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Jack Elgos' Presents - Chasing Death's Door

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Chasing Death's Door - A short extract

The Verberatio:

How does a nightmare begin?
For one man, it began many years ago outside the city walls on a low barren hill. It began at a place of execution. It began in a place known as Golgotha.

Terentius Vitaemulto has seen them. The visions of brutality, torture and suffering still remain, haunting him throughout his life.
For him, it began one sunny day in the confines of a small walled courtyard. This place, the Praetorium, was a place of punishment, privation and pain.
It began, as his day usually began, with the humiliation, flogging and scourging of a single prisoner in the endless line of faceless criminals.
Later in the day he stood witness as the final, savage thrust of an infantry spear hit its mark.
But all this happened many, many centuries ago, and the year now is 1854.

30th of October. 1854:

On an unknown battlefield, somewhere close to Sevastopol, Balaclava.
Five days after the Light Brigade's glorious, but deadly, charge and the Crimean War rages on.
This is the trooper's story.

The depths of inky black soothing darkness slowly began fading from his inner vision as, even through tightly closed eyelids, several intermittent blindingly white flashes shook him back into consciousness. But, the trooper couldn't be sure exactly where he was or, for that matter, what the hell he was doing here.
For a fleeting moment everything seemed to be eerily silent then, a second or two later, his hearing began returning. The peaceful rest he had been enjoying was gone in an instant.
Once again he found himself facing the terrible reality of life, and death, on this small, frigid and unnamed battlefield in the middle of nowhere.
Screams of pain and shouts of anger mingled with the constant roaring of distant cannon shot. The close by musket fire was ricocheting around as it echoed time after time through his head.
Now he lay short of breath, recoiling at the constant pain, shock and horror of it all.
An icy cold mounting fear .............