top of page

Clay Scalzo

Creative Writing: Only the Animals

Bombs ripped through the thick grey blanket of clouds like a bullet ripping through flesh. Their whistles pierced the ears of soldier’s miles around. I pushed my way through the thick blackberry bushes feeling the thorns scratch my famished chest. My owner had died two days ago. A mine had blown off his legs, and he had bled to death on the ground. I had tried to warn him, I had barked and jumped, but he thought I was playing. Even though I did all I could, I still felt guilty. I somehow felt that I could’ve done more. I wanted to just run into enemy lines and get shot, and then maybe I would see my owner again. But I know that he would have wanted me to make it back and warn our squad about his death if he were alive.

So, for now, I planned to make it through the border and find my troop. As I crept along, I spotted a grassy clearing. This was it; I was over the border. I was now deep in enemy territory. I scanned the area looking for some way I could get food or water. That’s when I saw it, an entire squadron of armed Nazi soldiers marching down the war-torn streets. Their faces were plain and dull as If they were only slightly unamused that bombs and artillery ripping through the town around them.

Although I was at least 100 meters away, I could still see that sickening swastika plastered on their arms redder than the blood of the soldiers and civilians they had mercilessly murdered. Master had told me stories about Nazis, but even how he described them couldn’t do them justice. They were disgusting; They were built like malnourished pigs and had faces like rats.

I could see a charred house about 2 minutes down the road. The bottom floor seemed to be mostly intact, so I could safely assume that there was food and, if I was lucky, maybe even water. The only problem was that if I walked straight there, I would be captured and potentially shot. There was a small brick alleyway to my right that seemed to be empty and unpatrolled. I decided my best bet was to follow the alleyway down to the street the house was on, then hide in the rubble before slowly making my way to the abandoned residence. I cautiously made my way down the steep hill I was on. The alleyway was covered in thick grime, wall to wall, and the bricks on the footpath were burned and cracked. The silence pounded against my eardrums as I slunk along. As I approached the house, the smell of rotting flesh grew more potent, I began to gag as I pushed open the back door with my nose. That’s when I saw it; An entire family flopped over the kitchen table; Their limp rotting bodies were decaying and torn up. It was clear they had been there for a time because the corpses were infested with maggots and larva. I nearly threw up. The look on their faces was sad and broken. Their clothes were stained red and black from their open wounds. Dry puss encased the injuries ripped across their backs. Bloodstains were streaked across the walls like a crazy artist had flicked paint everywhere. As I examined the youngest child’s body, I saw something that made me choke. All that was left of the chest and head of the boy was a pile of red fleshy pulp and organs. Dried blood was caked over the corpse, and his head lay in the corner of the room. His eyes were rolled back in his skull like white, veiny marbles, and his jaw had been blown off.

I forced my head to turn away and look for some food or water. I could feel myself getting weaker and weaker. I pulled open a small cabinet with my teeth, and to my surprise, I saw a loaf of bread and a jar of peaches. I knocked the peaches on the ground and smashed the glass open. I proceeded to lick up the syrup maniacally; I then devoured the peaches and began to eat the bread. I could feel the energy pulse through my veins as the sugar from the peaches gives me a burst of life.

Then once again, without a single warning, bombs began to rain from the sky. I heard an explosion on my right, then one to my left. I started to panic, losing control of my breathing, before I began to hyperventilate. Then I saw a small wooden hatch embedded into the ground. A bomb shelter, I was saved. I ran towards it and began pulling the hatch upwards. My jaw started to hurt; sharp pains ripped through my face and chest. Finally, the hatch tipped backwards, and I tumbled in. The shelter was small and worn. The moth-eaten carpet smelled incredibly musty. I jumped up and flicked the light switch with my nose. A small fluoride bulb flickered on and off before it began to produce a slight pulsating glow. There was barely enough light to illuminate half of the room. The shelter began to shake as a bomb landed directly next to the house. The cans of food on the shelves dropped off the frames, and they collided with my ribcage. I felt one of them snap; the pain was excruciating, and I began to cough up pools of blood. The force from the explosion slammed the hatch to the shelter closed and demolished what was left of the tiny house above. I had no way of telling whether the bombs were from the Germans or us. After what felt like an eternity, the bombs stopped. I could hear screams and shouting from the street outside. Were they scared or happy? I couldn’t tell. I decided to go outside and check. I pushed the hatch open and stepped out into the decimated landscape. For a second, I couldn’t believe it was the same town, there was nothing left of the tiny houses, and all that remained of the shopping strip was a pile of charcoal, ash, and burning and charred bodies. The small playground was now a smouldering chunk of melted metal and plastic.

Then like a ray of sunshine in a storm, I saw a flag, our flag. Cars were parading down the streets, and yells of joy from the soldiers rang through the air. As I made my way through the mess of soldiers and civilians, I saw someone I recognized. It was Lachie, my master’s best friend. The whole world faded away as I bound towards him. Pain shot through every joint of my body, but I didn’t care. I flung myself onto him, and he grabbed me in his arms.

“whoa, what the fu-. Oh my god. Its Max! we- we thought you were dead.”

I barked in pure joy and excitement. And for the first time in months, I felt safe.

bottom of page