St. Vith

Maybe in the beginning, a mere seven months ago, they were a bunch of kids playing at war with loaded guns. Now though they are experienced in murder and seeing their friends die. Of hating with all their hearts. Of feeling fear and hunger and cold beyond imagination.

They stand in a dangerous place. A place obliterated by 240mm artillery rounds and bomb dropped from the sky. It was once a town this place that now lays in rubble under their feet.

A place called St. Vith. A place with a railroad. A place deemed important.

It had a bakery and a playground and a little health clinic, paved roads and tulips grew here in the Spring. The last mayor was a man named Fritz. He was shot in the head in the village center. His death was a show of force. The German commander who shot him was crushed by a falling brick wall. His body is there still buried and rotting. He is a horrible smell that no soldier cares to investigate.

He is just one bad smell among many.

No doubt more will still die before peace is declared.

But the worst of the war is over.

And it only took the deaths of seventy-seven million people to get there.

But these four soldiers will live on. They survived the worst of it. They survived this, the worst thing humanity could throw against them in the twentieth century.

Now the only battle left is the docile fight against time.


Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: My Subreddit: My Reddit profile: Like my work? Become a patron at:

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