Christmas; war and peace

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This story takes place during World War I and surrounds the incident called silent night in which both sides that are fighting laydown their arms please review breed and review leave comments thank youLaura_

At eighteen Kyle was the youngest soldier in his troop, followed by Jason and Jeremy, twin brothers who just turned 21 that July. It was going to be Kyle's first Christmas away from home. Kyle was going to miss the smiles on everyone's faces as they opened presents Christmas morning. Also, he would miss his house as it was filled with the aromas of the giant Christmas dinner his mom would be making which filled the table with goodies such as green bean casserole,mashed potatoes, rolls and honey baked ham. Now he would be spending Christmas with his battle buddies and eating whatever the kitchen decided to serve  that night. Gunfire ricocheted off the ground all around him bringing him back into the moment. He glanced over and saw Jeremy kneeling in the dirt next to him, mud caked and drying on his pants. The space next to him now no longer was filled with Jason's quick smile and laughing eyes. Instead it was now another of Kyle's brothers in arms in which took his place next to Jeremy. Every time he looked at the place where Jason use to kneel shoulder to shoulder next to his fellow comrades in the trenches, he couldn't help but think about his fallen friend. Kyle's mind travel back to the day when Jason received news that he had a new baby girl. Now a short three months later he lay in a cold grave covered with dirt. Kyle felt sick when he thought about the little girl who would have to grow up without a father. A small ball of despair lodged itself in his chest when he thought about the state of humanity and how it was that everyone seemed to be filled with hatred and bitterness. The earth now filled with bullets and blood Kyle knew he had lost faith in the nature of people. Money and power seemed to be the driving force for most everyone. It was a far cry from the people in the small town he grew up in. Where faith and family were valued above all else. He enlisted in the army when his dad's company downsized and his kin was no longer employed. Kyle tried to shoulder some of his dad's burdens with the funds he would get from joining the military. He wanted to do his duty for his country and make a difference in people's lives. Going from a small town home to a war torn country was a culture shock. In preparation for the possibility of him not making it home alive Kyle wrote letters for each member of his family. Three of them bore the names Eve, Catherine, and Lily for his three little sisters. The other two carried the names of his parents. In each one Kyle expressed his love and the wish that he could have made it home alive. He instructed Jeremy to mail them if the worst would happen. They would not be the first letters Jeremy sent. Looking up something caught Kyle's eye. There was a flickering in the distance. It took a moment before Kyle realized what it was. Candles were placed in trees which proudly took their places in front of the trenches. Kyle wondered to himself in stunned silence. This was not at all what he expected to see on the front lines. As he was trying to figure out what was going on, there came murmurs among the ranks. Kyle strained to hear what was said. Not fight, what did they mean not fight? "We no fight you no fight?" The phrase echoed in his mind. Were they crazy?  Kyle saw two soldiers climb out of the trenches. It was one thing to be shot in the line of duty. It was another to be shot because you they did something stupid. And to Kyle's way of thinking willingly putting yourself in the crossfires was the most stupid decision of them all. As Kyle watched, two German soldiers climbed out of there their foxholes, and made their way to the space known as no man's land. To Kyle's amazement no one shot at them. Was this really happening? Kyle had never seen anything like it. After a while, soldiers on both sides left their posts in the trenches. Jeremy joined them. Kyle wrestled the voice in his head saying this was a bad idea. Finally after numerous mental debates Kyle lay down his weapon. Cautiously he made his way to where a giant crowd was forming. In the back of his mind Kyle expected to feel the slap of a bullet into his flesh. Once he reached his destination he saw that the dead were being buried. In the distance gunfire could be heard, but where Kyle was, there was silence. Once the job of tending to the dead was complete a game of football was suggested. Once the game was over gifts such as chocolate cake, newspapers and postcards were exchanged. As Kyle made his way back to his foxhole, he passed a German soldier. In passing the soldier said Frohe Weihnacht!Merry Christmas Kyle murmured. Though there was a barrier of language between them, Kyle knew exactly what he said. Though men would still die and blood would still be shed Kyle's faith in his fellow man had been restored. Mercy could still be shown in the face of great odds. Christmas could still be celebrated in the middle of a war.

 


Submitted: December 24, 2014

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