Dead War


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2. Alf’s burial

We pill him from the my seat and lay him out in the field arms crossed and eyes closed as we dig his grave. If he were still alive he would be laughing and yelling that we aren't digging it right he would tell us to relax and let him do it, jumping on he would dig deeper and faster than we need he would laugh with us and smile his eyes bright smile wide and heart thumping from the speed. Part of my family is gone now and I can't get it back. We have no radio man unless Will steps up and takes his place. I hope he does we need word from HQ about what the hells going on.

“Will you want to be the radio man?” I look at him asking.

“Yes I will Al what will Hailey do?” he glances at his love.

“She can take your loaders spot” I look at him hard like steel but saddened by my friends death. I wave saying it's deep enough Adolf and I climb out and lower him into the hole as Addi makes him a large wooden cross out of tree branches.

“Alf I never hoped you would die like that I really didn't ”

“Nor I” Addi pipes in.

“I hoped it would have been more peaceful then that” Will and his mother say.

“I didn't know you well Alf but you were a great guy” Hailey says softly.

The three Germans start to sing for him as we place the dirt back into the hole atop him. We all feel tears roll down our cheeks before saluting him one last time before we go. Addi hammers the cross into the ground at his head and we load back up and leave never to come back to that spot.

“Next time we're at a house I need a wet cloth” I say to Will as he listens closely to the head set.

“Why's that Al?” he looks at me as I point to bits of Alf all over my area.

“This is why” I find bits of skull with hair still on it “Jesus Christ.”

“We can get you just that Al there's a house coming up now” Addi chimes in chuckling at what I was saying. I open the hatch on the turret and look out and sure enough there it is big old Victorian manner.

“Addi we need gas” Will says with a slight look of horror on his face.

“Why? Not like we will be traveling to far” Addi looks at the boy puzzled.

“We have to go to Germany to see if it's there too and Russia.”

We look at him as if he's telling us to off ourselves but happily agree.

“And I heard the three germs in the tiger talking about a super tank or something out there.” he says it with a big grin on his face as Addi and I look at each other.

“You have a deal boy” and Addi pushes the tank as fast as it could go. The Tiger trying to keep up but failing. They fall a little behind but they know where we're going first. Before we enter the house we pull our pistols from their holster and take aim. I slowly slide the door open as the sun is setting behind us it shows vary little of the first room but we continue in with caution. We bring our torches to help see Will and Hailey have rifles with bayonets on the end and they check every room that I or the other five haven't a picture frame catches my eye with the glimmer of glass. I check it out and it's a happy little family a mum, dad, two girls and two boys a fair sized family. Two sets of twins the two boys look about 17 and the girls 13 all smiling big wide as if someone had said a joke to them. I smile with them before walking up the stairs to the bed rooms. I look around the massive hall checking each door for damage or anything to show that there were those corpses in here. I see a door slightly ajar and I light coming through. So I  hesitantly continue towards the light and push the door open as I reach it I look in and see one of the girls eating her brother as her parents and sister thump on the wardrobe  door trying to get in. I point my gun at the girl firing one shot for each person in the room. I count the body's and realized there one unaccounted for so I walk over to the once white door but now stained red from blood and trow it open seeing the young boy cowering in the wardrobe begging me for mercy.

“Christ boy I ain't going to kill ya!” I loom at him holding a hand out to help him up “was your name boy”

“I'm John” his French accent is thicker than Hailey’s.

“Me and my friends are going to stay here for the night and then we're leaving you're coming with” I say it as his face comes level with mine.

“I can?” I smiles a bit “I can come with you?”

“Yes you can boy now down stairs and help fortify the down stairs.”

He nods and continues down the stairs to help baricad the windows and doors as I throw the bodies from the window. His brother nearly in half comes back and tries at me I point and fire. Not having a second thought before firing I throw him out like the rest of them and head down stairs.

“This place have power?” I look at John puzzled.

“Oui it does in the basement but my grandmother is down there”

“She alive?” I question him quietly.

“Non she past away today after my grandfather bit her.”

“So their both ‘dead’?”

“Oui.”

