Okay, so this is the second part of Seeping Red Hope. Hope you enjoyed this two part story! 😀
Cold hard steel close to his flesh, the night was closing in. Shadows covered by the tears of those close to him, twisted in agony with the sunset’s orange hue. The sounds of diesel engines and boots, the constant upheaving of dust and gunpowder, the red band and the blue lifeless eyes; the Germans were close.
Trailing behind a set of tracks, his division followed an eerie convoy. Silently, no diesel engines, just the echo of mud trotting boots and chattering. A scream or two, from time to time, and enemy laughter; they had grown too cocky.
“Sommes-nous encore là?” A solider tapped him on the shoulder.
“Ta geule!” Alphonse looked back at him.
No one dared speak back or anger the captain. He was focused on blood. His home, the paradise he and his beloved had constructed, lay in ruins. What little dignity he was left with lies somewhere amidst the shattered buildings and damaged infrastructures. The Nazi had taken most of the people in this area as hostages.
“Mon Dieu, au secours.” Alphonse whispered to himself.
Up on the distance, a truck with several soldiers stood in wait, he motioned his squad to hide. He could hear their constant chattering. What were they doing? He needed to get closer; his beloved Raphaëlle could be amongst the captives.
“Was ist das?” A German solider sat on a piece of rubble playing around with a golden pendant.
“Hören!” Another soldier grabbed him from the neck of his shirt. “Schrieben!”
The smaller solider quickly handed over the pendant and continued on writing on a piece of paper.
On the distance, a solider dragged a lady from her arm. She kicked and screamed, as she was flung on the dirt floor, falling on her chest. Her dress was ripped and dirtied, but he could identify it anywhere! “Raphaëlle!”
“Am fünften vierundzwanzigsten, freitag.” The smaller solider wrote as fast as he could, stopping from time to time. ““Von dreizehn Uhr bis zwanzig Uhr, ich finden acht Französisch Personen.”
Raphaëlle lay on the ground, looking up at her captors. Alphonse loaded his gun, as his squad members readied the attack.
“Laissez-moi tranquille!” Raphaëlle shouted at her captors. They laughed and neared her, grabbing her arm and her long golden locks.
“Sie ist schön!” A German soldier commented.
“Je ne comprends pas.” She hid her face away, as the solder tugged her hair even harder.
“Sie ist mein!”
“Non, Non, Non!” She pushed and tried to pull away.
A shot pierced through the helmet of the solider, falling stiffly on the ground. Blood splattered over her face, as she crawled away. The German’s tried to find cover but the barrage of bullet fire overwhelmed them.
Raphaëlle looked in awe as soldiers marched towards their position. She could hear their chattering, though she couldn’t understand what they were saying.
“Bloody Nazi blokes!” A soldier walked up to her, extending his hand, “Are you okay, Miss?”
“Est-ce que vous pouvez m’aider?” She replied.
“I am so terribly sorry, but I think we are not on the same page.” Turning over to his comrades, he shouted, “Bring the damn translator!”
Alphonse ran to where she was, falling to his knees and holding her in a tight embrace. “Tout va bien. Je suis ici maintenant.”
“Je t’aime de tout mon cœur,” she replied.
The English soldier looked away, “No need for the translator! Go back, boy!”
“Vous êtes mon tout” His lips, broken and dry, touched hers, filled with dust and tears.
Holding her close, he flung his rifle over his shoulder and walked her over to his squad. The invasion had begun, but atleast the person he loved was safe. The red mantle of destruction and terror was slowly consuming their beloved homeland. Alphonse’s days of fighting had just started as Raphaëlle’s waiting had slowly prolonged. This blessed reunion was a sign that there were souls out there who longed for the same thing but were unable to attain it.
The rivers are still dyed in red, the soil is still saturated by the black stain of gunpowder and death, the skies still echo with artillery shells and uplifted dust, but atleast he still has her.