Archive for February, 2009

Empire

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 by ollantaytambo

Dear Violet,

I can only think of you. In these terrifying and violent days, where the sky seems ruptuted with fire and the earth riven through with trench seams, your sweet kiss is my guardian angel. The faceless enemy presses down on us suffocatingly; I can barely breathe for fear even talking about it. Their uniforms are much like ours, they must have families like ours, lovers and children and mothers like we do, but we are on opposite sides of a cataclysmic gulf. This gulf is filled with an ocean that divides land from land, man from man. I am truly glad that we are not on English soil, my dearest, or you may very well be entangled in this terrible war.

We fire the cannons throughout the day and night. They are storm-bringers, thunderous and earth-shaking. When I hear them, I push the palms of my hands against my ears and shiver with horror. The noise and devastation they create seems almost too enormous and epic, as if God himself was coming to seek retribution for the rape of his good earth. We each have rifles to shoot at the enemy, and these too are more dangerous then I imagined they could be. Yesterday, Violet, I shot a man. I have been in this trench for five days and never knowingly killed a man, but now one is dead because of me. I feel as if I am carrying him around on my back as I trudge through the churned-up mud. Last night, as I snatched four hours of miserable sleep, I felt him curled up against my feet, as if he were a man-eating tiger mistaking itself for a domestic cat. This morning, he was a lead weight in my stomach, and I could not gain nutrition from my breakfast for he was eating it all for me.

Violet, I am scared that I won’t be coming back to you after all. Every second I can imagine the fatal bullet speeding through the air towards me, faster than a heartbeat and stronger than the love I feel for you even in a different land. My darling, I will not be sending you this letter. I cannot allow you to know what life is like here for me, and how frightened I am every second of every day. But every time I commit pen to paper, all that I can write is what I see, what I feel. I will try to write something happy and sterile for you to read, even though I know how complicated and passionate you are. I could not bear for you to be upset. If I come back from this treacherous barren land, the theatre for the end of all worlds, I will marry you.

I love you. I will burn my words, and hopefully my fear, for you.

Charlie xxx

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Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 by ollantaytambo

My dear Black Bess,

Thank you for your concern about my recent scrape with a masked bandit. It is true, I was walking alone through the park late at night after a dinner party hosted by Lady Marie Ashley and I was stopped by a shadow-clad figure. However, he did not, as you assume, take anything from me. Instead, he handed me a scrap of paper with an elaborate ‘S’ drawn upon it. Then he seemed to melt away from me into the darkness and was gone.

Althought I was unhurt, I felt as if my heart was about to burst out of my chest with fear. I had noticed that the masked man had a sword at his side and I was convined that he would attack me. It took me some moments to gather myself before I could inspect the mysterious paper he had given me, and even now, a full week after the incident occured, I cannot understand what it could mean. My older brother, Thomas, whom I am sure you will remember, tells me that Lady Marie has become increasingly interested in the so-called ‘Scribble Spectre’, and he is convined that the paper is a message from this social deviant. I myself refuse to believe this fiction; instead, I think that a man is perpetrating this ridiculous myth to spread fear and disruption. I wonder what you think of it all?

I do hope you are well, Bess. I am sure I will see you on my return from the war.

Yours faithfully,

Charlie Fall