Posts Tagged ‘world war 2’

Longitude and Latitude

In Fiction on July 2, 2014 at 12:05 am


Longitude and Latitude

“When did you know you were lost?” he asked, once we’d made it some miles inland. The artillery had faded now, a distant thrumming like timpani in a stygian orchestra, accompanied by Mausers and Brownings for snares. I shook my head and felt the blood come loose from my ear.

“Have a seat, son,” the colonel said, bracing me at the shoulders and guiding me onto a crate. He produced a handkerchief and wiped the blood from my neck, turned my head from side to side and tracked the jagged movement of my eyes.

“The blast was close,” he said. “Lucky you didn’t lose an arm or a leg. Just sit a spell and get your bearings.” Read the rest of this entry »


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 »