Enemies Gather: Dunkirk

July 23, 2017
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During the events of Dunkirk in 1940,Walter discovers and remembers something about himself that effected his younger self in Calais, in 1930. Something that will meet him as he deparately tries to escape an inevitable death trap.

Chapter 1: One

1940 Dunkirk
I dug my head deeply into the sand, as my fragile ears began to ring from the deafening shrieks of a war machine that unmercifully attacked the beach of ‘sitting ducks’. On countless occasions, I’d seen the overwhelming waves of innocent, blameless and most importantly useful names and bodies drop like planes plummeting from the sky. 40,000 men with no way out, stuck in a German trap, with the relentless inevitability of failure to travel the tantalizing 50 miles between us and home. Slowly I lifted my head up with an intense fear of the enemies brutal eyes scrutinizing my every breath, as if with a single movement I would ensue the whole German forces to pound me once again but this time until my body crumbled away beneath me with hundreds of bloody gunshots gusting holes straight through my weak, insignificant limbs and organs. From the air the thousands of men on the ground look like ants squirming and writhing with no purpose or independent thought, but in war basic human respect is something easily trifled with. Every death, the connections to that person are forced to suffer as if they were of no significance or meaning to the world, as if no one had ever mattered…
I glanced up and took my chance, my legs sprinted with intent for the first time in at least a week, as I left the unsteadiness of the golden sand and reached the solid pavement I didn’t gaze upwardly instead I focussed on the fast-moving ground that rushed silently beneath my feet. The only noticeable sound being the unevenness of my struggling breath. The thousands of flyers that fell like deceivingly quiet and peaceful snow, from the air above, roused me from my fatigued illusion. I stopped and desperately reached for one, but staring at this would not make the hopeless situation I found myself in any easier to deal with. The overpowering colour of red that symbolizes where I was trapped accompanied with the words “WE SURROUND YOU” was meant to intimate and scare people and it had succeeded. Following all the horror that the war had caused strategy was not important, only the few miles of water that thousands of us had to cross to reach Blighty, to reach home. However, like a mirage in a desert, the hope of reaching what every soldier dreamed of day in and day out, a country full of loved ones and safety became more impenetrable each day. As if Britain was physically floating further away to an unreachable distance to the point where it was not in eyesight, at least that way it wouldn’t maliciously taunt us all. 
 

Chapter 2: Two

1930 Calais
Five years, five years since my small family moved from London to Calais, my parents, me and my younger brother Ralph. I won’t say I enjoyed the experience being the very young and impressionable age of five, there’s very little of the truth to be understood at that age. My memory cannot recall much of the journey apart from the wailing and screeching from Ralph, who was barely two and must have found ferries crammed with chattering people intimidating. The house was also relatively upbeat with an unconventional charm, and was situated near the coastline. When we arrived, I expected a few weeks of holiday time, which is why the lessons that me and my brother took part in separately were peculiar. He came to the house two days after we arrived, our ‘teacher’, and we were to be careful to only address him as ‘Doctor’ or ‘Sir’ out of respect. I remember the severe, powerful and mysterious atmosphere he would bring with him, as if he were squeezing the life and joy out the world. The effect he seemed to have on my mother was significant, as if his presence flipped a sudden switch in her. The door slowly swung open, the cunning step of the large black shoe collided with our innocent wooden floor and a shadow as black as ink flooded into our house. The Doctor only pronounced one word, “Walter” he whispered.
 






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