Short Story #202: A Resumed Identity by Ambrose Bierce

Title: A Resumed Identity

Author: Ambrose Bierce

Summary

Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceA man stands overlooking a field in the early morning trying to see everything there is despite the poor light.  Soon, he sees a large battalion of soldiers making their way down the road but for some strange reason, he cannot hear them at all.  He attributes this to some strange element of the winds and proceeds to run off and warn his battalion.  As he moves away, he looks back and sees nothing but continues to seek out his battalion.  Along the road, he encounters a doctor whom through conversation realizes that the man is quite confused since the war had ended years ago.  The man is confused by this and flees.  He eventually finds his way through the woods and finds a marking that identifies the sight of the battle and the buried bodies of his comrades.  It has been raining and near one of the graves, the puddle is filled enough that he can see his reflection.  He crawls into the grave and dies again.

Reflection

Like Chickamauga, this has a chilling effect overall--more so than many of the horror stories in this collection.  The two most haunting parts are the beginning as the day begins and the silence is so prominent and at the end when the soldier climbs into the grave.    

Short Story #202 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 7/21/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on Archive.org.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.



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