An endless wood, gouged with trenches, scarred with mortars, choked with gas. Their uniforms and flags have gone grey with mildew, green with mold, and their faces worn away in the endless cycle of front line-relief-support-and-furlough. They are sodden lumps of wool and iron.
Cedar has been hired as a messenger, but in this trackless tangle she has lost her way. The lines shift daily, hourly; now before her, now behind her, somehow never crossing her position.
Her dispatches must be out of date, must come too late, but she can’t find anyone to take them. She asks directions of the faceless men, but is swamped in their reek of foreign beer. Always elsewhere. The guns are always firing over the next hill, behind the next stand of trees, but she is always too late, a forced witness to an apocalypse already achieved.