It had dragged on for months. Cold, mud, noise filled their souls, numbing and dulling the senses. There were times when they thought it would never end. Some couldn’t bear it and deliberately faced the bullets rather than endure one more second. They lost count of the days and only the intense cold told them it was December. Then, came a moment when the big noise ceased. They looked at each other in consternation, confused.
‘Is it me or are bells ringing?’
They looked over the top and saw the enemy, standing in the open, a crude football at their feet. For a moment, there was peace.
What a lovely story to retell for this week's challenge. You have captured the event beautifully.
Did this really happen? How did each side trust the other enough to do this, unless trench life was so unbearable that a bullet would be happy release, german or english. In any case, I'd like to think it happened. Your writing drew me in 🙂
I recall reading that fighting stopped once for Christmas (during World War I, I think.) So I was right there with you in this one, feeling all I know of the awful dread of war, but I was lost at the football. That's a part of the story I know nothing about so I felt I needed more in order to truly understand your ending.
Thank you for your comments. The soldiers in World War One called a truce for Christmas and did indeed play football together and exchanged little gifts. More about it here:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4123107.stm
Wow Lynda, I knew about the Christmas truce, but I didn't know they played football. I've always thought that wars would be better fought in boxing rings or football games than with actual guns and bombs. If the leaders had to duke it out, we'd probably have a lot more peace. Wonderful piece and peace.
A lovely piece, Lynda. You have drawn a beautiful poignant word picture.
Stories from WW1 always move me greatly as my grandfather fought in it (and survived although I never met him, war impacted his health/lungs and he died young). I have visited the battlefields twice, Belgium and France – including where the football match happened. The stories are horrendous, like the young German soldiers/uni age who put down their guns and walked towards the allied line. The allies gunned them down to start with, then they were captured as prisioners of war as no one wished to continue the carnage. May all who fought rest in peace. May we learn from events.
This is such a beautiful story, and your treatment of it is wonderful,
Beautiful writing for a beautiful piece of history
I *love* the story behind this. I am really glad you have reminded us of that magical moment.What a desperate shame that they returned to their sides again post-match…
A lovely story with beautiful writing. x
Super writing and a glimmer of hope and humanity amongst the horror of war. Shame it didn't end then and there…