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The Beginning of War, and the End of Peace
August 1914 – 13 August 1914
2 Aug 1914,
5th Baden Mounted Jäger Regiment,
Just south of the Alps
It was half past four, in the morning, and it was quiet. The cocks already growing in the
distance, and people whose job was to busy the day, were going about their business. Eggs were being
moved, and everything was just getting started. It was just inside the border of France, and the deep
Rhine country side. Most of the people were just scratching their heads, and breaking for a new day. A
day that was unlike any other day, though they wouldn't know it. Because in the distance, there wore
gray uniforms, that were not a part of the countryside, and did not belong. They were German, actually
there were several of them, different houses, different aspects, in every detail, they were not German so
much as this and different nationalities who we would not recognize, because in our time they were
German, but in our time is not their time.
Their time, there was disarray, and Germany wasn't really a word, but it was an idea that they
were for. It was gnawing in the boots, it was thought of the brain, and it had so much to do that people
did not know that it was there. Language, even English, was different. It was ornate, clean, and fresh.
We do not speak the same language, even if we think we do, even if we wish.
The other situation was that the Germans, because while the older Germans were really sort of
have German, but the younger ones were true Germans, were cold and heartless, and engulfed as set
against “liberté, égalité, fraternité”, the order of 1789 in France. The order that would rule the world
would be a step, at lease most people thought it would, in one flash, and roaring of feet. It would be
either French system of values, or the German system of values, and grip there they would.
But there was a difference, France had decided that it would be a part of the the system, where
as Germany would rule the world, alone, or with an ally, Austria, who was half German and have other
things. That would be the difference, because England was both German and French, and it had
decided, by whatever means it would do so. It had decided for cold incalculable reasons, that France
would be the better partner, not German. Realize, France was both culturally old, and politically old,
where as Germany was culturally old, but politically it rested on a framework which was 100 years old,
and had grouped itself around the time of 1871, when it finally cleared itself “Germany”, as opposed to
the myriad of states, which were referred to as Germany only in the reactive tense that people admitted
they did not really know what they were talking about. It is this point in time, you could refer Germany
has “große Deutch”, which was large and vague, or as “petite Deutch” which was stronger and feral,
but obviously smaller. It was not clear which one would when, but was pettie which had the upper hand
at the moment. It grew in stages, from Prussia, which was the largest back, but only the largest pack,
who under one man, the indomitable Bismarck would take center stage, to a run state finally named
At the same time, Italian group from a large selection of states, to be an empire, though not as
great, a flare which said that they could be something, but they would rather just be happy instead, and
the thought of as great, only they were really so. These pairs of empires were bridges, to the east, which
was different area entirely. What is important, was that Germany and Italy said that they were aligned,
but Italy had called feet, that would be corrected, but that is not part of this tale.
What is part of this tale is how Wilheilm II schemed and plotted to rule the world, and sweep up
gathering morsels in her mouth. He had decided to pick the same group of people, younger than their
forefathers, do what could not be done: defeat France and plunder a second time. First time, it had been
done, and they thought it would be easier to do so again. They were wrong, in a twist of fate, what they
did not understand was that America was going to be the difference, not once again, but twice. But this
too, would not be known, if it was just an dream, and France would hold the key, in world war one,
thing they call the great war, that saved the day. None of this was known of, neither the terror, or the
grief , nor of the vision of a little corporal which would become the second world war. Everyone
thought that this would be like the Franco-Prussian war, a little war, design toIs just last a day or a
seasoned, they had forgotten what a real war was like. They did not see that this would be a Napoleonic
war, as they had not imagined it to be. Everyone thought it would be swift, but they wouldn't imagine
that the Germans, for was Germans who said it in the motion and held on, with design it for the length
and breath, and turn it into a clash that had not been seen. They did not understand that it was only
Bismarck which had rendered the big war into a smaller one, and he was not around to tell that the
clatter and the clamor would be renewed. The war was coming, though no one even notices. And while
peace was enjoyed, and enraptured, strange things were coming. Most of all in the timing offices of
state, it is really their where it started, that dream which was several generations old, and each time it
had been renewed, seeping and seizing group of people, which at this point they did not understand
what was going to happen.
Remember, they thought it would be over and done with. That's what everybody thought, after
after they thought that their was going to be a war, at all. Except a few people, who were planning on,
and they thought it would be a short little war, we have notes to prove it.
So rather than start with the deal, we showed start with just a little before the beginning, and
plot with who knew from the beginning, even those who know that it was not going to be a short little
war. Germans and the French. The few new early, sometimes as much as 25 years, the many new
almost as if. So if you want to know what happens to the few, you have to go back 20 years, or more.
To the many, you have to go back for only a few weeks. To the horde, even after the outbreak is not
enough. But breakpoint is when the action starts, when they are is motion. And not is not very much
more different, but it is not to go on. Only Joffrey Joffre on the French side new what was going to
happen, and botched it all. Not quite, but almost. So we will begin general Joseph Joffrey, before he
realized that he is reaching a war of defense, when he still thinks he is running for of offense.
It was just pretty picture,this mountain top of the Alp, just as clearly it was on the French side,
not German side, and certainly not the Swiss side, or the Italian side. Indeed you tell inside was not
even in you at the moment, there were to many clients in the way. No, this was definitely the branch
side, as only someone who was German would know. And he was German, though you would defend
to the last as is needed. It was odd, he knew, he was German, but he also knew that German was not his
nationality, Baden was. However, they younger are were truly German to the core, head, and in other
places which would not be mentioned. The ones not German with their feet, but whole heartedly. Only
thought not only though “German”, they invented and breathed to. He watched them hold over for, and
realized that they had combined German as a culture with German as a nationality, which he only
partially subscribed to. But that was future, no Future, in all of its nominative tents way of being. The
cobwebs were not there, in his, though he was trying, their work, cobwebs that is.
There were seven of them, himself included, and there was not yet war on, but it was only just.
He knew, and the French new, that this would be an encounter, or just missing the date of border of the
encounter. If the hand is friends were going to be the first, let it be glorious, and the same way, if he and
his folk were the killing edge, that it be that way, and taste the blood of French folk. They would have
to first shots, of course, because they were on the French side, but only the first shots, than they would
get swiped in in return. And since last, by this he meant his German army which was being born as we
spoke, he had better rifles then did the French. But not better artillery, but that would, be hoped, not be
needed, just firearms as of the sort that infantry men possessed.
77s, a terrible thing, were in the hands of the Frenchman - and he knew that they were going to
be on the field, but not yet. He pulled up, and scanned through the eye class, and thought he saw
something. He wanted to be sure, but that was a luxury that he did have. He was dead before the second
glance shot - and only was able to say victory. He took the life, and then taken in return. The rest of his
body was dead as for doornail, lying as a cross might lie, serene. One of his cadets grabbed him up on
the snow, not much and it was really snow but just a dusting, but it was enough. And then Cpl. cleared
away, leaving only the handsome, recently dead, face.
It was actually very clear with only a few clouds scattering in the sunlight, the French and the
Germans, both, were retreating away. Because they were not war, yet. The trees were coniferous, and in
that golden field of mourning, they were sparkling. French were running down the court, without
rhyme or reason to it - while the Germans, two down in their number, were more punctilious in their
motions. It was, as noted, just before the war. It was calm, their were no season of guns, it was almost
as if nothing happened, or again the played, one team arriving a little bit before another. Down below
the French side seizing the advantage, and then it was gone. Each leader knew that he had made a
mistake, and each one had died, in that way living up to the creed. Though he did not know it, the
French captain was also dead, shot in the same wave as he was.
