September Shadows

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A letter home, is not always comforting

Submitted: February 14, 2012

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Submitted: February 14, 2012



The low sunlight of the harsh September evening reflected of the golden brown leafs of the tall standing oaks that lined each side of the street. The colour of fire was everywhere yet it could not be further from the truth. Two boys where passing a ball back and forth in the middle of the cobblestone street, the golden grass where there bags and coats had been left carefree was dry and crisp, there had been no rain for weeks. The air was stale and the smell of smoke was ever present. The idyllic housing on either side of the street showed little signs of life, except the one on the corner. The window was pushed open and inside a young woman could be seen going about her daily routine. But today was special for her, today the post would arrive. There was a loud bang from the end of the road, she turned and looked out the window. A motorcar was turning the corner into the road. It was black with a long front and curved arcs above its wheels, there was only one occupant. A man, he was young and even in the dim light his blonde hair was clear through the glass window of the car. It came to a stop outside her house. She ran and opened the door trying hard to try and contain her excitement and hold on to some elegance. She opened the door and stood there to wait for the man. He opened the door but seemed to struggle to get out of the car. Once he was standing up straight and out of the car he reached into the rear compartment and pulled a bevelled cylindrical hat with a short, shiny black visor on the front, he also removed a wooden stick and began to lean on it. He placed the hat on his head, and began to slowly walk up the path. His trench coat made his limp all the more visible. She could feel that something was wrong. It seemed this man was taking an eternity to walk up the path to her door. He eventually reached her and finally looked her in the face. His once sky blue eyes had become pale much like his face. He opened his mouth to speak and then quickly closed it again. Finally he spoke:

“Mrs. Canmore?” he asked her very timidly.

“Yes?” she wasn’t quite sure what was going on or how to react.

“My name is Lt. Zack Alder, I have come to deliver this.”

He reached into his inner coat pocket with his free hand and pulled out a pristine white envelope, and a small rolled up piece of paper. She accepted both sheepishly, her hands shaking very badly. Once she had taken them he nodded, saluted and then walked just as slowly back to his car. Then he was gone. After staring at the letter for a few moments she retreated back inside the house and sat down to open it. She opened the sealed envelope first, out of the white envelop she pulled a dirty piece of paper. She began to read it.

My Dear Alice,

There is not a day goes by out here where I do not think of you, your smell, your eyes and your love the thought of returning to all of that once this is all over is the only thing that keeps me going. I fear that day is forever getting further away though my love, each day the enemy digs in deeper and we do the same.

We lost young Corporal Hays the other day, he was a fine lad, was not a soldier though. He shouldn’t be out here, none of us should be, but we must remain here till the job is done. We must remain to ensure you are safe. It is not for my king or my country that I fight, it is for you, I fight for you and the future we are destined to share as one my love.

I cannot say all that I wish to say in this letter, I cannot even let you know when I will be coming home, I fear that this war will have no end, but if it come to that I will stay as long as is needed to keep you safe and the fact that you are safe is the only thing that keeps me going.

We will see each other again.

My deepest love

Malcolm Canmore

She held the letter close to her chest and smiled, what was she worried about before, the man had obviously just been asked to deliver the letter. Though it struck her as odd, Malcolm had always use the normal post before. But what was the scroll she wondered. She took it out from behind the dirty paper and untied the thin gold string that is wrapped in and unrolled it. She began to read this much more official looking letter:

Dear Mrs. Alice Canmore

It is my deepest regret to inform you that you husband Sgt Malcolm Canmore was reported Killed In Action just over two days ago. My deepest sympathies go out to you and his remaining kin. Malcolm Canmore was has also been awarded the Victoria Cross for recognition of his self-sacrifice in saving the lives of more than twenty men at the cost of his own.

Sergeant Malcolm Canmore (VC) K.I.A

My Deepest condolences

Field Marshal Alfred Smith

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