The thundering of shells erupts through the night, sprinkling cursed sods of dirt tainted with the blood of hundreds into the air like a geyser. The cold seeps through the skin as the heavens spew forth a monsoon as merciless as the enemy, to hide the tears of boys as their heroic dreams are drowned. Yet all I can hear is that infernal scratching, that constant ever-present torturous scratching as I cradle this demonic metal box beside me. Its contents was classified yet I know there is something living within its confines, some spawn of hell raking the inside as I clutch it close, trying to force my body into the trench walls. Not even the bursting of machine gun fire that tears my heart from its breast bone can distract me from this frightening foreboding that taunts me. The eternal scratching echoes against me, like a rusted razor dragging across my skin, distorting my mind like a twitch. I pray for my commander to relieve me of this insanity bearing burden, but I know that would be the kindest of miracles as his quarters lay in the next trench, and I can still see smoke rising from its smouldering ruin. So I am left in this tumultuous purgatory, to breathe the burning sulfur of men with only this beastly box as my companion.