It was over, and it would be to marked as a skirmish between French and German forces, which
was not part and parcel of the war. The war was going to be not about Luxembourg - everything after
that was considered the war, but everything before that was considered a skirmish, not part of the actual
war itself. This – repeat with me - was a little skirmish, nothing more. When the totals were headed up,
these few were argued about. Were they, or won't they, part of the honored dead. Where they are, or
weren't they, consigned to burial with the others. That the the horror peeled of and over them, and the
decision was not made by the higher ups, but by a corporal, who did not think anything of it. To him,
they were war dead, and that was that. And nothing more was to be done about it, until much after the
fact. When French and German speakers were quibbling over which dead belonged in which field.
There's only one thing this: Albert Mayer was dead . In nomine Patris et Poundis et Spiritus
Sancti. He did know how long he had been abandoned, and his head was still woozy. He did not know
that he was dead, only very badly injured. Sliding up, and then down. But the corporal who had pushed
him long, decided that this was not going well, and pushed him off so as to gain a firmer footing, after
all what difference did it make? The checked the heartbeat, and their was nothing to suggest that his
heartbeat would come back after two hours. He dumped him alongside of the road, and strode upwards,
this little kernel dump him just decide the road, and caught up with his other friends. But he wasn't, in
fact, dead. Though there was very little snow, he got up a dreadful number of hours later, and saw
nothing. He was a long way from where he started, and he swore, because it was obvious, to him in any
rate, that he'd been dumped on the roadside. First, he checked arms and legs, he knew that his right
lower leg was never going To limited strength, indeed he had torn a ligament, maybe two. Their work
cuts and bruises as well, but they would matter. He searched down the ligament, and saw that it was not
broken. For one moment, he thought he would just crawl back, that was the logical thing to do. But he
stood there, and realized while Prussians may have wanted to do things, he did not want to. Baden was
different, he realized he'd done his duty, and it was other people do theirs. The first words the Pound
wrote in the WWII began like that: _ _ was dead.
And at that moment, he stopped being Lieut. Albert Mayor, and just started being Bert Mayor,
who had some dealings with best. Who knows what Bertie was, he knew that he was not going to go.
Albert was done, and ready had returned, he just needed some clothes, and would be ready for
anything. He realized up was where the Germans were, and down was where the French were, so either
left or right would be better for him. And from his direction right with the wrong direction to take,
because that way was to Belgium, and the entire might of two terrible armies, and beleaguered armies
that wanted nothing to do with them were hovering around each other. He knew, from experience, if
nothing else, that it would be futile to go that way. So he turned left instead, and hoped that he would
be one of hundred, even 1000, going back his business, because after all, it was going to be a short war
in a way.
Or so they thought.
He did things as any low ranking German officer did things, checked the pockets, both for what
was there and what was not, he had tobacco, and schnapps. This was a good thing, but it was bad
because that was the only two things he had. Not even a glass, he would have to drink it from the
bottle. Then he realized, his corporal wanted to make sure that he would be missing, and presumed
dead. Which was all right with him, he was not going to want to do anything anyway. He realized that
the Prussians were orderly, matter of fact, and a damn pain neck, where has his Baden, wall very strict
up to a certain point, were looser after they had some schnapps, and were bit more expensive. And
anyway if he needed to, he could join up again. Though he would see how this would go on, December
maybe, maybe cleaning up to February. Then he could get home and explain that he was damaged,
healed up, and maybe even started a new life, if he chose. But that was a long way, fervor in fact.
No, first of all to get other clothes, civilian clothes, and dress him self up. Then he could get
some clothes from somewhere else but around here, and so on until he looked quite different. Than he
would blend in for a few months. But the first few hours on 3rd were the tightest ones, they would make
or break this plan. But even that wasn't so bad, because how damaging can be? The was very far from
the action, and he knew it. So try your best, and if you do not succeed, then you do not, and he tried
Damn, his had felt like the rush in his head was not bottom out the way it should, he was going
to check it out, but not for now. For right now, he would have woke a good long distance so as not to be
known about. He waited for along time, until it was truly dark, really truly dark. And then followed the
footsteps of cows and sheep, until even he could not tell human from bovine, or ovine, steps. Human
was a different story, is the were covered with boots that were unmistakably different from the ones
that were civilian, they were military, and anyone could recognize them on site. For nightfall, they
would have be ditched, and new ones found.
He shifted left, because movements ahead were not civilian in nature, and while French or
German, it was all the same to him. He brushed down and squatted, and looked into the distance, and
saw that they were French, probably looking for strugglers. They were careful, and they were green, so
green in fact that they marched home around in and couldn't see his face even as they were looking at
it, 20 bases so best. Then they marched away, upwards, because the knew somewhere off in the
distance, there was a group that was going to buzz down them and slaughter themselves. This was, of
course, his group, and others just like him. So he stood, and stared again just to be sure, it was 1
o'clock, and then he lit off in to countryside, off at tangential angle, and hoped against hope that there
was nothing left. Then he turned right, more towards the French side then the German, and would see
what their was to be seen.
He hoped it would be nothing out the ordinary, and truly peaceful morning and afternoon in
front of him.
But that was not to last, behind in and in the woods came a distinct roar, but muffled and whose
origin was quite muffled. He looked in the direction he thought it had come from, but nothing was
there. Though he looked and he looked, it could not be determined what it was that made the roar. So
he decided that the better way to go about things was to move down the hill slope, and put as much
distance between him and whatever it was.
He edged his way down the hill, peeking ever so gently towards the last place that he heard
something from. But there was nothing there. Except out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw
something, but he could not make out what. It wasn't a man, but it was shaped like a man. It was not a
wolf either, though he thought that it was a combination of two. Thus he was in terror, but he could not
figure out, what – exactly - he was in terror of.
The other thing that itched at his mind was this: why were there no people, even a shadow of
people. He expected some, even if he had to hide from. But he neither saw German nor French, led
alone people who were in civilian clothes. This to was very odd, and it ruminated in the back of his
mind. And so even when he was venturing downward, his mind turned to the problem that had been
piqued: where more all the people, for example his unit most of all. But terror held him very fast in its
But this would have to wait, diverse thing to do was obvious, and so did that first.
2 Aug 1914
Morning glorious morning, day different from every previous day. People were making up to
the realization that this day would be different. There was a war on, those most people did not expect it
to be very long. There was buzzing, dim growling feeling, in every nook and cranny, in the kitchen, and
in the garages, and everything else that you can think of, people buzzing about it. Until there was
clamoring noise. This was not the buzzing of later generation, where each family was left to their own
devices, no this was upstairs downstairs, and clamoring of many clans. It was a noise that many people
would not understand, because they had grown up in little boxes and all were just the same. Instead,
there was the chief family, and many subsidiary families, clinging on them, attached by hook or by
crook to the chief.
Everyone was decidedly shoddy, in slightly different ways. You have to know, the windows
were 14 feet deep on this house, the same way all of the others were in this section of town. They were
run down, and badly shoddy for a half of a mile. It had been 1740 or so, give or take 15, when last it
was repainted. Back then it was very posh, with merchants and other déclassé but interesting people in
the trade class, but gradually they were on the cusp of nothing. This was the city, not in the countryside,
it was a very different thing. It was learned three story building, not of red brick, but of cream gray
which is not like brick, but of mortar and plaster, the kind that is a shining white that speaks of a
One of these families, in the 5th arroundisse, was getting up. It was a mother, father who was in
Africa, two adorable children - a boy and a girl, who were both the same age – une pettite enfante, that
is a baby girl, and a corona of an aunt, who was related to an uncle who had recently died, and who was
completely nasty vicious sort of person, who we will get to later. So naturally the mother, and aunt,
were full talking away, and not minding who was saying what, they were just talking to themselves,
and were minding what the other person was saying. Their were also three people who were not related
to in any way, an older men who was outside doing things such as lumber, and other assorted chores, of
an outside nature. Then there was little age woman, who is between, and someone younger woman who
did the dishes, and baked scrumptious cakes. The youngish girl, was in and out, catching only a
glimpse before going back to the background, she caught only every second or third phrase, though she
was interested in the conversation, though she did not understand half of it.
