Christmas Eve, 1914

A letter from a soldier - Christmas 1914
I may expand this into a story later.


1. The Letter

Christmas Eve, 1914
I cannot bring myself to put a name on this letter. What I am about to say will only be censored. I may as well put 'Dear Father Christmas' for all the good sending this would do. I'm writing this largely for my own benefit; putting these things down on paper will help me through this. The things I have seen, the things I have done...

Enough to freeze the blood of any great man.

Only a week ago, we were sitting in the local pub, laughing about how this war would end by Christmas. Look where that got us! Stationed on the front line on bloody Christmas Eve! Stuck in the freezing cold mud, rats scurrying around our feet. Our food rations are low; we'll soon go hungry. So what? It's just another unfortunate event in a series of unfortunate events. We're not seen as individuals any more, just as one big army. No one counts the dead, lying in stinking heaps. No one cares anymore. Only four months into this bloody war, and thousands of casualties. Those fucking Germans. Of course, the soldiers worst enemy is his sergeant. Sergeant Anderson seems to have it in for us 'snivelling, pathetic excuses for British men,' as he so eloquently puts it. I hate the sight of him, the bloody stuck up bastard.

Sometimes I just sit and wonder, amidst the shells, the explosions, and the gunfire rattling your bones, how did I come to be here, this bloody battlefield that has only one escape. Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like; dying. Would it be painful, or quick? I cannot answer.

It's mightily cold out here, and quiet too. It's hardly ever this quiet. I pity the poor sod who has a family at home. Do they miss us, back in Britain? Their heroes, their patriotic soldiers, dying gallantly for their country. Their scared boys, their hardened men, scarred for life by the horrors of war. Would anyone miss me, if I was to die out here, alone? But I'm not alone. Those men in the dugout, laughing despite the situation, they are my friends, and I would die for them.

I, once Charlie the bakers boy, now Private Charlie Peterson, will not go down without a fight.

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