I draw my pistol again and grab a torch and head down to the basement. I point the torch to the bottom of the stairwell and there is nanna in her wheel chair trying to get at me so I place a bullet in between her eyes. I keep looking for his granddad but can't find him I start the generator and there he is chained to the wall like an animal I feel sorry for the old man and put him down like one would do with a sick dog. He goes limp after I pull the trigger I don't bother moving him I just leave him there. I walk back up the stairwell kicking his gran out of the way and smile.

“All corpses are taken care of.”

Wills mom winks at me as she walks up stairs.

“Will what's your mom's name?”

“Lizzy why?”

“Cause I haven't been calling her by her name so I thought I would ask.”

“If ya say so Al.” he chuckles as I follow her up the stairs and into the tower looking out the window and the now starry sky.

“Beauty of a night isn't it Lizzy?”

“Aye that it is.”

“You like me or somethin?” I ask have smilin.

“Maybe I do maybe I don't kiss me and find out.” she says turning to face me smiling wide in her lopsided dress she made from her old one near touching the floor. I lean in and kiss her it's a long passionate kiss once finished I pull away and smile.

“How was that then?”

“Great Al do it again.” she pulls me in for another kiss. This time it's better than before and stronger. Our lips part and I smile her legs like jelly. We walk back down to the others who have taken the liberty of taking my rum. The smiles are perfect everyone's having fun but John isn't drinking rum he's drinking his parents wine.

“Jesus boy you need to lighten up” I look at him as I sit “here drink some of this here.”

“Turn ya into a man it will.” chimes Addi with a smile.

“Ja you will become man after drink of rum.”

“Christ sakes Frantz weren't you the one who wanted to burry Alf before he became you know.” Will does a great corpse impression and they share a laugh before looking at me with a smile.

“Going to drink up Al or do you want me to drink it for you?”

“No if anything give it to John he looks like he likes it.”

We all look over at John who's drinking like a pirate now and laughing with us.

“Ok before he or anyone of us gets to crazy I think it's about time to turn in for the night.”

We all sigh and walk up the stairs towards our rooms I was going to bunk with John but Lizzy wanted me with her so I stayed with her for the night. We all settle in for the night saying good night to each other turning out the lights as we did. I slept through the night well until about 4 in the morning when I heard a vehicle driving up to the house throwing my sheets off and dashing to the window I see a German armored half track rushing as if running from something. It stops before getting close to us and everyone in it piles out and look around for whoever owns the Sherman tank. But before they could get to the door the Nazi scum come across a few corpses walking towards them without thinking they place rounds into their chests but nothing happens. I watch as more and more come to feast on the living their torn apart and eaten I hear rifle fire from close to where we are I throw the window open and look up its Hailey in the tower killing them off minding the half track.

“The hell ya doing girl?!”

“Get us gas silly man”

“Jesus you're going to bring more here!”

“And you yelling won't?”

I look at her and slide back into the house hollering for everyone to get up pack everything we can and to shove off. I run out to the half track with Hailey covering me. I pull it up close to the tanks to full them. I split the full tank of gas in half for each one of our tanks. Will, John and the three Germans pack as the ladies grab the guns and get ready for travel. After getting everything packed we climb in and start on our long travel to the fatherland we don't stop unless needing to go to the washroom. We reach the German border and cross in seeing the same as we did in France. Cities burning people half eaten and walking again, burning tanks with holes through them from antitank guns or other tanks everything's in ruins. It's to be expected we have bombed it for a few years but oh well it's beautiful and terrify in a way. We pass through the streets slowly towards the East side collecting shells and things as we go taking a break once and a while.

“Jesus Al he's half naked.”

“At least it's hairy so we don't have to see those parts.”

“Christ you two I thought I was immature.” Will looks at us funny.

John is loader Will and his lass are radio operators now. The kiss and cuddle it's cute in a way that in such a hell like this they still find the love in it. We hit the put skirts of Berlin by night fall and rest in an old 3 story building. Forting up for the night so we're rested for the long journey to the East.

“Straight to bed after boarding up got it?”

“Aye I think we're all dead tired from the long trip.”