In reality, they were poor, and huddled together, but they had means to survive. Remember,
most people in the present day lived on income, but people in the past were not people who had
income, but people who had income coming and going out, not people who had money or did not. And
all those people who did not, obviously these people were on first class, not the second class, there who
people who have a grasp which will pay money to live, and there were people who did not have money,
not a scrap which is different from not having money but do have a scrap of income left. If you do not
believe there is such a difference, it's because you haven't been part of the line which doesn't have
income, but can fake it now and again. But the rules were different.
As such most of the food when to young ones bellies, and almost none went to the older people.
Not to put too much of a point of things, they were as thin as a rail. Boning was correct word for them,
but for all of that, there was a gentility among, the were wasting away, but slowly. The aunt was with
away the fastest, she would not hear for very long, a few years at most. Even the children were not very
well off, but better than to be expected. Realize there was an abundance of most food from top to
bottom, there were however patches of famine which lingered over the land. This family, for example,
should really have been down the ladder, and if had been less of a tenacious , every single one of them,
the would have been been. But they were tenacious, and were he can have an existence, without a
father, so that the children would be well.
For all but the youngest, there was something about them that said they were going to make it,
no matter what the cost was. On adults it would be true grit, but on children it is different, kind of fairy
tale life expression, that could only be described in other terms. Ogres and other things surrounded
them. They could not tell the adults, they could only tell three or four friends which they shared the
same worldview, kind of play seriousness that can only described by someone who has shared the
experience. It was a new kind of play, every one who will not understand. It was not pleasant, but an
eerie dark experience. People who were changed, in some way, would not talk about it, and people who
did not recognize it would think that it is poppycock. They wouldn't allow it to take hold of them, and
think are different, and remember nothing in the past. In other words, they do not recognize the change,
because it happened before their time. And they do not want to question difference. And moreover, they
do not recognize the change has occurred differently, most decidedly not in other people. They want to
rub out the differences, even though they clearly exist. For a boy and girl, not only were the changes
existing for them, they realized that changes were not there for all of the rest of adults, with possible
exception of the grandfather, whose presence they did not know of.
They only talked about it with their friends, and not often with many of those. The only talked
about it in abstract, and in cues that only people who had been through would know. Thus while the
war was the top most attention for other people, for them it was different. They knew about what would
happen as being an abstract, which was different, though a new enough of what they spoke. Their
parents saw nothing amiss, and wrote it off to things that were inner mind, rather than things being
outer the mind. That he is the difference between outer and inner living people.
Inner living people do not want to share, though some outer living people grasp, in their own
way, what is going on. But they think that inner living people live only in the present, which is not true,
they know that this magic, if match is the correct word, lives in between these moments, and does not
touch the world, the outer living world. So they have a secret, which the outer living people think will
be destroyed. It won't be, because it's different in kind, and shape. And they were not telling anyone,
and the few who knew couldn't convince many that there was a difference, which is way the few who
knew wanted. In other words the inner living people just had to make it so outer living people who
knew something was gang up on. Since most people did not know there was anything wrong, just that
they were different, is would take them along themselves known what exactly was the difference.
Think of it as the way homosexuals think about themselves, they knew they were different, but
it is only after great distance, and only then in a tangential way, that they know something that other
people cannot see, and indeed something that they do not want to know. Us there are a few people who
flaunt it, but most not, and most people only know the surface. Really, it's hidden, even to themselves.
But it is to those people who are outer living, and aware of it, which is, a very tiny fraction of those
people who are outer living and not aware of it, it buzzes, and annoys them, even if they do not know
why. But I do, and you should, though you won't, in all probability
But people do not know this, the characters in the novel. This, remember isn't 1914, it in my
time is 2014, and the characters won't know anything of premise day, though in one case that I will get
to, they have knowledge of a knowledge present day, a rather he will have knowledge, which is
different from our own. We are the present day, and getting closer to careening, even more so as we
speak of it, ahead of them. And getting more so with every second. Every second more time passes
between World War I, and this are present time because, your time of reading this, is not my time of
writing this. And it's important, because the characters and I are not in the same timeframe either. But
that's another tale which we have spoken of all ready, and I won't speak of it in this little chapter.
Let us call the boy F, and the girl J, for those are not are not the adult names that people call
them by, the childless names they call each other. They found them in a book that they had read. It
wasn't a very good name, to truth be told, but they had warmed up to it, in every part was different after
they had touched it. Until in their hands, it was rye and intense, searches only two people who have
lived a book can make it so. So different was it, that adults plotted to be their own handiwork, but they
knew better. What is more important, to small puppet presided over the three of them, and told them
what to say, as if he were a real character, and maybe he was. What was his name? Call him Peternotes,
and you won't be far wrong, is not exactly right, but nothing is.
“I want you to tell me a story, if you would. And make it one about the Prince and Princess. But
it has to be a new story, nothing old, and I will be to if it is, even just a little bit.” he was very grave as
the said this, and you very much mended. J stood and applauded, she also wanted here a story, and very
desperately wanted to be about Prince and Princess. Because she knew that the Prince and Princess
were half attached to this world, and have way attached to another world. So she knew that this would
begin a story that would spin out in into darkness.
“Well” said Peternotes, “that will that will have two main it's fresh and new, or its a small deal
from the past.”
“Oh, it will have to be new, because when parents an weekend that there is nothing going on
with this world, though we all know that not to be true, and we will have two pretend that nothing is
wrong. We would have to pretend that nothing is amiss, even though it is a amiss.” J said this matter-offactly, with most wretchedly dry sense of humor, that people could not understand unless they were
“More than fresh, it has to be new. Because this is a new moment, with you ideas, is it possible
to layout the new framework, and new ideas? After all, dead implies a lot of things, so does undead. We
have to have something extraordinary, which is neither undead, nor the dead. It has to be scary, but
scary in a different way. If you know what I mean.”
“All I know what you mean. We have two embark on something completely different, in every
respect, from the way glistens, to every little detail of its life from before, to what is going on right
now, the way it grips its flesh, not death, nor in fact life, but something in between which will be
described as it goes.” With this not he spoke, are puppet with no strings attached. The was haunted in
his own way, thoroughly real to his own to characters, but nothing more than a puppet to anyone else.
And they believed in him, absolutely, with out a shred of doubt in their minds. They imagined
what they were missing, and were going to find a way to make it so.
So they sat waiting for the tale, and the puppet laid out a number of things, almost as if they
were ground rules, though he did not say anything. It was contact, not verbal that he spoke with, but it
was very real none the less. Than he drew cards, and arrange them just so, as if to say that these cards
were not important, only in the abstract. They were the gateway to lands unknown and on reachable to
the real world.
So Peternotes began, after clearing his throat, “In the beginning, and there was a beginning...”
So he began at the beginning, or rather what they knew of the beginning, with strands both forwards
and backwards which were, as yet, unresolved. He was not a good story teller, and both the little boy,
and more importantly, the little girl, were confused
Then the mama and the aunt came up stairs, and began to dress them. And it would be one more
day before they had a chance to play on their own terms, and in their home way.
At that point the mama and the aunt also retired to bed, leaving only two beings awake. One
was Peternotes, and the other one had no given name, but it could be called “Cat” with out any loss of
detail, because it did not call itself anything, in Peternotes never called it anything but “Cat”, which
was good enough for both of them. Right now Cat was winding his way up and down the third stair,
which was slightly broken, and that is what Cat liked, all of the other stairs were for, at least to firm for
its liking. And Peternotes just pet it, not talking to anyone, but murmuring to himself about how odd it
would be if the two of them were caught. It didn't matter to the Cat, obviously, but it did matter to
Peternotes. Actually, it mattered like a lot, but there was no one to explain it to who would listen.
Because obviously, he was not going to introduce himself to mama, or the aunt – who would not
believe in him anyway. They were proper people and would not admit, let alone believe themselves, in
something as comical as Peternotes.
