into a dizzying blur.

He wouldn’t let his country down! He was young, and, yes, perhaps he was injured, but he was a soldier! He wouldn’t fail by his own weakness!

With all his strength, Jaeger pitched to one side, falling from the hammock to the mud once again. Quickly taking in his surroundings, he spied a dead officer sprawled on the ground not ten feet from him. Summoning all he had left, the boy crawled towards the lifeless body, his small paw seeking and taking up the pistol that had been left in its cold fingers. With a hollow cry, he rolled onto his back, brandishing the weapon and looking wildly around for a target.

One presented itself. A young male fox, clad in the garbs of the enemy, froze and stared in abject shock at the wounded child, scarcely managing a gasp before Jaeger squeezed the trigger. Detachedly, Jaeger watched the fox, likely only a few years older than he, collapse to the ground clutching his stomach.

But the pistol flew from his grip, a searing pain engulfing his wrist like fire. Jaeger looked to his side as a boot connected with his muzzle and left him seeing nothing but a dark red for a few moments.

When his vision returned, he saw another uniformed enemy. A Karvannian, a wolf, armed with a rifle –needle-sharp bayonet now aimed at Jaeger’s very eyes. For a brief moment, the fierce set of the enemy lupine’s features spoke to Jaeger of his imminent death.

He would never know what happened to soften those features… and stay the soldier’s fatal thrust. Instead, that boot once again connected with his face, and this time…

This time, the darkness lasted much, much longer…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Warmth in the Trenches (Human Version)
Last in pool
The story of Jaeger, a "trench-runner" boy living a dangerous life on the front lines of a wasteful war of attrition, as he comes to grip with the truly pointless nature of the senseless slaughter that had become his entire world.

Short story conceived of and written up in roughly fifteen minutes. Will likely be merely a three part collection, most likely featuring some form of erotic elements at some point, because, you know, who'd read it otherwise?

Note: believe it or not, inspired by watching fucking Blackadder's fourth season. Don't ask.
Also, switching this to a "general" submission. The notion of it being flagged as "adults only" for the caliber of violence one finds in pre-teen books and PG movies is just absurd.

Keywords
cub 138,319, love 17,400, romance 5,079, uniform 3,689, kit 1,903, war 1,362, trench warfare 9
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 7 years, 10 months ago
Rating: General

MD5 Hash for Page 1... Show Find Identical Posts [?]
Stats
314 views
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23 comments

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indorri
7 years, 10 months ago
War is hell. :( You must live for making tear-jerking stories. :P

Explain what exactly is in the job description of "trench-runner", btw.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 10 months ago
Well, communication in the WW1 trenches was extremely poor since wireless communications hadn't really been perfected yet. Telegraph and telephone cables, if laid, could be useful but weren't reliable, and Semaphore was a great idea until you realized that standing up and waving a big, visible flag wasn't the best way to survive the war.

Pigeons and runners were used often though. This is a (somewhat worrisome) extension of that logic: if runners were needed as messengers, and children were in their trenches, they could use them instead because their smaller frames needed less extensive fieldworks to protect them.

Basically, trench-warfare was NOT simply two ditches in the ground facing one another, spitting machinegun and artillery fire at one another. There were opportunities for stealth and field construction was carried out at night - given this, they could quickly use the cover of night to make the minimum protection a child would need, then train them to use their smaller, more maneuverable bodies to take advantage of stealth and cover.

Thankfully they weren't idiotic enough to actually do this in WW1, as I said below.
Alfador
7 years, 10 months ago
...I read a bunch of WW1 stories for a class several years ago... I don't like seeing cubs put through the same stuff... *whimper*
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 10 months ago
If there's one sane thing about WW1, it's that they at least TRIED to keep the under-18s off the battlefield. Didn't always succeed, but they didn't have kids as young as Jaeger sprinting/crawling between trenches in shallow ditches like in this war here.

Many other conflicts around the world, however, had employed kids on the front lines. Some still do, as I'm sure you know.
Alfador
7 years, 10 months ago
Yes... yes I do... and it hurts whenever I think about it... T_T
Kaitos
7 years, 10 months ago
It may be a short story in comparison to your others, but there always seems to be a lot of emotion invoked from them.  While this one hasn't really tugged at my heartstrings, i'm sure it's only because the story isn't long enough yet for me to be attached to the characters. All I can tell so far is that Jaeger is really going to have it hard (not like it hasn't been hard for him so far).
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 10 months ago
Well, it's just something I threw together on a whim. I'm hoping that I keep the story a little LESS emotionally charged than usual - that way, I can tell the story, finish it up, and not feel guilty about keeping the story a short one.

