Posts Tagged ‘caen’

Operation Charnwood

In Fiction on July 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

British soldier at Caen

Operation Charnwood

The young man led me by the arm through the rubble, helping me over fallen walls and crushed motorcars. I could have made the way myself, but the bombs had rendered the place unrecognizable.

“The historic district is mostly gone, I’m afraid,” the soldier explained as we walked. The corners of his mouth went up a bit, with pride for the might of the Allies, I suppose.

“The rest of the city held more for me,” I said. “But that’s gone now, too.”

The soldier nodded, and the shadow of his smile faded.

I had lived my entire life in Caen. I had scraped my knees on the schoolhouse cobbles as a child; stolen kisses (and more) behind my mother’s patisserie; there was a wall—or there had been—where my first husband and I had been photographed by the elder Lumière himself. But even the photo was gone now, under the pile of stone and glass that had been my home. The city was a graveyard, and my whole world lay beneath its stones. Read the rest of this entry »