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The Christmas Truce (standard:Creative non-fiction, 1333 words)
Author: kathygAdded: Dec 01 2008Views/Reads: 3144/1701Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A sample Chapter of my story "Rose Cottage" . I hope you like it. Feedback welcome :)

It is Christmas 1918, somewhere in the trenches of this Great War. 
Shadowy figures of enemy soldiers approach, but they are bearing gifts 
and bringing laughter, songs and a soccer game that will make the war 
seem like a dim memory, if only for a few hours... 

Captain Armand Boucher United States Navy Medical Officer Along the
trenches in the Western Front Somewhere in Germany Christmas, 1918 

My Dear Isabelle and Pierre, 

As I am writing this letter to you, it has started to snow.  This snow
covers the trenches where soldiers from Europe and the United States 
are fighting the Germans in the Great War.  The only light I have is 
from my lit cigarette, a bad habit I picked up from the stress of war.  
I hope this letter finds you some refuge from the influenza epidemic I 
hear so much about.  News trickles down to us; we are always the last 
to hear anything.  Especially the news about your Mama's death.  I am 
so sorry.  Please know she sent you and Pierre to Rose Cottage to keep 
you safe. 

Try not to worry too much about me.  I will do my best to return to your
both!  Above all, try to make Christmas special for Pierre! 

I know at this time you are staying with Aunt Claire and Marie at Rose
Cottage.  I hope you received my wonderful surprise!  It makes me smile 
to think of your happiness when you open it!  I am doing okay.  Each 
day is another day closer to the day when we can be together again. 

You are very brave to travel to Rose Cottage, Isabelle, and protect your
little brother Pierre.  I received notice that your Mama had the 
influenza and a few weeks before you took her to the hospital, she sent 
me a loving letter.  I will cherish it always.  She is no longer with 
us, as you probably guess from the last time you talked to her at 
Boston General.  Just try to remember her as she used to be.  So 
vibrant, smiling and happy, especially how much she loved Christmas!  I 
am holding on to this memory of your Mama to get me through each day. 

Please pray for all of us.  We need your prayers.  Dear Little Ones,
this Christmas season has touched both sides, the Germans, French, 
English, Belgians, and of course, we “Yanks”, as they like to call 
American soldiers! 

They call this the “War to end all wars!”  A soldier has no idea what
hell they enter when they sign up to fight overseas!   This “Great 
War”, the news reports trickle in slowly to the Western Front, here in 
Germany.  The news reports say that we are winning the battle for 
democracy and freedom throughout the world and we need to “soldier on” 

“Soldier on?” 

It is Christmas Day.  I am an ocean apart from all of you!  I hear the
horror stories of an influenza epidemic outbreak in Boston!  The sound 
of gunfire and sheer survival in this hell I exist in this moment in 
time, gives me the “thousand yard stare”.  Where once stood a vibrant, 
ambitious medical officer of the United States Navy, today my eyes have 
seen the horror of the reality of this Great War! 

I fear I will never recover from what I have seen here in Germany.  The
suffering, the bloodshed, and defending democracy over some Archduke 
that was assassinated. 

Sometimes, I wonder what I am doing here, but I remember I signed up and
this is my duty.  My country called upon me, and as a patriot, I must 
obey.  If nothing else, Isabelle and Pierre, I am proud to be an 
American!  You would be proud of our soldiers and also the French, 
English and all our Allies, uniting together in our common cause for 
keeping liberty alive. 

I watch as the soldiers stand knee deep in the slime of a snow-covered
trench, fighting just to stay alive another day. 

It is evening of 24 December, 1918.  I am standing in the dreaded
Western Front.  Stooped over, I make my way through gunfire and order 
one soldier to take over watch.  Having exchanged pleasantries, my 

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