World War One. The Western Front. Winter.
Duke Lindsay is going to die. He knows it’s only a matter of time. The war that was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime has turned into a terrifying nightmare that has crushed his once carefree spirit. With no family to care what becomes of him, and all his friends dead, he has nothing to live for.
Until Corporal Driscoll comes along.
Driscoll forces Duke to obey him, to be a man, to stay alive. As they undergo hardship and fight bitter battles side by side, Duke comes to realise Driscoll cares for him in a way noone ever has before. With Driscoll’s help, Duke finds in himself the man he was always supposed to be.
From the ashes of war, an enduring friendship begins to blossom.
Warnings: This title contains Graphic language, gay sex, violence.
Word Count: 16000
Curled around the flickering lamp, Duke inhaled deeply, waiting for the pain to melt away. But this time it did not. The knot behind his ribs still ached, shortening his breath, robbing him of speech. He tried to move, but his body refused to obey him.
Others were in the room with him, dim shapes curled around little lights of their own. A large shadow moved closer to him, and resolved into Jack Newland.
“G’day, Dukie boy,” said Jack, his lips turning up into his brilliant, never forgotten smile.
Duke tried to speak, but nothing came out of his mouth. His heart began to pound.
“Heard you’d had some troubles. Nothing like our troubles, but.”
“I’m s-sorry Jack,” Duke managed to gasp.
“Yeah, we’re all bloody sorry, mate. I can’t go home now, and it’s your fault.”
As Duke watched, bits of flesh began to decay, falling from Jack’s face.
“No, don’t,” Duke whimpered. He tried to lift his hands, to stop his friend’s face from crumbling, or perhaps to cover his eyes so he would not see it. His hands were stuck fast, glued in place.
“You’re a coward, Duke. A bloody coward. I come here because of you, and you left me. You didn’t even have the guts to see it through with me. You can try to hide in here, dreaming your life away, but you know it won’t work. You’ll never forget what you done, Duke. Never.”
By now, Jack was skeletal, hair and tendrils of putrefying flesh hanging from the bony skull. His mouth was all teeth and jawbone, but his voice was still as clear as his accusations were just.
Tears were running down Duke’s face. “I never wanted to leave you, Jack. I wish I was dead.”
“Don’t worry, mate, you will be. Bloody Fritz’ll do for you soon enough, like Johnny Turk done for me. Hope you’re enjoying this piece of hell the Huns’ve made for you, you bloody deserve it.”
Jack reached out and grabbed his arm.
Duke woke with a yell.
This book was added to our catalog on Friday 03 July, 2015.