The Coming Storm ~ A Story

Pickett's Charge: So Much More to Go

Young Langdon Cabot, his face covered in sweat and worry, leaned close to Asa Benning’s ear and yelled, “What time is it, Asa?”

The big guns had been shelling the Union lines for two hours this hot July third, and South Carolina boys had said the din reminded them sitting in the middle of an afternoon thunderstorm in Beaufort County, except it rained steel.

Benning, a 25-year-old Virginian with a combat history as long as his lice-ridden beard, untrimmed since Sharpsburg, squinted out over the rolling mile of Pennsylvania pastureland between the useless shade here in this steaming apple grove and the Union fortification before Cemetery Hill.

When an itinerant breeze nudged aside the clouds of smoke and dust coughed up by the barrage, Benning could see the Confederate artillery rounds were overshooting the Union positions…and then, silence.

Benning turned to young Cabot, fished the spent wad of tobacco from his dry mouth and sighed, “The time? It’s high tide, boy, and time we cast our nets for to catch what these damned old men have ordered.”

A bit of Five Sentence Fiction kicked off by Lillie McFerrin’s prompt: Thunder

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