*This was originally a set of poems and a narrative poem but I like the story so much I wanted to expound upon it. They met on the battlefield as enemies but not all men are meant to fight each other, some are meant to love.*
Chapter 1- Soldier
Out here in the crumbling French country-side, a soldier stands, with his men surrounding him they are a band of brothers. He’s on edge, but his head is held high with teeth bared to the sky, as he fights the ever present fatigue that leaves him hobbling forward. The mud has claimed him bones for its own, soon the hope to make camp and reclaim their manhood for future treks.
They soon come upon a town, empty but still there lingers a presence, the soldier clutches his rifle close. The wood and metal cradled in his arms, it is comforting like the embrace of your only friend, a lover, or a mother. Forever protecting and staying with you. As long as you treat em’ right.
Julia, he’s reminded of her he wonders how she is doing. He thinks of her smooth skin and freckled cheeks pressed against his arm as they walked down the boulevard, hand in hand.
From the corner of his eye he sees a flash. Someone is out there. Waiting for us. But nothing is out there in this empty city. He feels a fool as his men snicker at him, “Little Virgil is all jumpy again.” They snicker trying to appear like they had no fear no cause to feel weary for their very lives. They were winning, we were winning, there was nothing that could stop them, their power was to great thinking only of the allies plowing through the western front.
But that was then and this is now and now they are tired and lethargic slowly collapsing. Leaning on each other as their feet cried to be allowed to rest. At least they didn’t have it as bad as the blacks and the japs the horror story of the constant turn over in deployed soldiers in those companies could turn your gut. But better them then me. Virgil mused with a sick grin.
They make camp in a blown out and destroyed house that had spare beds and blankets. When night falls Virgil feel eyes upon himself. He quickly steady’s his rifle peering down his sights to see, the enemy looking back at him through their sights. Virgil draws in a breath. The winter air tears him to bits. Death will soon come for one of us. The slower man will die. The weaker man will die. But we will be the heroes. I will be a hero. Receiving the: Glory, Victory, and Honor. That we deserve.
I will not flinch, I will not run, and I shall be victorious, but now, here I wait, ready to fire, clutching my rifle. With the calloused hands of a typist, rendered to nothing but gnarled twigs, the endless tightening of boot straps and quick closing of buttons had rendered them numb and dull. And here he waits, for his hand to stop shaking, for that Mauser Rifle to, finally, kill him, and for his flag, to be rested upon, his coffin. Would my father be there, would my mother cry, who would my brother and sister blame for my death? God, The President, Hitler, or would they say it was my fault for going in the first place.
But death has not come to him, just yet. He clears his muddled mind so he can truly see pushing back the fog that was clouding his fearful mind. The enemy is gone, he escaped in Virgil’s moment of weakness.
Smith nudged Virgil in his sleepy state. Whispering his name. “Virgil what is it?” He inquired upon his stance and his weapon drawn probably just wanting him to stop making noise so he could sleep.
Virgil is speechless unsure what to do. So he says, but its a sputtering out of some words with restrained duress. “It was just-” He paused thoughtfully. “A lonely deer searching for its family.” Virgil receives an eye roll and a dismissive yawn. “Well if you’re hungry kill it already or go to sleep, country boy” he said. He returned to his sleep and Virgil stays awake watching where the sniper once sat. The enemy soldier was still gone from his perch but he saw no one leave the building. He must still be inside, he reasoned. He wonders to myself as he settles down to sleep if he’ll meet that deer one day.
Either on the battlefield or on the streets of Germany. But- I want to see my enemy, to touch my enemy. He’s a man not a monster.
Chapter 2 >>