North of a Small Village
3 Aug 1914
It was cold, though not rainy, and he saw no one about. This was odd, he did not expect so fast
and exit. Down square, which he was in, was desolate and forlorn. In yet not sign of people was in
place. The tried the down square, he tried the lonely little town building, which held all of the means
for conducting government. Then he checked the pubs, which were only three decades old, built by
followers of Paster. He remembered that French drunk wine as much as beer, so he decided to look in
the places which served wine, and slabs of what could be called cheese. In none of these places was a
single person found. Now it was more than odd, it was Perplexing, as if people had never been here at
all. Their was no sign of them.
More than that, there were no cats or dogs. One would have thought there to be one, or two, at
the very least. But there was no sign at all, not one. As I said, it was more than just odd, it was
perplexing, in the extreme. He still stood for a while, and thought what could be the meaning for all of
this. He saw no white linens, or other things, that people have even been in town quite recently. This to
was beyond our, in fact beyond perplexing, he did not know what it was, he drew into himself and
thought what it could be, an effect known.
It was as if the town wasn't deserted, but barren and desolate, something strange. No animals,
not a cat or dog, let alone a cow, or horse. No goat, or anything else that was hoof, then he looked to the
skies, and their was no wind beat either. That again was more than perplexing, he did not know what it
was, crossed the town repeatedly, and saw no sign, not one, of fish or fowl, in addition to hooves or in
the little thing, such as a mouse. There is wise more than perplexing, more than an anomaly.
The one thing that drove home on his memory, there were no hoofs prints on floor of any of the
places where there would have been had this been once lively town, not one. This meant something was
going on, and he would have no what was. Then he realized there were no German armies moving
through, which would had happened by now. The clock struck 12, with its ornate goings-on on the bell
tower. Obviously someone had designed it from West of the in the land of what was once France,
though it was Germany, now. Though many sections of France would have it back if they had their
way. He had remembered when and American film musical went through, and he saw things that he
had never seen. Their was an orchestra of six pieces to accompany it, and each piece was different. He
saw one picture which was totally different, even different than other pieces. While most pieces were
vaudeville in nature, very slapstick in nature, this piece was surreal, and with twists and turns. He had
seen the French cinematographer, base terribly on bits and piece of the French surrealist, but this was
different, even though it was surrealist in nature, it was different because it was firmer, where as the
French were imagine things.
What was on odd about it was it was filmed outdoors, where both French and German were
filmed inside. The gave the film a huge expands that was truly breathtaking. He remembered one detail,
against all the others, the in damsel was holding on to, for dear life in fact, a clock which was not going
around, but every which way. Running up the side this, the hero was on foot and trying to catch the
damsel in distress only the was holding a withered bouquet, made into a knotted up into a plant of some
kind. Then he took the potted plant and swung it in to the ground, and with this movement dangled up.
Then he stood and made a large decision, would be, on the one hand, continue to search for
signs of people, or would borough in to France, and get away from the bustling, crunching, noisy
monster of Army which was coming down on him. For the new that it was, it was obvious to him that
all that was to be locked up, and what he knew about destruction - the French army would not exist in a
short period of time.
When he put it that way, it was obvious, to him, that getting out of the way of German Army,
was - if not crucial to all of friends - then at least it was crucial to him. Or as it seemed. So he dropped
down to the floor of this little copse had gone up, and went down on floor, winding his way back to the
resident flora and if not exactly fauna, through remains of such. He was away from the town and into
the brush and what could be called foothills of town, where it was one part orchard, and one part wild.
But it was in no cases, civilized, containing even so much as a shack to go between. The was then on
his way, passing between fields of branches containing fruits, and not so branches in such which were
compressed into fields. These fields were wild and open, and then when it was changed from farmer to
farmer it once again was civilized, even if not seem to be such. You see, in the center of his domain, he
placed the best part of his fruits, and in a lesser parts of his field he place gourds, and other such
routing vegetables, this was to be his family, while the fruits were feed other people. Only occasionally
did the engage in the substance of the land for his people, it was a very mighty festival indeed. Most of
the time, the family a the roots, and spread out the bounty for others of nourishing grapes from his
table. This was different which lavished every day, here there were fine wines for himself to eat (note
that I say “eat”, not drink). This land was unbarren, unlike the land just to the north, which had plenty
of food, but had nothing to wet your tongue with.
It was in short not a barren country, for the very bounty which was just achingly close, one
could in fact tasted, or one could hope to taste it, even if it was an illusion. But it was dry to the
When it was France you see there were two things going on. One was that it was kept as
France, and not Germany. In this country the rocks were rolled over to the boundary, and so it became
sort of a fence. German countries used the rocks to make homes, and thus there were few rocks in any
given field. It was one of the differences that a trained eye could oriented himself as to which country it
was from. Two comes from one. The myrid effusions of
Gradually he stopped wondering which part of France he was in, and drove on, meeting his part
of destiny. He saw no people, and this was disturbing, but he got used to it, and wondered only
fragments of time. Not that he saw people, or at least he thought he did. He saw them around every
corner, but only by a glance, when he looked at them, he saw nothing. This became so normal, that he
did not even notice it anymore. But the longer he walked, the more it burned him nonetheless. But
gradually it became an ache, so distant from himself that he would recognize.
He saw the opening glory which was burgundy, and all riches that it contained. The saw grapes
as large as any that he had ever seen, no strike that larger than the head ever seen. He saw more large
gourds then ever, and realized he was walking in a paradise. He saw apples, and other kinds of fruit that
he had only dreamed of. He did not know how far he had gone, but it was at least several kilometers of
distance, and then saw something which shook him to his core.
It was a female, slider than a woman, but growing in one, maybe 17 or so, maybe 15. she was
paler than any woman he'd ever seen, and that was saying something, because he had seen the Nordic
women which were pale as pale was. Or so he thought, until he compared this with anything. He knew
right then that she was a ghost, then he shook him self, and thought better of it. But she was truly pale
in life of his eyes, and he ran up to her and spoke. Or at least the try to, but no sound came from his
mouth at first, just a breathless wind. She moved last little distance and shushed, me thought she was
going to kiss him, but no motion came to that. She nuzzled and produced a bird which disappeared
from her grasp. She then spoke to him.
“This world is not the one think it is, and you have to make a choice, as to where you want to
go. Will you listen to what I have to say, or will you go along your merry way, and stumble in to one of
the few who will protect you? There are also many dangers, which reside in this land, which do not
occur in the other lands. It is your choice of course, but if I were you, I would at lease listen, before
talking.” she was petite, and slender, and she had wild roses in her hair.
He nodded, he still could not speak to her.
“I can see that your not able to speak, that will return, I think. I haven't had the pleasure of
speaking to anyone from your part of the world since last I was in the land of living. So if will be the
first time I have spoken as one of the undead. do not worry your not one of my kind, you are still hard
of the living, just not part of living as you understand it to be. Nor are going to go back to that living
world, instant half to choose what your new life will be from, if you choose to you can become like me,
but I wouldn't advise it, there is a transformation which is unpleasant, and it is death. As I said, I
wouldn't advise it slightest.”
In this pitter patter of speaking, she was bouncing, and a bit on toward, as she talked about
herself. It was different when she spoke of worlds, and so on, where she was cold, and distant. Though
he could not speak, he could laugh, and laugh the did. He for the first time that day, was amused at
something different about this person, which he knew was more than being undead.
That he was not of this world, he understood, he had not seen one living thing since we got
here, but the transformation was not what he had expected. He felt that he was undead himself, but he
could see that the differences between them were striking. His skin was glowing, and rich, where as her
skin was forboding, and dark, even while it was distinctly white on the inside, there was something
about it that was dark, even if he could not see why.
So he smiled, and then grinned, the widest grin he had seen in a long time, though that grin was
so wide as to be a record or anything. That was for other things, though it was getting there. Every mile
in fact, it got there, so as to be bursting at the seams. Until finally he admitted this was one of the
happiest days of his life. Grin became a laugh, and he left at how little he understood of this world, and
how little what he used to dream of mattered. He looked over at the woman, the girl, all the same time.
