Their camp was just outside the old boundary wall of the city, in a wooded area on the crest of a hill that overlooked the valley below. Central City sprawled out before them as far as they could see. The secluded camp sat in a clearing between six oak trees. Branches from the trees stretched into the middle of the space, creating a natural covering that protected their dwellings from rain and snow in the winter, from searing heat in the dry summer, and from surveillance drones and satellites all year round. The leaves had recently fallen from the branches, covering the forest floor in a damp, orange-yellow carpet. In the centre of the clearing was a campfire, with stones gathered round it for seats. A collection of mismatched tins, pots, plates and cooking utensils were gathered in a pile, still to be cleaned after their meal the previous evening. Danny picked up a metal pail and walked across the clearing. A hundred metres through the woods was a small burn that flowed down the hillside. It eventually joined with other streams and flowed into the river, heading towards the sea. Danny heard a steady trickle through the trees, the heavy rain the night before had swelled the flow of fresh water. His feet shuffled through the fallen leaves, he kicked pine cones as he wandered along. In the peace of the forest he could have forgotten they were overlooking a war zone.

Danny reached the stream and bent down, careful not to lose his footing on the slippery bank. He dipped the bucket into the river and water rushed into it. Once full, he heaved it out and stood. He looked along the stream, following its path until it dropped out of view on its journey down the hillside. Beyond, he saw the expanse of the valley open up below. He picked out the river and looked along it to the spot where the chimney towers of the arms factory had stood the day before. In their place he saw plumes of smoke. The rain during the night had extinguished the large fires, leaving just burning embers among the rubble.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is an excerpt from my latest novel ‘State Of War’ and is in response to the #writephoto Prompt: Vista curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

STATE OF WAR squrere





23 responses to “VISTA OF WAR”

  1. It’s a shame what devastation war brings. Excellent excerpt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A perfect excerpt for the prompt, Iain, that illustrates how wide the gap between war and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice scene setting, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kim, much appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A very interesting read Iain , I enjoyed it very much 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just bought “A Justified State” (love the reviews I read)
    It will arrive Tuesday and I can’t wait. Fantastic the excerpt- it will just take me two other books before I get there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amazing, thank you so much for getting a copy! Be sure to let me know how you get on when you’ve read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok – so the book arrived yesterday (woohoo!) I finished it today. That in and of itself should say something
        Wow! What a fantastic story- I couldn’t put the book down… which didn’t bode well for my kids (fasting is good for them, right?) as once I get lost in a book I don’t come up for air until it’s finished.
        But I only do that with the best of books!!!
        My only complaint is the depression I suffered upon turning the last page. What?! It’s over? Noooooo.
        Oh but that was short-lived, because I have two more to go!
        I will be ordering the next one in the series tomorrow
        Great work!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I commented Sunday after having finished your first book but I think there were WP issues and my comment might be sitting in spam. If you find it let me know— otherwise I will resend. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, found it in spam! So good to hear you enjoyed the book and are looking forward to the next 2! If you are able and have the time it would be great if you could put a review on Amazon or Goodreads, and help spread the word, you could just repeat what you commented here! Looking forward to seeing what you think of the next book. Thanks again 😍

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I just saw your review on, so ignore that! – thank you so much again!


      5. Yes, the other two are on the way! I already left a five star review (it is the first review I have ever submitted on Amazon) I didn’t do my usual quirky; I just said it was fantastic, a page turner and that I couldn’t put the book down. I also loaned the first book to my Mom already. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ha 🙂 , hope your Mom enjoys it too!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds great, Iain. I am also writing a book with a war theme.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do make for great dramatic situations. Having read your While the Bombs Fell, I look forward to seeing how your war theme turns out 🙂


  7. Such a great book. The whole series! I did finish your book and meant to send you a message earlier this past week about it! Awesome job! You had me intrigued and surprised at the twists it took. You ended it in such a moving way, and yes, I forgive you for possibly causing me some tears. 🙂 Well done and look forward to your next series! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you so much for reading all 3 books and your lovely comments and encouragement throughout! If you can leave a quick review on Amazon and help spread the word. Relieved you liked the ending too, I know it wasnt what you had hoped for! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome! I will definitely leave a review on Amazon. 🙂
        LOL about being relieved! By the middle of the book I was realizing that my original thought probably wasn’t going to happen. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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