MIN AND MAX WORD COUNT: 11,000
(We will be picking 11 stories, total)
Please use The Chicago Manual of Style, and RTF file attachment
PAY: $25 USD
ALL stories will be overseen by HR Arswyd – send submissions to email@example.com
One hundred years ago, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the conflict we have come to call World War One shuddered to a halt as an armistice came into effect between the Central Powers; Imperial Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Turkey, and Bulgaria on the one side, and the Allied Powers of France, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, and the United States, on the other, although certainly other nations were involved as well.
It saw combat rage in every quarter of the globe from the fields of Flanders, to the lakes of East Prussia; from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of Arabia and the jungles of East Africa; from the Falkland Islands to the vastness of the Central Pacific and the coast of the Pacific Rim. It was fought on land, in the air, on the sea, and under it.
While the lethality of traditional warfighting technologies, such as rifle, artillery, and battleship had reached new heights of destructive power, cutting-edge technologies like the submarine, machine gun, and airplane were struggling to find their place. New developments such as the bomber, the tank, poisoned gas, and the flame thrower multiplied the destructive power available to combatants to unprecedented levels. Industrial technology created methods of slaughter which far out-stripped the ability of the military and politicians to adequately assimilate them.
The result was real horror on a global scale: Between August 1914, and the Armistice some 50 months later, over 25 million military personnel had died as a direct result of the fighting, while civilian casualties numbered around another 10 million.
The sea of mud at Passchendaele, the meat-grinder of Verdun, the frozen nightmares of Galicia or the North Sea, the festering, steaming swamps of Tanzania, the burning wastes of the Nefud Desert, all added their own special twist to the horror. New forms of injury and trauma were manifest: the hideous damage from chemical gases for example, which could cause a combatant to cough out his own lungs while internally drowning, horrific burns caused by flame throwers, and the literal madness induced by the concussive effects of sustained artillery barrages, not to mention shell-shock and the myriad of what we now style PTSD injuries.
Use it all to conjure your most frightening vision of the hell of that conflict, supernatural or psychological. Explore the experience of what was hailed as “The War to End All Wars” in all its brutal, terrifying depravity. Use the reality of that war, please, not an alternative history or zombie-pocalypse “re-imagings” of World War One. This is an exploration of horror through the lens of the nightmare that defined the 20th century and which resonates down to this moment. No politics or morality fables about the evils of war, or how we should all just get along, or settle our differences peacefully etc. Focus on dread, terror, horror, and madness of all kinds. Give us demons, ghosts, malevolent spirits, abominations, creatures, and insanity, all within the most accurate, authentic representation of an aspect of World War One you can conjure.