Because each moment he looked at her she was both a woman and girl, both. He realized that she was a
friend, but not a lover, she was to small, but she was growing at him. After all, he was only 19, not that
much older, in fact at a distance, they would not be so noticeable. But at the moment, 15 and 19 were as
substantial as it comes. Think about your own life, and who you married, and think about when they
were a baby and you were totally grown up, or the reverse, you were a toddler, and they were quite
grown up. And yet you bloomed together at just the right time for both of you. He realized he was just a
little bit old for, right now, and he was going to get older, where as he suspected she was not going to
age at all. She was after all, a ghost, and he, will he know what he was, but it was some kind of living.
He also realized that men, particularly Prussian men, were going to self to rape women in
abundance, the were just boys and did not know any better. They would rape women in abundance and
cut off breast if they were soiled in some way. He did not know what kind of soil was involved because
he was still a virgin, and he did not know what kind of soil it was. But it was bad, in you that at least.
He realized that he had pondered this while walking, though he had submerged this meditation. It was a
dark reminder of how awful his thoughts were, and he could not noticeably subscribed them from is
thoughts. Even now they would pop up, even though he tried to suppress them. He ponder on this, and
he was going to find a girl, and woo her. He promised them self this, and then he suppressed it,
burrowing thoughts down into his deep , deep subconscious.
“Can you talk yet. Your French is exceeding well even though you do not get, you listen very
well.” indeed he did this to French, as she said exceedingly well. His mother was reason for this.
“I love you as a big brother would.”
She blushed, and made her words simple, so he would recognize them.
“Thank you, big brother, you have made my day. By the way, I am Maerie-Claudette, but you
can call Maerie.”
“Alburt Mayer, at your service. You have nice voice. You can talk, and I can listen, and I can
understand even if I can not actually the language as well as you can, it's well enough.”
This time it was her turn to nod, and said nothing.
“You want me to say something do not you.”
“Well yes, now that you mention it. I want here your voice. I haven't heard any voice at all yet
and yours is the first one that I will recognize. And soon I will not hear any voices at all, at least I
suspect that I won't. I do not actually know, of course, by suspect that it will blissfully unaware for
“You have to tell me watching know about life, death, and things in between. How do you know
that stuff. Where are other people. I thought their were other people, but when I looked closely at them
the worth gone. As if in a dream.”
“ I can tell you what I know, which was what an older male friend who was twice my age, and
add one thing to do, and then he was gone. He said you have to take care of things, an most people do,
and than are gone. Some hope us, like me for example, have could great deal to do, before we the
decamp. So we go around doing it. But when there is a war on, many more people have so much left to
do. That's wear you come in, you're not dead, but alive, and you have many more things to do.”
“ I do not understand, why am I alive, while you are dead?”
“When it is peacetime, most people get things done and go, if they did not catch up on there
things do, so be at, there was plenty time. Only a few people like myself did not have the time, were
mostly younger people. But in wartime, it's different, many people put side their tasks and go war, or
our summoned and, well, slaughtered in the orgy of death that is the harbinger that surrounds them.
Wartime is that way. Suddenly across the fields they come. Thousands in thousands of them. There
really has in one since American, and a bit in in Europe, but not long.”
“ 1856 was the last big war, we tried to limit, that was the idea that Bismarck had, lots little
wars, that added up to a big accomplishment.”
“And it could be that way again, but some of the older people, from the Napoleonic wars make
a dark prediction, which you can see on faces of living, because even if they do not lesson to the dead,
they do in fact listen to them, even if its only dreams that they talk to them.”
“You listen to our war leaders and the face tells them its going to be a bloody massacre, while
there words under something in completely different. It depends than on what you listen to, the words
which are bold and stirring, or the faces, which tell a different story entirely.”
“We see the faces much more carefully, so that is what we go by, faces are to deceive more then
they enlighten us. Remember most people, out here, saw the face that was going to deceive them. And
we remember that, almost with crystal clearness.”
He nod, again, this time he could talk, but did not want to. There was something said about this
conversation, that elided into words, but was spoken on there faces instead, each one of them seeing the
others face and recognizing it as their own. It was loss, which each one felt, and also recognized in the
Then the spoke: “ How did you get here? You have said you are different, because you left
during peacetime, where as I am a casualty of war. And why are you dead, and I'm not?”
“That's easy, I'm dead because I want to see all of countries of world, when most of my people
were just living in the moment, what they saw was what they saw, and that was it. I wanted to see
everything that could be imagined, China, Japan, America, and everything else besides. I even wanted
to see South America, if you can believe it. But went I actually died, there was one place that was
“I will tell you, because are journey is the same for a little while.”
“But you will tell me, yes?”
“I will tell you, but promised me not laugh.”
“I and German, and do not laugh.” he spoke in a great way, would with merriment which said
that he did in fact laugh. But he was going to laugh at where she would and up.
“I think you will, that's good, because promises like that one should be kept, do not you think?”
“Yes, I do think so.”
They skipped away, almost hand in hand, they had decided, without making and actual position, that
Paris would be there next stop.
But in the back of his head he heard a distant growl, and he imagined that it sounded vaguely
like a wolf. But turning around saw nothing, and went on his merry way. After all, if it was going to
make an appearance, then it would present itself, and it could be dealt with at that time. Or of course he
would die, from terror if nothing else, or it would dispatching relatively quickly. He hoped. The other
possibilities were to gruesome to bare, but he bought about the anyway. And occasionally looked
inspite of himself. Even when there was nothing there.
South of the river
In that exact moment in Paris, there was a commotion. Young men wanted to line up, while
elderly people, and mothers of that exact age where they were above with child, were wanting up to get
out of Paris. Everyone knew that it could be long war, though they were not saying so out loud.
Foreigners were getting out, as out as good the gotten. Bread was also very expensive, left alone fish
and poultry, and do not get me started on beef, which was skyrocket in price even as we spoke. The
lines were changing day by day, minute by minute, until you did not know what price was going be,
until you rested your arms on the table. Since children were out of school, though some children were
attending summer school, there was a good deal of commotion on the streets, and in other places where
children might have played. They were rioting, in a good nature way, because war had not been seen.
Paris had not seen were, not in 1871, not in 1815, not since the time of the Directory, way back in 1780.
no one really worried except a few people who thought about what it would be like if slaughter
occurred, even people who believe in long war, not believe in slaughter in Paris.
Meanwhile in the 5th arroundisement, upstairs in the the nursery room, it was just dawn because
they knew that they were going to be taken outside, almost at first instance, which would not do. F was
looking around the crib, and signing. The Cat was mind its business, and no one else cared.
F was signed because of one thing, Peternotes and J were talking very slowly and quietly.
Generally this meant he was going to be the odd man out, and that to would not do. He would rather be
with J against Peternotes, though he and Peternotes against J wasn't really bad either. But this was
wretched in the extreme, the two of them against him. So after some thought, he pushed his truck,
obviously horse drawn truck, and more obviously wood simulated horse drawn truck, around the floor.
This morning he decided that the truck was going to be flying, as well as running along. Some days he
would just stare to distance, and think about all things could've been doing, what was not. This is what
you get on this day, forgetting all of his troubles, finally he lost himself. But it was not to be, because
round the bend came J, and of course Peternotes, playing a little pantomime as they went, and raising a
ruckus. Out of his dream team for rush, then there was J's smiling face, with a nasty grin on its face.
“My dear darling F, could you do something, for me?” There was a bashful look on her face,
one that countered extreme forwardness that she could not hide. He knew, and she knew he knew, that
this was the question which was really on her mind, not in the slightest. He knew three or four moves,
but that was not good enough, there was a catch, which eluded his brain power, but he knew that it was
“Do not play with, what is his what is that you want? Then I will say no if you want yes, and
yes if you want no, and do not try and tangle everything up, because I will sniff it out, and then will be
back to yes no game again.”
