Night before last, stayed up very late, reading Sebastian Barry’s A Long, Long Way. You wouldn’t think a Filipina could get into the head of an Irishman, but she has. And not just any Irishman. This lad’s been standing up in a trench in Flanders Field (or somewhere thereabouts), up to his shoulders in water, for fifteen straight days. He hasn’t had anything to eat, and there are no troops coming from behind to relieve him. “There was a terrible drop in numbers in the battalions, everyone remarked on it. Half strength as they were seemed almost a good thing by comparison.” (p. 264).
And what is on his mind? Ghosts.
The man’s unit was to have been relieved by “a battalion of the Gloucesters.” But
The Gloucesters never did turn up. Maybe the great Leviathans of that mud world swallowed them up. There was talk of new creatures fashioning themselves from this chaos, horrible, fanged whale-like monsters that could eat a soldier in two ticks.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.