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War On Sauce

If you're into random war stories, you've come to the right place.

Idalis Bowman

The Great War was happening and nothing was going to stop that. All of my comrades were excited to fight for their country and for their family, but I could see straight through the bull and realized this war was useless. However, I would be shunned, driven to suicide if I didn't join the rest of them to our doom. I was talking to a stranger I had met at the market, an old man in a wheelchair who strangely resembled a pirate, about the war and he was obviously thrilled that I would be protecting and serving. I was buying food for a party I would have tonight and the man asked me, “Are you going to join the war to end all wars?” I said yes, but very unconvincingly. He seemed enraged that I wasn’t more enthusiastic about it and said that he would “gladly join” if he wasn't bound to his chair.

I spent the last bit of money while strolling around town on some of my favorites things. I got my family and friends together, we had a little shindig and my mother brought my favorite food: anything with a lot of steak sauce. I could eat trash off the side of the street if it had enough steak sauce, and I cried a little inside when I realized I wouldn't be able to have this until I came back. They said this war would last 6 months tops. I thought I would be able to live that long without my beloved steak sauce, but I still found myself slipping the rest of the bottle into my bag.

When I finally arrived to the front, from the beginning, it was hell. The smell of sulfur and rotting flesh was already enough to make me want to throw in the towel, but over the days, the constant paranoia began to eat at me until I started falling apart. For days, I would rock back and forth at the bottom of my trench trying to forget where I was, forget that this wasn’t home, forget that there was a high chance I would die. Days turned to weeks, and by that time I had finally gotten used to the fact of my inevitable death. I had made a friend by then, Samuel, and we were eating bland bread and crackers together when I remembered the steak sauce. I grabbed it from my bag and offered him some. He had a look on his face I hadn't seen in this trench: a smile. He poured some on his bread, I poured some on mine and we cheered. Over our snack, he told me about his life before the war. He had a little lady waiting for him back at home; he would do anything in this trench if it meant he would live. If it meant he got to see his love again. We had found at least a little bit of humanity, in a bottle of steak sauce.

When it was well past 6 months, we understood this war wouldnt be ending anytime soon. We were running low on supplies, our men's bodies were used in the trench to keep our feet from suffering from Trench Foot, and we were just waiting for the next move to be made by the Germans. By this point, I was running low on steak sauce and everyone was scavenging for food. It was night time, and after a long day of praying I would live, I was terribly hungry. I didn't have anything solid to eat, but I decided the steak sauce alone would be enough. I went over to my area of the trench to find my best friend Samuel, drinking the rest of my steak sauce.

By the time I ran over, he had gulped the remainder of it down, looking at me with fear at what I would do. At this point, I had considered that savory sauce my only friend. He would keep me safe. Samuel had eaten my best friend. He would pay for that. I grabbed him by his throat and pushed him to the floor and started bashing his head in with the empty bottle of steak sauce, him suffocating and bleeding out slowly. When he was finally dead, I realized I had made a huge mistake, and hid his body under past soldiers who had died. Nobody had really noticed what had happened, as they were sleeping or paying attention to something else. It was also very convenient that we were in war, so no one had to ask me why I had blood all over my uniform.

Me murdering one of my only friends was killing me and I could feel myself going mad. I looked at the broken, bloody, empty bottle of the sauce and wondered what they put in this stuff to make it so addicting. I started crying at the loss of my real best friend, my beloved steak sauce. I would do anything for another taste of home, another taste of the way my mother would cook my meat and drown it with this sauce. I could remember the smell of her perfume and the feeling of her patting my head as she laid a steaming plate of food. I looked down at the cold piece of bread I had in my dirty hands, a tear dripping onto it. As if God, or Lucifer himself, had heard my prayers, I got everything I wished for at once. I looked over the trench like I usually did to see how things were going, and I saw the most peculiar thing.

I saw my best friend Samuel, in No Man’s Land, holding a bottle of steak sauce in his hands. He had the biggest grin on his face and I was wondering why the enemies weren’t shooting him down. I was filled with happiness, falling into complete hysteria at the fact that I hadn't actually killed Samuel, that this was all just a big misunderstanding. I told anyone that would listen about this epiphany I had achieved and they all accused me of being a basket case. I told them to look and they all kept telling me there was no one there. They would look at me with pity and say to each other “Looks like he’s finally cracked.”

Samuel would just stand there, holding the steak sauce, swinging it around in his hand. I wanted just one more taste of my beloved steak sauce. I wanted to apologize for killing my friend over something so stupid. As irrational as it was, I wanted to go right up onto No Man’s Land, hug my best friend and share a steak sauce sandwich with him.

So that’s exactly what I did. Or at least tried to do.

At soon as I hopped over the trench, Samuel threw the steak sauce straight onto the dirt and laughed, as he slowly disappeared into thin air. Before I even had a chance to register what had just happened, the enemy had seen me and I was being pelted with bullets. As I had almost finally dropped dead, a revolting, familiar smell had overtaken my senses: the smell of steak sauce.

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