The front line

Emma is spending the summer at her grandparents. What was supposed to be a boring day turns out to be the journey to her past. She travels in time through a series of notebooks belonging to A. Parke and C. Rexach whom lived during World War 1. What will she encounter in her journey back in time?

That's up to you to find out...



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5. Further into the notebooks

Journal of A. Parke

April 7th, 1917

 

   I was informed yesterday of the Americans declaring war over Germany. The reasons are not important to me at the current moment. My mind is elsewhere, in the young woman from the pub. I recieved a telegram earlier today informing me that I had to fly over Verdun. Matthew Edwards, also a pilot, shall accompany me. We will take off in a few hours, I believe they rather it be further into night, incase we have to bombard any enemy trenches. 

 

Diary of C. Rexach

April 9th, 1917-midnight

 

      I was abruptly woken up by screaming had running. "Cathryn! Cathryn! Wake up! There has been an artillery riot! The Brit from the other night was among the wounded. Get up!" Jossette hushed. My mind awoke, he couldn't be dead. I picked the robe next to my now empty cot and ran downstairs. Indeed the Brit was there with another, also in uniform. The other was conscious, while Bleu-vert was not. They helped me get him upstairs, to my room. Once his body was placed on my cot his eyes flung open. "It is me, I will not harm you. I will only help." I whispered. "Where am I? Where's Edwards?" He inquired. "I cannot loose any more time. I don't think you want to die from blood loss!" I shrieked, trying to keep calm. I reached for his shirt, but he grabbed my hands. "You don't want to die from tetanus, do you? I won't bite." I joked. 

  He let go of my hands and began to undo his shirt. His left chest had glass, and there was a bullet wound in his abdomen. I prayed silently, asking for patience and bravery, he needed, my help. I reached for a clean needle, threads, and gauzes from underneath my cot. I also took hold of a bottle of alcohol. Then, I went to the window, and grabbed hold of the basket of medicinal herbs. I did a quick tea and made him drink it. Removing the bits of glass and the bullet proved to be the easy part, cleaning the wounds was a challenge. The alcohol disinfected the wound, along with some herbs. The moment the needle and thread did contact with his skin he winced. 

  I tried to be as gentle as I could, but I had to make sure it was all mended. Once I finished sewing his injuries, I took some lemon balm and placed some over the wounds. "There, that should do. I will bring in some Scotch to warm you up a bit." I left before he could reply. I am well aware that my hands are bloody. I took a moment to compose myself and went downstairs. The other Brit, whom I suppose was Edwards, was drinking from a bottle of Whisky, and had Jossette and a few others around him. He was handsome, with copper colored hair and brown eyes. I ignored their giggles and grabbed the bottle of Scotch.

    When I opened the door of the room, he had his back turned to me. He was fiddling with his belt when he turned. I put the bottle on a table mid way to him and sat in a small chair. I undid the twists on my hair in pure nerves. I felt exposed in my night gown, he was in full uniform, a swift move and I was his. "I am Cathryn, Cathryn Rexach." I introduced myself, unable to think of anything else to do.  He froze mid way on buckleling his belt. He shook his head and flashed me a smile. "I'm Alexandre Parke, Colonel for the Royal Airforce." He said and finished dressing. He took the bottle of Scotch and fiddled with the lid before he took a quick swing and shut the lid again. "Cathryn, did you know anyone named Andrew Parke?" He asked, unsure. 

   I lost my breath. I stared at him, at his eyes, his face, the way his entire figure commanded respect. Just like Andrew's. "What is it to you if I knew an Andrew Parke?" I spat, not sure how he would take my outburst. " Andrew Parke is my brother." Then it all made sense, the way they commanded respect without uttering a word. But, it wasn't just that, I guess I had feared that all along. "Where is he? Did go back to England, or is he dead?" I asked. Alexandre shook his head. " He's alive, in Scotland, I think. With his wife and son. I switched places with him, on the front line so he could be with them." He explained and took another swing of Scotch. 

   I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. "Scotch?" He asked handing the bottle over. I took it and had a swing. "Alexandre, I am 17 years old. I can't be of much help. And knowing Andrew, that's pretty much what he told you. I have my own problems to deal with. My brother, Julian, he's been missing for months now." I collapsed. I couldn't continue, only God knows where he is now, if he's alive or not. He kneeled in front of me and cupped my face with his hands. "I will keep you safe. You saved me, I'll save you." he said, looking me straight in the eyes; straight at my soul. 

   I could feel the tears threatening to leave my eyes. "What can you do for me?" I asked, fear creeping over me. "I might be 19, but I always keep my promises. I'll make sure you get to Ireland, they're neutral in the war." He said, and wipped a tear from my cheek. He held me close to him for what felt for ever. "I can't leave France, not without my brother."

 

Journal of A. Parke

July 20th, 1917

 

    I was walking back to my office when I crumpled the letter from Cathryn in my coat. When I reached my office, a man sat with his back to me on my desk. "Is this how you plan on getting yourself killed? With a bloody spy?" He yelled. He turned to me, it was my father. "A woman will only murder you with these letters. A French woman nonetheless!" He spoke. "If I do remind you, my mother was a French woman! And there is nothing wrong with this one. If anything she keeps the trench with information of the Germans who come to Verdun." I spat, taking a swing of Vodka. Yes, it was irresponsible of me to put Cathryn's life in danger by means of letters, but, something kept me attracted to her. 

    "Because of you the bloody Germans will kidnap her and break her virgo with a broken bottle like they did with the Antigone of Sophocles! Alexandre, I've seen enough in my years. But they won't doubt on torturing a young woman." He said, challenging me.

   "You should thank her. She's the reason we are alive. Go back to England, stay there.  All I need you to do is remain there." I said. He looked at me for what seemed forever. His eyes were daggers against my own. He didn't reply, and left me. If I only knew what my father wished to say to me that day.

   

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