Friday, January 6, 2017
3 Aug 1914
North of a Small Village
It was cold, though not rainy, and he saw no one about. This was odd, he did not expect so fast and exit. Down square, which he was in, was desolate and forlorn. In yet not sign of people was in place. The tried the down square, he tried the lonely little town building, which held all of the means for conducting government. Then he checked the pubs, which were only three decades old, built by followers of Paster. He remembered that French drunk wine as much as beer, so he decided to look in the places which served wine, and slabs of what could be called cheese. In none of these places was a single person found. Now it was more than odd, it was Perplexing, as if people had never been here at all. Their was no sign of them.
More than that, there were no cats or dogs. One would have thought there to be one, or two, at the very least. But there was no sign at all, not one. As I said, it was more than just odd, it was perplexing, in the extreme. He still stood for a while, and thought what could be the meaning for all of this. He saw no white linens, or other things, that people have even been in town quite recently. This to was beyond our, in fact beyond perplexing, he did not know what it was, he drew into himself and thought what it could be, an effect known.
It was as if the town wasn't deserted, but barren and desolate, something strange. No animals, not a cat or dog, let alone a cow, or horse. No goat, or anything else that was hoof, then he looked to the skies, and their was no wind beat either. That again was more than perplexing, he did not know what it was, crossed the town repeatedly, and saw no sign, not one, of fish or fowl, in addition to hooves or in the little thing, such as a mouse. There is wise more than perplexing, more than an anomaly.
The one thing that drove home on his memory, there were no hoofs prints on floor of any of the places where there would have been had this been once lively town, not one. This meant something was going on, and he would have no what was. Then he realized there were no German armies moving through, which would had happened by now. The clock struck 12, with its ornate goings-on on the bell tower. Obviously someone had designed it from West of the in the land of what was once France, though it was Germany, now. Though many sections of France would have it back if they had their way. He had remembered when and American film musical went through, and he saw things that he had never seen. Their was an orchestra of six pieces to accompany it, and each piece was different. He saw one picture which was totally different, even different than other pieces. While most pieces were vaudeville in nature, very slapstick in nature, this piece was surreal, and with twists and turns. He had seen the French cinematographer, base terribly on bits and piece of the French surrealist, but this was different, even though it was surrealist in nature, it was different because it was firmer, where as the French were imagine things.
What was on odd about it was it was filmed outdoors, where both French and German were filmed inside. The gave the film a huge expands that was truly breathtaking. He remembered one detail, against all the others, the in damsel was holding on to, for dear life in fact, a clock which was not going around, but every which way. Running up the side this, the hero was on foot and trying to catch the damsel in distress only the was holding a withered bouquet, made into a knotted up into a plant of some kind. Then he took the potted plant and swung it in to the ground, and with this movement dangled up.
Then he stood and made a large decision, would be, on the one hand, continue to search for signs of people, or would borough in to France, and get away from the bustling, crunching, noisy monster of Army which was coming down on him. For the new that it was, it was obvious to him that all that was to be locked up, and what he knew about destruction - the French army would not exist in a short period of time.
When he put it that way, it was obvious, to him, that getting out of the way of German Army, was - if not crucial to all of friends - then at least it was crucial to him. Or as it seemed. So he dropped down to the floor of this little copse had gone up, and went down on floor, winding his way back to the resident flora and if not exactly fauna, through remains of such. He was away from the town and into the brush and what could be called foothills of town, where it was one part orchard, and one part wild. But it was in no cases, civilized, containing even so much as a shack to go between. The was then on his way, passing between fields of branches containing fruits, and not so branches in such which were compressed into fields. These fields were wild and open, and then when it was changed from farmer to farmer it once again was civilized, even if not seem to be such. You see, in the center of his domain, he placed the best part of his fruits, and in a lesser parts of his field he place gourds, and other such routing vegetables, this was to be his family, while the fruits were feed other people. Only occasionally did the engage in the substance of the land for his people, it was a very mighty festival indeed. Most of the time, the family a the roots, and spread out the bounty for others of nourishing grapes from his table. This was different which lavished every day, here there were fine wines for himself to eat (note that I say “eat”, not drink). This land was unbarren, unlike the land just to the north, which had plenty of food, but had nothing to wet your tongue with.
It was in short not a barren country, for the very bounty which was just achingly close, one could in fact tasted, or one could hope to taste it, even if it was an illusion. But it was dry to the Germans.
