Across No Man's Land

Across No Man's Land

A Story by Treo LeGigeo
"

Even in war there is love.

"

0900 hours, December 25

 

“Her name was Anna,” the English solder said, “our wedding would have been today, if I hadn’t been drafted. She was always religious, said her childhood dream was to get married on Christmas.”

 

“I had a wife,” the German soldier replied in barely accented English. “Broke her heart when the conscription letter came.”

 

It was an odd scene, this was, two people who had previously been trying to kill each other, talking now like old mates.

 

 

1200 hours, December 25

 

“I get letters from my mother every few weeks, she just can’t seem to stop worrying.”

 

“Me too, and my son as well. Always warning his daddy not to get hurt.”

 

Odd indeed, but today it was a scene that was being replicated all along the Western Front, enemies brought together by the day of our Lord.

 

 

1500 hours, December 25

 

“Could I join you for lunch? Our next shipment of rations hasn’t come in yet.”

 

“Please.”

 

Men who had been fighting so brutally the day before, laying down their weapons and venturing across the dead country between their trenches, fraternising with those they were supposed to hate.

 

 

1800 hours, December 25

 

“Have some of these cans, our present to you.”

 

“Danke. And here, take a barrel of our beer, we have plenty to spare.”

 

Exchanging gifts and food, stories and anecdotes...

 

 

2100 hours, December 25

 

“I wish this war was over.”

 

“I just want to see my family again.”

 

...and realising that, perhaps, they were not so different after all.

 

 

2355 hours, December 25

 

“Merry Christmas, my brother.”

 

Frohe Weihnachten, und auf Wiedersehen.”

 

 



 

 

0830 hours, December 26

 

A heavy sadness descended upon the company as the sun made its way over the horizon, signaling the start of the new day. There was so much hatred on the battlefield, so much destruction so much devastation, but also so much love. Love the country, for the comrades, for the wives and children left behind, and even for enemy, the men who they had no quarrel with aside from being born on the other side of a border, who in a different place and a different time, may have been their friends. But even as a single gunshot was fired into the sky, even as the truce was ended and the soldiers once again took up their guns, there was one love that was on every man’s mind. One love that sometimes was the only thing that kept them going, that for the moment would have to remain unrealised. Because today they fight, but someday, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a hundred years, but someday, they will have peace.


© 2011 Treo LeGigeo



Author's Note

Treo LeGigeo
This story is a work of fiction, but it is based on the Christmas truces that occurred at several places during World War One. Soldiers put a temporary halt to the war and got out of their trenches to socialise with the enemy, with different sources listing difference lengths for the truces.

This piece is a bit experimental, I'm not quite sure about it. Suggestions for improvement are very well appreciated.

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Reviews

I loved this story. I loved the breaks, and the army time which kind of put it into perspective. And the intermittent conversation was great too.

Posted 4 Years Ago


A beautiful message and a story with depth that I don't come across often. You should be sure of this, as this is good. I was thinking you could have more deaths and maybe you could gruesomely describe them in depth and that would be a huge juxtaposition with the idea of peace.

Posted 5 Years Ago


Oh that was so moving, it makes war seem so tragic, which it was. I love how you ended with 'peace' it just made it all the more moving really. I really enjoyed the different aspects of the men talking as well. A really nice story.

Posted 5 Years Ago


I really like this! It's very lovely, comes straight from the heart. The Christmas Truce is one of the most fascinating events in the history of wars, in my opinion. It's an amazing thing, that soldiers on opposing sides threw down their arms to celebrate Christmas together. I really like the way you wrote the story, with the hours and the short, simple (yet filled with meaning) passages. Anyone could learn something from this, something about love and coming together in the toughest, most unexpected times. THANK YOU for this story; it is beautiful!

Posted 5 Years Ago


Very heartfelt! You have succeed in letting your readers feel what the message of the story is all about :) I love the way you wrote it. The imagery is so good and the pictures are crystal clear. From the very beginning til the end...it stays powerful! Thank you for sharing this one of a kind writing!

Posted 6 Years Ago


I personally would have loved to know some actual characters, but on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the kind of generalized peacefulness you put into this piece. I also love the topic. I'd say just put a more personal touch into it.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Nice job. it was very touching. to see all these point of views. Thats why I always dislike wars and battles of any kind. Not just because someone in my country is risking their lives everyday but, the enemy as well. I always remember no matter what side you're you can bet that the person you killed, see die, or even die either had a friend, parents, wife, children, or just some form of a love one. So all I see from a fight is a broken heart and off the field cause guess what while you're sitting at home praying for your loved one to come home safe. What do you think the other family is doing that going against that loved one. So one out of two will never make it home. So nice work at working your fiction to a touching story and very creative to how you wrote so nice job.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Well done! I believe people today can still relate to this poem, well we all can. We still wait for peace!

Posted 6 Years Ago


very well done. i really enjoyed reading this. i liked how you when from different ours of the day, and the way you wrote the time added to the feeling of being in the military. well done!

Posted 6 Years Ago


I know of this and it is sad that they were made to fight on the last day they died like on the first even though it was over

Posted 6 Years Ago



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Added on February 20, 2011
Last Updated on May 1, 2011
Tags: War, Love, Christmas, Peace

Author

Treo LeGigeo
Treo LeGigeo

Sydney, NSW, Australia



About
I'm from Australia, so some people may find that I spell things differently. I love writing and have had a couple of publications of short stories and novellas under a pseudonym. I started .. more..

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