Dearest Annie...

April 6, 1916
Dearest Annie,

Oh, I’m so glad you aren’t here. Little seventeen year old girls like yourself are better off helping at home. Home in these ghastly trenches is quite unlike the relaxing home I’m accustomed to. You would not believe the size of the rats here! Believe it or not, some are fatter than Kitty. Poor Momma would be so scared if she saw them. Every time a rat passes by, I chuckle at the thought of her screaming. My comrades probably think I’m weird for giggling so much. Some have a pastime of killing those dreadful rats. A man named Bobbie killed about a hundred rats in the two years he’s been here. He said there’s still plenty more rats to kill though. I’m just not sure if I should or not. Bobbie took quite a fancy of your picture last week, said I had the prettiest sister he’s ever seen.
I would have exchanged information with him, so I could introduce you to him, but he was bombed in no-man’s land yesterday. You would not believe how barren and dangerous it is. You can’t see when it’s dark, but in the morning, it’s cluttered with bomb craters, decaying food cans, little trotting rats, and decomposing bodies. Poor Bobbie is over there right now; we didn’t have enough time to bring him back, so he’s there, face down in the grass he can’t feel anymore.
I love those socks you and Momma made before I left. They used to smell like home, but they’re too muddy to smell like anything now, even though I wear shoes. That’s how horrible it is over here. Every time I touch them with my fingers, I remember the sweet scent of Momma’s lavender perfume and your cheery laugh whenever I tickle you. Happiness is something we all need here. There’s almost no hope among the loud noises and great fields covered in bloody, depressing death. Oh, I would do anything to hear your laugh right now.
Well, a boy around your age named Arnie needs it more than me. His twin brother was poisoned last Saturday during another venture out the trenches. Poor kid saw his brother writhing in pain, something you should never witness Annie darling. They were really close too; it took me a week and a half to tell them apart. He’s in “shell shock” right now, so he’s basically lifeless. Don’t feel sorry for him dearest sister; stuff like this happens to everyone out here.
I hope you’re reading this letter by the maple tree during twilight; it would make my day so much better. I wonder if there’s something just as beautiful on the other side…no, I won’t talk nonsense like that with you. Goodnight my little Annie, a rat I named Jerry is waiting for me to fall asleep next to it.
Your loving brother,
Gilbert





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback