Warm Soup

Falcon sat still in the warm afternoon sunlight, the warmth eased his aches. The air was still and the churned ground empty after the fury that had spread across it some hours ago. The wounded were resting, the weary were watching and the dead were at peace.

The battle had been long. Neither side gaining but both loosing. All were tired – tired of fighting, tired of living on the edge. Those that did not walk the green field of Elysium wished for home. But home was far away behind them and there were battles before them. And until the path was clear there would be no returning home.

Fires had been lit and food was being prepared. The smell of cooking barely masked the smell of earth, sweat, blood and death. But after so long on the battlefield Falcon only smelt the food. His stomach growled with hunger. He knew it would be soup again. He had no desire for soup. For days they had been eating soup. No wheat meant no bread so the cooks made do with what could be found on the trampled earth. Twigs and roots throw in a pot. Boil it long enough and it became soup. But with so many men to feed options were limited so soup it was – day in day out.

Falcon gazed across the front line bathed in setting light. All that meat on the battlefield… It would be a shame to waste.

10 thoughts on “Warm Soup”

  1. I enjoyed the lead into the cannibalism remark. The physical stage and Falcon’s mental state are well described. I could easily imagine the awful gruel that they were having to eat and the awful surroundings.

    I would have liked the cannibalism to be a little more obvious – perhaps it could be clearer how close Falcon is to this option.

  2. Cool idea. Really liked your second paragraph for its sense of pointless horribleness.
    Also like the sense of quiet peacefulness evoked at the start, it lends a nice contrast to the terrible situation.

  3. I think it builds nicely from peaceful to desperate. I like these kinds of behind-the-scenes-in-Fantasyland stories a lot. Possibly could have built up the horribleness of that twigs-and-roots soup more with more description?

    Another slight crit – I wouldn’t have used an established name like “Elysium” for Heaven – for me, it doesn’t work with the name “Falcon” which is more fantasy-like.

  4. This is about a soldier, Falcon, sitting on a battlefield after the battle has ended, contemplating their meagre food situation. He begins to think about the dead bodies laying on the field, and the waste of fresh meat that is.

    I love the twist to the macabre at the end, and how it’s merely left as a potential, just a thought in Falcon’s mind :) Quite lovely. Reminds me of that Rugby team that crashed in the Andes :-/

    I also enjoyed the description of the soup, being boiled roots and twigs. It gives a feeling that they’ve pushed really hard and overreached, now they’re living with the outcomes of that.

    That’s a fun piece. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I liked the feeling of wrung out, frayed edges, type stuff you’ve created.

    “Boil it long enough and it became soup.” – simple but very telling.

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