But, of course, there's more to come, so we'll see. >:3
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 10 months ago
Feh, might as well elaborate.
I also wanted to give the impression that Jaeger was emotionally numb, with only dull flashes of primitive fear and what remains of his patriotic beliefs shining through in the first chapter. Things were to happen, and not truly be felt.

Not yet, anyway. *whistles innocently*
ProblemChild
7 years, 10 months ago
Man I don't feel like doing any reading tonight.  Maybe I'll just delete it.  Wait, this is written by KichigaiKitsune.  ... *Opens file, begins reading.*
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 10 months ago
Woohoo! =3 Be sure to tell me what you think! Pretty pleeeaaase!
ProblemChild
7 years, 9 months ago
I have a great deal of faith in you as an author and this story only enhances that trust.  While it's still too early to really be attached to the poor kid, you did a wonderful job convincing me that he was stuck in a war-torn hell-hole with little chance of survival.  I especially liked, "Everything seemed muffled, and even the greatest explosions sounded like quiet thumps on a comfortable mattress…"

Looking forward to the next installment :3
Alfador
7 years, 10 months ago
Hah! That was my exact reaction, too! (minus the deleting; I have a habit of not deleting any of my notifications until they roll off automatically at the six-month mark, just in case I want to go back and see something I neglected to add to my favorites.)
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 10 months ago
I didn't even know there was a limit. Then again, I don't watch a lot of folks on IB, so I rarely see more than fifty submissions.

FA on the other paw... I just checked FA, and I have 1500+ submissions to go through.
FuzzFace
7 years, 9 months ago
So war is romance, and love is war?
Great as always, You have a way with getting the readers excited and reeling them in.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 9 months ago
Thanks! I aim to please!  :D
Jet
Jet
7 years, 9 months ago
Wonderfully written, I'm looking forward to the rest Kichigai.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 9 months ago
Thank you! =D
DestructiveImpulse
7 years, 6 months ago
Just amazing. It's so short yet u already feel so much for him and feel his pain. Why can't there be more :( i want to know what happens next. I hope it doesn't stop at three because this has the potential to be great and it already has me questioning. Not sure if this was intentional but to me it seems u were making a political statement about how men and children are brainwashed into serving their country and doing what ever they have to while continually putting their life on the line while their country uses them as an disposable and replaceable pawn in a game with no strategy but sacrificing it's youth. His exhausted and refuses to back down despite his weariness. It's touching to see such dedication in such a young soul. He's relentless and that is admirable. It also shows the sympathy of the enemy reminding us that those soldiers aren't here to destroy the enemy and are filled with hate but to live and try to earn a better life. The pity they show makes us the reader realize their also human (or animals in this case) and not a killin machine driven by only the lust for blood. It's a great peice thus far and hope their is alot more to come and soon. U have me hooked and all you need to do is pull on the line and reel me in. Your stories are fantastic and I could only dream of writing something like this. Thank you so much.
DestructiveImpulse
7 years, 6 months ago
Two things
1. Is jaegar supposed to be an allusion to jagermister considering it's made in Germany and the time period is ww1.

2. Also. What happens next?
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 6 months ago
Sort of, Jaeger is a name, it means "Hunter." Jaegermeister means "Master Hunter" for instance. I just wanted a German name I liked and I really like "Jaeger."

As for what will happen next, we'll see when I can get around to working on it. :3  
DestructiveImpulse
7 years, 6 months ago
Perfectly reasonable. And at least I got the reference to the German aspect. Take as long as u want and if u decide u don't want to continue this then i understand and respect it. The thing is it's ur choice to choose to put out a chapter and if someone doesn't like ur choice they can suck it up because they can't do jack shit.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 6 months ago
Thanks, and well put.

Yeah, Jaeger's an awesome name. If I have a kid one day and it's a boy, he might find himself called that. But hey, I like a lot of names.
DestructiveImpulse
7 years, 6 months ago
You see I've also thought bout this. My first son is going to be named Rex. Im set on that name. Rex in Latin means king and it's just a fucking awesome name. Also our school had a football player in 07 named Rex burkhead and he was a beast. He was the star athlete and the nicest guy I've ever met. Not a single person hated him or had a reason to because he was so kind and respectful. I'll never forget when someone from the opposing team got hurt Rex immediately went to him and showed support as the medical staff was assessing the damage. Then he helped the guy up and off the field to the sideline as the entire stadium was in awe at the brotherhood played out in front of their eyes.
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