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February 19, 2011
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0900 hours, December 25

"Her name was Anna," the English soldier 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 for 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.
For the second round of :iconwriters--club:'s tournament, prompt: unrequited love.

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.

EDIT May 2 2011: My first DLD! [link] Also got the pick of the day.

:iconfeaturedbydldplz::iconfeaturedbydld2plz:
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:iconhyperfluxy:
hyperfluxy Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012   Writer
Really truly beautiful. Just reminds me that the concept is so often the most important in great literature. What an amazing way to portray unrequited love. Also hello, my name is Anna
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:iconreinventreinvigorate:
ReinventReinvigorate Featured By Owner May 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is rather brilliant, I enjoyed it greatly. The event you're exploring has been written about countless times, but I honestly think you've succeeded in bringing something fresh to the table. Excellent work, richly deserving of the DLD.
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:iconwolfrug:
Wolfrug Featured By Owner May 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, the tragedy of the first world war. I always love reading about it, one way or another, and this was a very nice little piece. And congratulations for DLD + pickOfTheDay! :D
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:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner May 2, 2011
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD
(Daily Literature Deviations) and has been selected as our Pick of the Day.
It is featured in a news article here: [link] and on our main page.

Keep writing and keep creating.
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:icontreo-legigeo:
Treo-LeGigeo Featured By Owner May 2, 2011   Writer
Oh wow, thank you very much :-)
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:iconkitri-du-lac:
Kitri-du-Lac Featured By Owner May 1, 2011
I really like this. The simplicity is extremely poignant.

I do feel, however, that you need to change the name 'Wendy'. This name was created by J. M. Barrie for his play Peter Pan. Though the play was phenomenally successful by this point in time, I think it extremely unlikely that it would be in use for a woman of marriable age at this time.
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:icontreo-legigeo:
Treo-LeGigeo Featured By Owner May 1, 2011   Writer
Really? Wow, thanks. I'll change that. And glad you enjoyed it :-)
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:iconstarsnowflake:
Starsnowflake Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011
This is amazing and atmospherically bittersweet. It's written really well =] I like your usage of the '[number of] hours' bits and the layout.
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:iconaliswan:
Aliswan Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I really liked this (which is saying a lot, I'm an Ancient History person, not Modern ;)). The layout is great. The language is flawless, none of that awkward inability to spell or construct sentences properly... Very well written. :D. Keep up the good work, friend.
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
right on! :D
this will be a tough one to follow. ;)

i hope you've hear this version: Christmas In The Trenches
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