“Now what I want to do that? When all of the permutations will sidetrack it?” Even though the
were four, and a half, they were very clever, clever by thrice again what the average for their ages
would tell you. They used large words, though not entirely precisely. However, between the two of
them they were matched, and that means that they could be evenly paired. It is that even part that gets
you in trouble, because anything that she could do he could do, and the reverse. So they stared at each
other, trying to make a better move that he or she wouldn't have come to. But it was plane, this was not
going to work. For all your soliloquies, plane little words, though French has a few twists and turns
built-in to some lovely, ornate language, which everyone learns so as to make a mess of all language
Then Peternotes came in to view, and he cleared his throat, and with aplomb announced:
“I have something important to say, as much as I love watching you stare each other down,
there is someone who wants to play our game, two someone's in fact. And what's more they do not
know that they want to play the game, which is all that much more fun. ”
At first, the younger people want to to cheer, then, you could hear a pin drop on the floor. It was
not Peternotes, it was the aunt, the aunt who did not recognize Peternotes at all, who was watching, and
tapping her foot, repeatedly. “You have to come downstairs, now, there are some things to do.” By
which she meant family things, where Peternotes was not real, and should not be recognized as real.
The aunt collected, the boy, and the girl, with girl looking back at Peternotes, making sure that he was
all right, with girl resigned to her fate. But it was all right at the end, because Peternote wink at her,
telling her it would be all right, soon enough. It was cold, absolute, and as rapid as it came. One minute
there were three of them, the boy the girl and P, and then the next minute there were the aunt, and two
children. Not quite two, not quite three. But Peternotes had told J that it would be all right, he would be
waiting for them, even if after long time.
As Poincare declared in July of this year France was getting the war that it wanted. Realize in
1914, people did not think were was going, to happen when actually the war was put in motion. When
the war at the top level was going, and people were getting about it as if it may not happen, when in
fact it already happened just signing on documents was yet to be done. There is often a disconnect,
people at the top know when war is going to start, and people at the bottom no when war is going to
end. It was this way this time, the people at the top were maneuvering for position, which is strange
because position doesn't matter in a great long war. What matters for short war is getting a grip on the
enemy, and what matters long more is how do you avoid defeat. In July, 1866, it was quick and brutal,
but enemies with in two of each other, and you could survey most of the damage from one part of land.
In August, 1914, there was no such position called, an bodies were rapidly causing alarm, the German
position was the fact, bad. But they kept piling up anyway. In for trials trials, to add then two by
Germany, which was Prussia and allies for the first two thirds, and to buy France, though they did not
know about last one which was in 1940. and they did not exactly know how 1914 was going to turn
out. But they did know how the Napoleonic came out, and they knew how Bismarck came out. And
remember Germany was down one in 1940, and shows truth anyway.
So in 1914, Germany thought it had the advantage, and pressed for another repeat of a decided
lopsided 1866, when they had defeated Napoleon the Third. It was an annihilation. France on the other
hand looked at it differently. They sought as [elane], it was not logical, it was c'est [logic], if that makes
any sense. It did some Frenchmen, most importantly Joffre, who was the greatest master of the form.
He, and only he could, discern what was to be the answer.
Some things would wait until with stars aligned with each other, and Peternote would be with
them again, even if as I said it would be a long time. That will be part of the story which comes after, I
promise you, but part of the second pass to come first, and then the third part, with Peternote, will come
afterwards, I promise, I deeply promise, it will.
But there are other things to do. And those need to come first. Such as the Cat.
A, not the, Zeppelin
5 Aug 1914
There had been a break in the overcast, which revealed stars. On board the zeppelin were six
men who were going to bomb along the route, and ending up in Belgium, at Limoges. Hard faced
captain was unknown to most people, but within the group, he was known as the best, he had survived,
and that was rare. In fact, quite rare. There was only a few streaks of light which emerge from the
gloom, and he would read them and then determine the results in darkness until he could read when
they passed over floodlights. It good only be read as an intense time, to the captain, and most of the
crew. What he was asked to do was bomb this place, and get out if possible, there is no sense in saying
that it was likely.
He broke his first pencil, and rapidly securing and dark manage to find new one, more by feel
then anything else. The generals were being exact, which was no way to run this ship. It was more by
feel them by exactly calculations, but no general would believe that. They wanted order, and discipline,
order discipline were the gods of their little realm. But they weren't because of this world upstairs and
beyond the reach of guns, and loaded rifles. They were very like in her design, and wisp of life floating
in an unholy, but none the less discernible place.
He looked down to where the dirigible mainlines were being severed, realizing that once they
were free, he would never see them again. And in fact that was good, he could stand people who stood
firmly on the ground, give him men of the aire every single time, he would understand them, and they
would understand him, and that was better.
Almost by the he, he felt the weaving back and forwards of zeppelin, flowing in the air, as
much as boats float along water. He knew this would be a good flight, better than almost any of them.
Most dirigible pilot's wanted to do safe things, attacking nothing, and observe everything. But this
captain wanted to get in the fray, and he selected men beneath that were the same way. They were hard
headed - where as the troops on the ground were heavy handed, and at that point did not understand
what the air was for. They looked up, and rather than see trails through shadow that we see, they would
see trails that were, to them, ethereal and without cause. And they did not like them, not one bit. They,
in about muttering what tell you that there is no good to be caused by this bombing run, a should
instead build machines such as artillery. People in the year knew better, only they could see how to get
the ground people to realize that this was the future.
Even during war, their were wars between states, and their were other wars which recruited
people but were in fact different, and people killed them selves who were otherwise friends. For
example, there were people in the air war, which were friends in flight, and then were enemies of the
state. This is why everything ,and nothing, are alike.
The pilot guides the ship, not really taking advantage of the many things that he can do,
because thou masters of the ship think that it is necessary. What he needs to do is get a hold of the ship,
and rather than force her to do his work, guide the ship so as she and he are one. This is the main point:
rather than guide something that is not-him to do work, he must merge the ship to be part of the
process. Thus his flicking between left and the right, is as much for his knowledge has it is for the ship.
He is at peace, when he and the ship are one. Gradually there is no difference, and the the buoys, which
control the ship, are in fact one between them both. Their is rhythm, he checks one thing and another
down his list of 35 or so things. Whether the winch is loose, whether it's taught, all things that he
wouldn't even recognize as things he has to do, he just does them, and they in turn, as if magic, do
themselves, under his guidance.
Then they are truly aloft, with all of the noise below them, and only stars love above them. He
said is eye on one of them, a bright star named Antares which settled in to the left, and though not
entirely, it was the main sail in his quest for further stars. Beneath them were stars of different kind,
man made, but the same stuff in its own way. Stars above, and stars below.
He heard a call from forward in the vessel, it was the third in command, telling him that he was
to high in the vessel, and he should shoot for lower if he could. He nodded, to himself, if anyone, and
corrected his course right thumb pushing up, and left hand pushing down. And in less than a minute the
third officer cleared him, and told him that that was all right, though no words which you or I could
understand had been passed between us, just marks as in the old day when Mark Twain passed in two
dimensions. Then it was peaceful, with only touching the knobs to adjust. Then he stood very still, and
know motion was called for by below or above.
He saw that clouds were moving adrift, and he could see more and more light from below,
rather than darkness, it was clearing, and very rapidly so. This meant he would have to be redoubled in
his efforts, because men from the ground could easily spot him now that there was little air between
them. He would have two be wary, and on guard. This would be the most dangerous part of the flight,
and he rattled left and right just to play with them. Remember it is dark where the ship is, and their isn't
light that can pierce upwards into darkness.
