The Devil's Own

 “Anastasia! Wake Up! Wake up!”

    Bullets, blood, and fire fill the sky. Jolting up, Anastasia barely misses losing her head to a vicious shard of shrapnel. Round after round of machine gun fire tears through the blood-soaked ditch, ripping through men and munitions alike.
    
    “Anastasia!”

    Shooting a glance behind her, Anastasia finds Dimitri crouching down, knee deep in guts and gore, clutching his PPSH-41 submachine gun. Next to him, covered in mud and the remains of some poor victim of the never-ending rain of machine gun fire, lies her Mosin-Nagant. Snatching up the rifle, Anastasia quickly checks for ammo. Two rounds. Satisfied, she turns to Dimitri.

    “I am going to stop that gun!” she screams, barely audible over the relentless roar of the machine gun. “I need you to cover me after I kill the gunner!”

    Nodding nervously, Dimitri reloads and pats Anastasia on the shoulder, letting her know he’s ready. Seconds later, the hurricane of bullets shifts down to the far end of the ditch. Seeing her chance, Anastasia jumps up and takes aim. 

    The machine gun sits mounted on a small jeep, it’s seemingly infinite ammo belt slithering through the belly of the beast. Belching fire and lead, the beast rocks the jeep and shakes the ground. Behind the cacophony, a beetle-black helmet violently bobs with recoil.

    Anastasia lets loose a round from her rifle, splitting the helmet in two. Blood and grey matter color the air for a brief moment and the beast wildly perforates the sky before screeching to a sudden stop. A German soldier at the back of the jeep takes aim at Anastasia, but catches a face full of frantic submachine gun fire from Dimitri. The driver of the jeep scrambles for his Luger before another round from Anastasia’s rifle tears through his throat. Silence descends on the ditch like a leaden blanket. 

    The silence doesn’t last long, however. The cries of the dying and the damned echo through the shelled-out city. The first wave of German troops has been destroyed, but the next will come soon. Anastasia turns to the ditch, looking for any salvageable supplies. 

    “Dimitir, check the jeep.”

    Kneeling in Mud, blood, and God-knows-what, Anastasia checks for a pulse on a fallen comrade. His cold, clammy skin and the two ragged holes in his chest suggest that he doesn’t have much of a heart anymore. Undiscouraged, Anastasia moves on to the next muddy corpse.

The End

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