Picking up where he had let off, Lloyd drifted into the accounts, nay, escapades of Colonel Man Officer: … bombs fell short, fifty yards out in no-mans land, a curtain of mud and men-bits rained upon them. Rained upon their fatigued, soaked bodies, uniform and filth clinging terminally. He clung to these wretched, these shadows hunched into the wall of the trench. A high pitched scream razored through the fugue of bombardment. It came from further down the line, from the latrines. Colonel Man Officer shoved himself upright into a stooped I may get my head blown off position, and started to make his way down the line. He acknowledged each man as he passed, and entered into a hazy mantra of reassuring officer speak, nods, gazes and strained polite grins, fixed, broken, grimaced. A scene of freneticism met him at the latrine, dull brown, green and a splash of fresh hot red. Private Colloquial was laid out, the splash of red was his, and his groins’. He motioned manic to Colonel Man Officer.
“It got one of me balls sir! It got one of em! A rat in the shitter!”
“Latrine Colloquial, latrine!” barked Colonel Man Officer.
“You gotta get it for me sir! Mable will be at a loss without it, she likes to suck em see!”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Colonel Man Officer approached the latrine, and the black hole pointed out to him by his men, the hole with the rat in, the hole with the nut scrumper. He reached in slowly, fingers, hand, arm ready to recoil. He, ready, in front of his men to stop such a loss of face, a reaction, something natural, something of their level. As he groped through the excrement slop for the testicle nibbling rat he could feel his personal lice copulating in the sweat on the nape of his neck, along with the dead lust eyes of his men, watching with itching red bulbs. He reached in further, elbow deep, he felt it, grabbed its squirming form. His face folded a little in disgust. He regained control, flattened out his facial constriction and yanked out a shitted rat with an orb impaled on its incisors. With a swift well practiced movement – one usually reserved for pheasants – Colonel Man Officer dispatched the rat and retrieved the Private’s piece of privates, plucking the orb disdainfully – for he hated to be seen by his men to act usefully, and felt uncomfortable, lower, in acting like them – from the rat’s pronounced teeth.
“You got it sir. You got it!”
“What of it! So I got it Colloquial! Got it from a whore in…”
“No sir, my testicle!?”
“Oh, yes, yes of course.”
Colonel Man Officer held the ball before him, amongst gunfire and general warfare bric-a-brac. A brief reverie washed across him as he held the pink sublime. He was interrupted by the whiz of a bullet that whispered into his ear as it passed: “give the soldier your trophy.”
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