'Lest We Forget' by Kausthub Krishnamurthy

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Post on 07-Nov-2015




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Year 12 Short Story


<ul><li><p>Lest We Forget </p><p>I still remember the November days, when our blatant reluctance to cram into the school hall would </p><p>erupt as our teachers ushered us in. We hated being forced to sit on the wooden floor panels, </p><p>squeezed between our friends but why they made us sit like that we never quite figured out. But </p><p>regardless of age and gender, we were all restless, laughing and chattering to each other, completely </p><p>oblivious to the significance of the occasion. We realized, through the solemn air that enveloped us, </p><p>that this wasnt an ordinary assembly. Maybe it was the ring of flowers fastened to the pedestal. </p><p>Maybe it was the now subdued faces of the teachers. It took us a while, but eventually we fell silent </p><p>and watched with a mixture of curiosity and boredom as dad stepped onto the stage in full regalia </p><p>and started speaking. At that time what he was saying and why he was saying it was the least of our </p><p>worries. Id heard it a hundred times before. First from grandpa... now from dad but never </p><p>understood why I had to be there, why we parroted the words Lest We Forget. </p><p>I watch now as Eisenhowers dominoes fall one by one with voices like ours to encourage their </p><p>speed. My eyes open again, and open further still, as I carefully unfolded the letter my dad kept in </p><p>his uniform at all times. A letter from grandpa. </p><p> ********** </p><p>26th January 1919 </p><p>Cpl Trevor Brashaw </p><p>I never thought, this time last year, that Id be sending my next Happy Australia Day message from </p><p>Paris. But here we are... its all over. I wish I could be there to see the two of you still. I just hope </p><p>Jimmy hasnt started walking yet. I need something to look forward to after all of this, and Im the </p><p>lucky one. That charming British bloke Wilfred... Do you remember him? I cant stop his voice </p><p>echoing in my head, accompanied by the dreary rhythm of boots across the streets like some kind of </p><p>remnant reverberation of guns long silenced. </p><p>What passing bells? hed ask. </p><p>I strain my mind listening for the ringing, pitying the doomed youth that once mocked us all for </p><p>being cattle, only to be led to the slaughterhouse himself. </p><p>But I hear nothing... </p><p>No monstrous anger of guns. </p><p>No stuttering rifles rapid rattle. </p><p>ONLY SILENCE... </p><p>Silence, ringing through the halls of memory. </p><p>Silence, drowning out every last thought from my minds, leaving me to wander aimlessly through </p><p>these streets alone. I didnt know him for long but a he was a firm friend. He was a poet you know? </p><p>Just like me... we used to converse in poetry. Nobody else is around these days. Many of the boys </p><p>have just left... or never got here at all. Me and old Tom Baker from down the street really wanted </p><p>another drink or two with Lt Owen, but the worst has happened and hes no longer with us. This is </p><p>it... the end of the war. A sweetness bittered by the news of our friend. Knowing him, the Lieutenant </p><p>would have made something of this atmosphere. Some poem... something... </p><p>Only me and Tommy are left, hoping that somehow our friend would be remembered. </p></li><li><p>*************** </p><p>I look at the paper once again feeling that somehow grandpas words were unfinished. It just didnt </p><p>feel right. The kind of unfinished feeling like when you set up a row of dominoes... the same itchy </p><p>feeling like a finger toppling the intricate set up. As I place the paper in my fathers uniform I feel the </p><p>edge of another paper carefully held to the crest over the heart. Again I gaze at the words scrawled </p><p>in grandpas handwriting... </p><p> *************** </p><p>An Ode to Memory or What Wil would have written--- by Brashaw and Baker </p><p>La Guerre Mapoo </p><p>La Guerre Fini </p><p>Maybe for you </p><p>But still not for me. </p><p> Now I grow too old, </p><p>Along with those that are left. </p><p>Age has made me wary </p><p>Weary of years condemned. </p><p>At the going down of the sun, </p><p>And in the morning, </p><p>Nothing much happens then. </p><p>Must they forget? </p><p>Must they forget? </p><p> Yet we that keep on going </p><p> Keep the flame lit bright and true </p><p> At the sunset and the morning </p><p> The memories come anew. </p><p> ********** </p><p>As my eyes followed my grandfathers words, the dominoes began to fall out of control with the </p><p>realization of the permanency of war and the haunting life that stood before me, printed on paper... </p><p>in the form of my name on a draft card. </p><p>Trevor Brashaw Jr... </p></li></ul>