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For the Empire: Chapter 1

By: Foxx Mann

Chapter 1, A young man in the British army during World War One, describes his experience.

        Mortar shells go off no more than thirty meters away, the Jerry's surprisingly have made themselves at home in the hell holes less than a kilometer away. I sat down and wrote home hoping it would reach my parents.
        Dearest mother and father,
 I am here in Belgium, we are at a place they call Passchendaele, at this moment we are less than a kilometer from the enemy, who is waiting for us in the trenches three days ago they charged over the no-mans-land and were shot down, but enough of that I saw that Red Baron again today, will no one shoot him down? I love you dearly.
Your Son
Harold Smith.

        The only thing left to do now is wait for the courier to get these messages and bring new ones. While thinking a young man came and sat down pushing a hot canteen before me "Here," I drank then passed it back, "I'm Will, Will Huntsman, I got this off of a dead Fritz a few days ago, bugger snagged some sort of beer I'm going down the line bringing a bit of morale with me," he stood, I shook his hand then he spoke again, "I'll be passing one or two runners want me to take that letter?"
        "Thank you Will, you going to be back this way again?" he nodded and took off.
        Several days later I saw him again getting yelled at, I approached him and could hear the major speak, "What if there was an attack? What if a sharpshooter would have taken you out? You cannot do that or you will be going home in a bag!" Huntsman was ramrod straight, nodding and giving a yes sir, no sir, I don't know sir, when appropriate. "Go on that's all." With a quick salute Huntsman walked my way.
        "Will I'm sorry you got lectured on my account." I was going to go on but he stopped me.
        "Don't flatter yourself it wasn't for you it was for the men they need something to be happy about, it's almost Christmas and we can't leave the trench." He said putting his arm around me like I would to be reassuring Jeremy, my little brother. "Now how about some food I'm starving." he joked but I could see his hands shaking so either he was starving or he was worried about something.
        "I saw a man pretending to be dead crossing the No-Mans-Land wonder what he was doing?"
        "I hear he was going to discuss a truce for Christmas day, hope they take him well, Jerry's aren't too likely to suffer fools." just then I saw a German with his hands up followed by a one of ours.
        "Can I speak to your commander? I have a proposition."
        The colonial, Hammond, step up, ragged and sad-looking "What is it?"
        "My commander wants a truce for Christmas eve and Christmas day, do you accept?"
        Hammond looked to his men all of low morale a Christmas party would raise spirits even if it was with the enemy. "Yes we accept where should we meet?"
        "My men have put up a white flag almost in the middle of No-Mans-Land we meet there, no shooting we give you warning and you the same deal?" Hammond nodded and the German took off back for his ground.

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