I help put the last few boards on the windows and head up to my room and drift to sleep near instantly when my head hit the pillow. I wake up the next morning with the sun in my eyes I walk to the window and look out at a harbor near us. There's a large passenger liner leaving quickly without horn or anything the funnels belching black smoke. Her props creating large wake as she traveled of the dock I smile thinking people are getting out of here safely but that's not what happened her back bent up than slammed down after exploding throwing people and whatever else off and into the water and to the dock. Her funnels belching more smoke than before and blacker than before the cloud thick in the air as her thick iron hull slips beneath the water taking everyone else with. But the explosion was a great once I can see the shock wave screaming towards the house I throw open the door and yell for everyone to get onto the floor Addi pokes his head from the door and looks at me puzzled.

“Get on the floor you knobs! An ammunitions ship has blown in the harbor!”

“Jesus everyone on the floor away from the windows!”

Everyone throws themselves onto the floor away from their window as it hits I duck between two doors when the glass shatters and flies into the the wall the fast moving air nearly bulls me over.

“Everyone ok?” I ask going room to room asking.

“Yeah we are Al thanks.”

“Ja we are thank you.”

“Oui, marci!”

Thank God I think to myself as I walk down stairs to find everything the same as last night windows and doors still boarded up.

“Alright everyone up and let's get ready to go I want to go check out the wreck.”

“Alright Al we will do that.”

The hell happened? How did she just go up like that? I watch her center slowly dip deeper into the water her white superstructure getting close to the water. What was she carrying to explode like that? She was a passenger liner. Everyone is ready to go so we head to the harbor to check out what happened and the men on deck during the explosion are laying strewn across the docks, her hull hitting the bottom with a loud thud, her steam boilers exploding from super cooling after being heated to near red hot. I watch as her stern slips beneath the waves and her bow floats there as if she's laying on a rock.

“We need to go check out the ship.”

“Al are you mental? We don't know what we will find.”

“That's the point we might find something useful in there to help us out.”

“Fine we'll go but bring the guns.”

We climbed into two life boats and row over to the ship and climb onto it being careful not to shift anything or to make to much noice. We reach the bridge  (where the wheel is) and a man is standing in front of it holding it as if he hadn't noticed that anything happened or that it was possibly sinking.

“Hey! Lad you do know that this ships not moving anywhere.”

He turns to look at me but he's stiff as a board doing it that's when I see the one half of him charred and burned he jerkingly walks towards us but we do nothing. He gets close and tries to nip me and I put a round in his head. The girls look more board than the rest of the guys they're poking at this poor man and laughing at how funny he looks.

“Al look! He's got two faces.” Will turns his head side to side laughing.

“Will what'd ya going to name him?”

“I think I'll name him two face.”

I give a quiet laugh at the lot of them playing with this guy's body. It's morbid but funny. They're like kids playing with a frog or something gross as boys do. They pick him up and throw him over the edge.

"Be free T.F" Will yells it as he falls 60 feet before slamming into the water below.

The boys laugh at the sound he makes then join back with the rest of the group as we walk towards the cargo stairwell and head down to see the last of the cargo. We have to turn on our torches to see you could probably understand why we have to but at we go down the stairs are wet and rusted. The stairwell had a musty stone basement smell like a wine cellar or a stone meat storage under the ground its disgusting and made me a bit dizzy. We finally get to the bottom and we notice crates of munitions for both thanks including pistol and machine gun munitions. I smile and start to hand crates to the others as we pack the deck to fill the boats and bring them to the tanks and hitch up a trailer to the Sherman and get ready to go when I see a large crate full of 88 shells.

"Al lets go she's starting to groan."

"There's some 88 shells over here I want to get first come help."

"Al I don't feel right about delaying the rest of them but fine."

Addi comes to help me to get the shells by grabbing the other side as we lurch farther down. We run up the stairs busting through the door and running towards our row boat tossing the crate into it and hopping in and rowing away as the bow slips down into the harbour. The rest of the group smiles as we make it to the dock with another crate of their ammunitions.

"Lucky Al kept looking Fratz cause you may have run out."

"Ja I am danke Al."

"No problem there my German counter part."

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