When it was France you see there were two things going on. One was that it was kept as France, and not Germany. In this country the rocks were rolled over to the boundary, and so it became sort of a fence. German countries used the rocks to make homes, and thus there were few rocks in any given field. It was one of the differences that a trained eye could oriented himself as to which country it was from. Two comes from one. The myrid effusions of
Gradually he stopped wondering which part of France he was in, and drove on, meeting his part of destiny. He saw no people, and this was disturbing, but he got used to it, and wondered only fragments of time. Not that he saw people, or at least he thought he did. He saw them around every corner, but only by a glance, when he looked at them, he saw nothing. This became so normal, that he did not even notice it anymore. But the longer he walked, the more it burned him nonetheless. But gradually it became an ache, so distant from himself that he would recognize.
He saw the opening glory which was burgundy, and all riches that it contained. The saw grapes as large as any that he had ever seen, no strike that larger than the head ever seen. He saw more large gourds then ever, and realized he was walking in a paradise. He saw apples, and other kinds of fruit that he had only dreamed of. He did not know how far he had gone, but it was at least several kilometers of distance, and then saw something which shook him to his core.
It was a female, slider than a woman, but growing in one, maybe 17 or so, maybe 15. she was paler than any woman he'd ever seen, and that was saying something, because he had seen the Nordic women which were pale as pale was. Or so he thought, until he compared this with anything. He knew right then that she was a ghost, then he shook him self, and thought better of it. But she was truly pale in life of his eyes, and he ran up to her and spoke. Or at least the try to, but no sound came from his mouth at first, just a breathless wind. She moved last little distance and shushed, me thought she was going to kiss him, but no motion came to that. She nuzzled and produced a bird which disappeared from her grasp. She then spoke to him.
“This world is not the one think it is, and you have to make a choice, as to where you want to go. Will you listen to what I have to say, or will you go along your merry way, and stumble in to one of the few who will protect you? There are also many dangers, which reside in this land, which do not occur in the other lands. It is your choice of course, but if I were you, I would at lease listen, before talking.” she was petite, and slender, and she had wild roses in her hair.
He nodded, he still could not speak to her.
“I can see that your not able to speak, that will return, I think. I haven't had the pleasure of speaking to anyone from your part of the world since last I was in the land of living. So if will be the first time I have spoken as one of the undead. do not worry your not one of my kind, you are still hard of the living, just not part of living as you understand it to be. Nor are going to go back to that living world, instant half to choose what your new life will be from, if you choose to you can become like me, but I wouldn't advise it, there is a transformation which is unpleasant, and it is death. As I said, I wouldn't advise it slightest.”
In this pitter patter of speaking, she was bouncing, and a bit on toward, as she talked about herself. It was different when she spoke of worlds, and so on, where she was cold, and distant. Though he could not speak, he could laugh, and laugh the did. He for the first time that day, was amused at something different about this person, which he knew was more than being undead.
That he was not of this world, he understood, he had not seen one living thing since we got here, but the transformation was not what he had expected. He felt that he was undead himself, but he could see that the differences between them were striking. His skin was glowing, and rich, where as her skin was forboding, and dark, even while it was distinctly white on the inside, there was something about it that was dark, even if he could not see why.
So he smiled, and then grinned, the widest grin he had seen in a long time, though that grin was so wide as to be a record or anything. That was for other things, though it was getting there. Every mile in fact, it got there, so as to be bursting at the seams. Until finally he admitted this was one of the happiest days of his life. Grin became a laugh, and he left at how little he understood of this world, and how little what he used to dream of mattered. He looked over at the woman, the girl, all the same time. Because each moment he looked at her she was both a woman and girl, both. He realized that she was a friend, but not a lover, she was to small, but she was growing at him. After all, he was only 19, not that much older, in fact at a distance, they would not be so noticeable. But at the moment, 15 and 19 were as substantial as it comes. Think about your own life, and who you married, and think about when they were a baby and you were totally grown up, or the reverse, you were a toddler, and they were quite grown up. And yet you bloomed together at just the right time for both of you. He realized he was just a little bit old for, right now, and he was going to get older, where as he suspected she was not going to age at all. She was after all, a ghost, and he, will he know what he was, but it was some kind of living.