Then he directed the ship to the point of attack in , it was brighter than usual star, only it was
on the ground and it shown with lights that were man made, I know I've been saying this repeatedly,
but it is important. It was clear, though getting cloudier in darkness ahead. He knew he would have one
chance and one chance only to deliver the bombs, and get out of the way. Surprise was the key element
of their attack, their were no combat air patrols, it was truly peaceful sky, with all of the bric-a-brac not
present. No, not a air patrols, no civilian, no military. He drifted the ship downwards along certain path
that had selected in advance. Every minute count, because every minute was one less that people could
get away from the bomb blast. Yes, he was evil, not just going through the motions.
But no one from the ground had seen them yet, and that was better than expected.
“Right rudder, and hurry about it.”
The command was abrupt, because if it had failed their would be no turning back. But the right
rudder was normalized, though just barely so. He had signed, that was a close one, though only he and
the second in command knew it. The other parties on the ship were oblivious to it, and that is the way
he wanted it. Somehow that made his responsibility, even though he did not know what would be killed
next, but even so it was still his responsibility. Perhaps because only he knew, if anyone did, when it
eventually killed over.
Thus it was with a glee which was warm on the inside, that he traced the crosshairs to a single
point, and with that point crossed the two pin theirs together, and walloped them. There was a warm
feeling, down to his feet, not unlike fish that had been warmed up, and even fresh and whole. He
pondered whether this was part of the death that he felt when ever it had betrayed him. But he
decided he would not think about this, there was too much work to be done, too much betrayal to meet
out. The killing urge had struck him, and he could not help but listen. Then he gritted his teeth and said
blast bombs in two the fury. They are was only minimal damage from a couple of guns which had only
glanced, there was no question they had not been hit. In only a few minutes he had expended all of the
bombs, and as he did so he was emasculated, totally drained. He was a shell of his former self, getting
by without without any compunction, there was no will at all. His ship turned around, so he did not
remember giving the order. And with that there was nothing left to do, but slip away into the darkness.
But the darkness was no friend of theirs, it would be cruel them until they got down to the surface.
The build up was long, and torturous, and then there was a short duration of darkness, and then
along and weary road back after having done the damage. He knew from the way that absolutely
nothing, that each person felt the same way. He raised the rudder, and slipped away, ghostly in to the
night. Every one of them fell trained, pencils drooped down from his arm, having done its work. There
was no time to waste, the had to get the ship turned around, a course which was designed to cover their
tracks, because the immediate bearing was not the correct one, it had been north of the true course.
So it went on to the true course about 20 minutes later, and looked away into the darkness as if
nothing had happened. The captain made sure that his course was correct, and they were back in the
flow. He hid the ship under the clouds, and disappear into the darkness.
The there was one of wrote pattern, which was almost like noise, but quiet noise. They were
swimming through was a shambling mess. He could not see any of the features, or size of that he
recognized, every thing was a blur, the clouds were thick, and he could only see details, details that did
not add up. He scratched numbers, though you really could not see them very well. He guessed and
flew into blackness, but with holes which resembled something like the ground that he was looking for.
He moved the right hand backwards and left hand forwards, hoping against hope that this was the right
option, but he did not know this, but again no one else knew.
He gradually gritted his teeth with Noise, and more to himself, so no one else could here it.
There was ringing in his ears, almost, but not quite, beyond words. It was a high of sound, which only
he could hear, but inside his head it was interminably allowed, so loud in fact he could barely hear
himself otherwise. He then cited pinpoint on the ground, and he knew that this was the place he had to
land. Of all the places on ground, he knew that at once. It would be some accomplishment to describe
things he did, but basically he was a rider, in a peculiar kind of way. He nuzzled himself. Then, without
thinking about it, he called to the crew to be ready. Knowing that they too would do similar kinds of
emotions in their particular way to set the course of dirigible - in a few minutes it would be over, and
Than back down the ship he screamed was heard, and the captain knew that someone had
moved something inexactly, the end if they did not quash whatever was there, all things would be
consumed - and each one would, in his own way, perish, not together, but alone, died alone. Then he
knew they were dying, each one of them, he heard distinctly the second officers crying, third officers
moaning and weeping, he heard the gunman, deep in the back cursing to himself. Over what it knew, it
was something which had nothing to do with this. Then it was his turn, to fire back on the back of his
leg, right leg has turned out, and burned all the way through and ate at his skin, gnawing and
crawling, both above and below, down to his leg, and up to his waist, it was slow because this did mean
he was going to die, quite yet. There were things that he wished for, and he knew that among the many
people, he was the captain for good reasons. A kaleidoscope of colors, each one picture, or thought,
Reminded him that everything would be dark soon, but not yet. Time had stood still, every second
lasting a minute, and he timed every second as if it were his last. Then this world was free of him, he
realized that he had not seen with his eyes, but imagined the picture instead. Then suddenly he was
free, and some very interesting things were occurring, none of them were expected at all. At least by
At first he did not know he was dead, he felt the same way as here lies would have, just lighter
and more resonant than before. Then you realized he was looking upwards at the zeppelin crash and
burning and him self as falling upwards. He twisted and contorted, he had no control. Then he
straightened himself outwards, falling downwards and there was heat on his back, though it did not
quite feel like he bought burning sensation. And it was in long sentences that he remembered this,
because he knew he was lying on his face. So he was remembering, or recollecting, not simply
It wasn't fair he felt, he had so much to do. And then he realized, he was departing this world
quite yet, because he had so much to do, so much to do, and so little time to do it.
But instead of feeling very degraded, the felt as light as a feather, and as giddy as someone who
was five or six, with all things that that entails - the light headedness, which seemed to go on for ever.
He was giggling, truly giggling, as if nothing else mattered. He did not know what to make of it, is was
as if he were in a trance, and then he saw something which alarmed him: the zeppelin was going down,
beneath his feet. He wasn't just feeling has light as a feather, he was a flight as a feather, free to do what
he wanted to do, if he only knew what that was. Then he drifted back down, more likely than he
thought he could, and drifted, drifted until he was stuck half way up to the ground.
It was an odd feeling, as if you just stood out from their first door, and felt loose across his face.
It was as if had dirt pulling over the body, pouring In to every crevice in his body. It seemed crass to
him, every pore wanting to be oiled, but instead creased and cramped. Than he felt as if he were
climbing with ants, and even felt so, though he found none. But the feeling would wash over him two
or three more times, subsiding as it the thing at all had to defined it. Then he stood, with all of his
might not devoted to scratching, and looked around getting his bearings. He was on the dirigible, and it
was dark, so that he was blinded not from darkness, but from light. The light. The light. He did not
know where the light came from, and in his memory never did. But there is place not know to the
memory which knew.
Thus he stood almost motionless, watching the dirigible plummet in to the ground face
forward, with everything else distant memory. There were plumes, parading their way up, until they
vanished, to be replaced by another set equally and the same though different. There was an ebb and
flow to them, they would glance up words, and then tamp down to only rise again. It was almost as if
things were in slow motion, and perhaps they were, because he did not know if there was any kind of
magic in the way that the preceded perceived things, and that was no minor feat before people had
thought of it quite the same way as we do in the 20th century. And for a moment he knew that, though
consciously he did not believe that that was possible. But as an unconscious fact the new that it was
Than in the center of the zeppelin, he saw transfigured ways, first of light, then of darkness,
they were transferred to everything that they touched, and they listened as nothing else did. This was
strange and magical, nothing like he, or almost anyone else, could imagine. His eyes were luminescent
as he saw the creeping's of light and dark, and the spaces in between fluorescing as if they came in and
out of darkness in to light.
There were no stars, though he knew they were out there, someplace. Then the brittle metal
shattered, and pulsed into the ground. Almost stopped in his tracks, waiting to see what would happen
next. Then piece of the shimmering was aimed straight for him, and he knew that this would be it,
though in one part of his brain he realized that it might not be it, because he was not corporate, but
many other sections of his brain did not believe it. Then he was consumed, consumed as if nothing
could matter, and he was in blackness. As black as night. He thought that would be it, and in the last
second set of prayer to God for is many, for he knew he was evil, sins. He prayed to the Virgin Mary,
for his little girl, who was pure of all of this, into his wife which new his wickedness and loved him all
the same, because she had had in inside of her, laughing as she did so. He glanced at her hair, on the
inside, stroking its blonde tenuous structure. Golden in that way which he imagined it to be, though he
knew that that was a lie. Then he saw, though this too was lie, that shimmering head of hair which was
his wife was fate.
