Flash fiction: Different vs Same

We’re totally different.

The thought rose in the general’s mind as he surveyed the barricade ahead of them. Grim faces, good discipline. Sad eyes though. They were hoping it would not come to this.

All they want is the destruction of my people.

These soldiers were mostly young men, drafted into the national effort, to bring order. Nobody had said they would be marching back towards their homes.

Can’t they see that we work for their health, security and well-being?

It wasn’t going to be easy, this unification drive.

Once we have the resources they’ve got, we can distribute them fairly, and ensure that everyone has access to them.

It always came down to the resources at the end of the day – never enough to go around, and this group… well, they’re holding out and holding on. With their protests against the government, their refusal to bring their produce out for the collection, and now they’ve taken the distribution team captive.

They don’t honour life, with their rabble-rousing and rioting.

Still, it will be difficult for the boys whose parents and brothers are at that barricade.

We don’t want to harm them.


We don’t want to harm them.

Those boys are from here. Their parents lining up at the barricade, looking at the young men who were pulled from their families.

They don’t honour life, with their heavy armaments and their military manoeuvres.

A few months of military training had really changed them. The shining guns, physical training and hours of being shouted at… hard not to take it onboard. After a while, you just change, and you have to internalise the government’s platitudes.

Once they take control of the town, they’ll take our resources we have been stockpiling for winter, like we always have.

We always share the harvest over the winter, and there’s just enough for us. The central depots were supposed to share things evenly, but the distribution team had arrived with rations for only half the town.

Can’t they see that we are protecting our health, security and well-being?

The government had painted them as revolutionaries – radicals who stood against the great state, baying for blood. Nothing compared to marching the military in to forcibly take their remaining food.

All they want is the destruction of these people.

The man looked over the barricade to where his opponent’s army was massing for the first assault. An army, against a small group of local boys. Grim faces, and scared eyes, as they looked out for their sons, brothers, on the other side – with the guns.

We’re totally different.


My first flash fiction in a very long time (maybe since school). I wrote it based on the writing prompt from Writers’ HQ over here.

Published by Laura M.

I'm an writer living in Manchester, UK. I am an avid amateur hobbyist, including dabbling in dancing, sewing, crafting, baking, brewing, and blogging.

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