He also realized that men, particularly Prussian men, were going to self to rape women in abundance, the were just boys and did not know any better. They would rape women in abundance and cut off breast if they were soiled in some way. He did not know what kind of soil was involved because he was still a virgin, and he did not know what kind of soil it was. But it was bad, in you that at least. He realized that he had pondered this while walking, though he had submerged this meditation. It was a dark reminder of how awful his thoughts were, and he could not noticeably subscribed them from is thoughts. Even now they would pop up, even though he tried to suppress them. He ponder on this, and he was going to find a girl, and woo her. He promised them self this, and then he suppressed it, burrowing thoughts down into his deep , deep subconscious.
“Can you talk yet. Your French is exceeding well even though you do not get, you listen very well.” indeed he did this to French, as she said exceedingly well. His mother was reason for this.
“I love you as a big brother would.”
She blushed, and made her words simple, so he would recognize them.
“Thank you, big brother, you have made my day. By the way, I am Maerie-Claudette, but you can call Maerie.”
“Alburt Mayer, at your service. You have nice voice. You can talk, and I can listen, and I can understand even if I can not actually the language as well as you can, it's well enough.”
This time it was her turn to nod, and said nothing.
“You want me to say something do not you.”
“Well yes, now that you mention it. I want here your voice. I haven't heard any voice at all yet and yours is the first one that I will recognize. And soon I will not hear any voices at all, at least I suspect that I won't. I do not actually know, of course, by suspect that it will blissfully unaware for me.”
“You have to tell me watching know about life, death, and things in between. How do you know that stuff. Where are other people. I thought their were other people, but when I looked closely at them the worth gone. As if in a dream.”
“ I can tell you what I know, which was what an older male friend who was twice my age, and add one thing to do, and then he was gone. He said you have to take care of things, an most people do, and than are gone. Some hope us, like me for example, have could great deal to do, before we the decamp. So we go around doing it. But when there is a war on, many more people have so much left to do. That's wear you come in, you're not dead, but alive, and you have many more things to do.”
“It is impossible to understand you, why am I alive, while you are dead?”
“When it is peacetime, most people get things done and go, if they did not catch up on there things do, so be at, there was plenty time. Only a few people like myself did not have the time, were mostly younger people. But in wartime, it's different, many people put side their tasks and go war, or our summoned and, well, slaughtered in the orgy of death that is the harbinger that surrounds them. Wartime is that way. Suddenly across the fields they come. Thousands in thousands of them. There really has in one since American, and a bit in in Europe, but not long.”
“ 1856 was the last big war, we tried to limit, that was the idea that Bismarck had, lots little wars, that added up to a big accomplishment.”
“And it could be that way again, but some of the older people, from the Napoleonic wars make a dark prediction, which you can see on faces of living, because even if they do not lesson to the dead, they do in fact listen to them, even if its only dreams that they talk to them.”
“You listen to our war leaders and the face tells them its going to be a bloody massacre, while there words under something in completely different. It depends than on what you listen to, the words which are bold and stirring, or the faces, which tell a different story entirely.”
“We see the faces much more carefully, so that is what we go by, faces are to deceive more then they enlighten us. Remember most people, out here, saw the face that was going to deceive them. And we remember that, almost with crystal clearness.”
He nod, again, this time he could talk, but did not want to. There was something said about this conversation, that elided into words, but was spoken on there faces instead, each one of them seeing the others face and recognizing it as their own. It was loss, which each one felt, and also recognized in the other.
Then the spoke: “ How did you get here? You have said you are different, because you left during peacetime, where as I am a casualty of war. And why are you dead, and I'm not?”
“That's easy, I'm dead because I want to see all of countries of world, when most of my people were just living in the moment, what they saw was what they saw, and that was it. I wanted to see everything that could be imagined, China, Japan, America, and everything else besides. I even wanted to see South America, if you can believe it. But went I actually died, there was one place that was special.”
“I will tell you, because are journey is the same for a little while.”
“But you will tell me, yes?”
“I will tell you, but promised me not laugh.”
“I and German, and do not laugh.” he spoke in a great way, would with merriment which said that he did in fact laugh. But he was going to laugh at where she would and up.
“I think you will, that's good, because promises like that one should be kept, do not you think?”
“Yes, I do think so.”
They skipped away, almost hand in hand, they had decided, without making and actual position, that Paris would be there next stop.
But in the back of his head he heard a distant growl, and he imagined that it sounded vaguely like a wolf. But turning around saw nothing, and went on his merry way. After all, if it was going to make an appearance, then it would present itself, and it could be dealt with at that time. Or of course he would die, from terror if nothing else, or it would dispatching relatively quickly. He hoped. The other possibilities were to gruesome to bare, but he bought about the anyway. And occasionally looked inspite of himself. Even when there was nothing there.