HMS Hope

A short narrative of soldiers, sailing home to England, set in the Victorian Era.
Originally as a creative writing exercise in school.

The water crashed against the boat for the umpteenth time, and the man next to me retched over the side, into the tepid ocean below.

Seasick fool, emptying his stomach the whole journey home.

Home, to England. How I long to see the perfect ivory cliffs of Dover once more, to be surrounded with the soft scent of honey blossom and lavender, the smell of my little cottage and my little wife.

The boy behind me whimpers again. He is barely eighteen, cannot yet endure the horror of war. "Quiet!" the captain snarls to the boy.

The boy will learn, as we all have, how to deal with the horrors we commit, us, the Royal Marines.

He whimpers again, louder this time, followed by a strangled scream. The ruthless captain cuts him down, his bloodied corpse is thrown overboard unceremoniously, and all was silent again on the HMS Hope.

The End

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