Dulce et decorum est – Friday Fictioneers

Here is this week’s entry into the weekly challenge brought to us by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Here are the rules: Use the photo as inspiration, write a hundred(ish) words – and share! Here goes my offering for this week – and I welcome your comments again!

Copyright - Managua Gunn

Copyright – Managua Gunn

– Dulce et Decorum est… –

‘Soldier, soldier, won’t you marry me? With your musket, fife and drum…’

Jonathan whistled the tune through his teeth, sighed, and pulled his shoulders back again, shifting his ceremonial rifle slightly on his shoulder. Four more hours to go and he could already feel pins and needles tingling in his weapon-bearing arm.

This wasn’t what he had signed up for – solo ceremonial guard of a deserted palace in the empire’s most inaccessible territory.

He pictured his imaginary alter ego, leading a charge on the enemy – a hero, with a proper, working weapon.

Life could be such a let-down.


Click the blue froggy to read other writers’ offerings – and enjoy!

36 thoughts on “Dulce et decorum est – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Poor Jonathan! Obviously not what he had expected.
    I enjoyed how you powerfully convey regret and hints of bitterness through his inner thoughts.

  2. Looks like old Jonathan got the “dulce et decorum est” part of the phrase all right, all right. Some others got the “pro patria mori” end of it. I suppose there are worse jobs to be had. I was a French Horn player in the Governor of Kansas’ Band. Sweet duty, actually. Needless to say, I had to laugh at this because it’s so true. Good work!

    1. Thanks, Kent! I used the title for the exact reasons you mentioned. That Wilfred Owen poem is one that remains one of my favourites since I first read it over 30 years ago, as an emotional not quite teenager.
      A bugle player sounds like great fun – I’m pleased you enjoyed my offering 🙂

  3. I checked out the latin and read WO’s poem and got a translation. So not only did I get enjoyment from your piece but got a bit of learning out of it. Thank you, ma’m.

  4. Those fulfilling the role of “solo ceremonial guard of a deserted palace in the empire’s most inaccessible territory.” will not be killed in the prime of their life. A dead hero is still dead and will quickly be swept away with history.

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