But he gave sleep, and instead he was formed into many threats, on was part of the mountain,
one was beside the shore, another one, still another one, was on playing fields, where the dirigibles
slept, waiting there turn to be used. He saw the broken up pieces of the ship that had carried him and
his crew, and almost all the way back again. But it was almost, and shoots off of him were testament to
what could happen. Like he could not do was focus, it seems as if there were a dozen offshoots all
vying for his attention. Each one of them was interesting in its own right, each one clamoring for
attention, each one breathless in its nature.
It was almost as if the consciousness was rebounded, and no thought could finish before the
next thought gave way, gave way to that other place that he was now staring into, but did not know.
Then he caught a group on things, he wanted to know if there were any others of his group, and
where they were. This started as a gnawing in is brain, if he had a brain to speak of, and became a
consuming obsession. Has he did so, the forms gave way to one, and only one, conscious thought.
Gone were the fields, and the mountains, in every other place which was here he was again standing,
though not in the same place as before. He realized that he could disassemble his consciousness, and
re-assembly, if he knew how he had done it, just now.
But now he was solid, and enraptured in a human form, cloaked in some semblance of his
former uniform, though he could tell that it was just a form and not really garments per se. The same
thing was true of his boots, they were not really there but just a fashion of themselves. He glanced at all
of these things and then girded himself, and took a stride and then another. Soon he w, as walking,
grimly and determined, as if he was going to go someplace, and find out which, if any, of his crew were
like him, though he doesn't know what to call himself. Clearly he was not human, but he did not know
what he was, phantasm, a ghost, whatever he was he was not dead but not alive yet either.
A grimace was appearing on is face, he was determined to find out what was going on. Through
the heather and weight, over taking clover. Their was more than just site, there were feelings, and
sound, and even smells that he remembered from his childhood. But all different, and yet all the same.
He trod towards the wreckage now being put out by human numbers of the tribe. He felt pity upon
them, so he could explain why, after all he was dead, or rather half dead, and they were so living, but he
could see how they were stressing and straining, clawing for every bit of ground. They were pitiful
because each moment the plotting along, 1 foot in front of the other, each moment as before. He
wondered why he had never heard this, this place caught in neither the living, or maybe had and just
dismissed these fantasies as the ravings of a mad lunatic. Or what people talk of when they do not make
any more sense. Only he was dropped in this world, and he liked it, adored it, because there were many
things he could now do, if only he had the will to do them, because new that there had to be some way
for him to affect the living.
The next thing he noticed, was he did not have to look around, he did not just see with his eyes,
but which ever part he looked with, from the bottom of his feet, to wisps of his hair, it was always the
same. It was almost as if every part of his body was aware. So thoroughly aware in fact, that it was
painful. And that was interesting because he had not experienced pain in this form at all. This was not
the pain that he knew from before, it was removed and distant, as a lark calling in the distance. Its sigh,
as if it was reaching out to him, but did not think it was anything other than pain, searing pain in fact. It
was as if it was another life, conjoined wit h his own, but yet separate from him.
He had to get focused, focused on what he was doing. While the delights and pains were real,
and terrorising, he had to get focused on where the crew were, and if would see them at all, because
there was no guarantee of that.
So he moved, effortlessly, though haunted by something that was there on the ground, and he
could feel it. It was as if it were a shadow, mimicking his movements, copying them, on the ground. He
stopped and gestured with his hand, and saw on the ground the same movements, but they were not his
in the same way his hand was. It was as if he had a double, doing what he did, only on the ground. A
simulacrum, if you will, a double, moving as he moved. Standing where he stood. But he knew that this
feeling would not stop, and there were things, now, that had to be attentive to, or he would lose his
crew. And he did not want that, not in the least, and his crew would follow him, to the ends of your if
need be. But not if they knew that they were attached to him even beyond the grave. He would push
until he had the obedience from them which he required. And then push some more, and then more, and
still finally more, until he got what he wanted.
Then he moved effortlessly, and amissed all of the swirling motion induced that some of the
swirling motion was through his leg, but bit of it went long his leg, as it was supposed to. Just, mind
you, but he could feel this, or he thought he could. So tried to see if this was a reaction, or if it was
something out of a dream. He couldn't tell, most of it was hazy. But if it was so, that tiny bit of friction
and that he was there, not a dream, then could be solid if only for a moment. This would mean that,
even if vaguely, some amount of his presence was corporeal. He really hoped that would be the case.
And if it was, that little bit was at least enough to tell him, how ever tenuously pause, that he could
have found effects, if only tangentially. Because it would also mean that the being outside could, even
if not knowing, could detect his existence.He became still, and decided to test this assertion, right here,
right now. But how to do so, because he had no claim, or other such entity, which would allow. So he
just had to improvise, and see whether or not it really did join, or not. He stopped, and knelt down as if
to get his arms dirty, and that he realized, that that was not going to make a difference, standing or
seated, because the wind was going to care, and was going to care. Of blowing of the wind was
seamless and imaginaliss, be he standing or sitting up. He was gripped by indecision what to do, and
for a moment, he did not know what to do. Then he got a hold of himself, and took him self to task, and
got on his original project to find the men of his crew and put them to work, which was going to be a
project in itself. Then, and only then, would he pursue more distance projects, including this one, which
were further down the line.
So eagerly he stood up, and trod to where the embers of the dirigible were still burning in the
night. He noticed that he could see again from any direction, including backwards, and he noticed that
there was no difference at all between the viewing, up or down, left, right, up above, or down below, it
was all the same to him, even as he was walking. This he caught used to. While in a manner of
speaking, he got used to it but there was a nervous tic about it that welled up, so he tried to calm this.
Remember, every time he felt something, it was corporeal even though he was. He thought there were
two pattern, which never came. It was indeed odd, but he would get used to it, even if it was the last
thing he did. There would be order, and he said him self to doing just that, order, order, order, order. He
would maintain order, and resolved not to fill in the gaps.
Order, order, order, order, order.
Each motion became synonymous with order, and discipline, and each motion was the same, not
close to, the same.
If it was the last thing he did on this world, he would have order and discipline in his motions.
Feet to the front, arms had rested, crisp in order to his legs, stretching as if each step was the
first and last. Each them a small step forward, gazing in to the blackness. Order and discipline.
Until, at last, he became what he had been in life: machine of duty, order, and discipline. Then
and only then, would he surround himself with the variety of senses, taking in the view which did not
have to necessarily have the vision in his feet. You do not understand how much his vision depended on
his eyes, it was unnerving, but he had mastered it.
But couldn't establish the view anywhere but outside the body, however much he tried to do so.
He couldn't have order in his feet, and expensiveness in his feet, no matter how much he tried. And he
did try all the way up to where stood. At this point other things directed his vision.
He made his body to stop running, and posed a moment to survey this new territory in his new
form, because it was after all different. He could see shapes that he knew were not visible to the
corporeal eye, and he knew that other shapes which were resonant, to not appear so to him. He guessed
that the light that he saw was redder, lacking that crisp clear view of violet which made things as if they
were fuzzy, rounded, as if a halo surrounded everything, it was if everything was illuminated. Ghostly,
With this did for the scenery was it gave glory where the air around everything a crackle, where
the air around it all was surging and ebbing away. Once again the halo effect. He realized this was
going to be a feature, at least in lower light. He also felt that the light was piercing him, as much as he
was piercing like. As if it stared at him, just as much as he stared at it. He was just beyond the pale,
glow that was shimmering just beyond the boundaries of himself. Then he decided to walk in to it. He
noticed that even bright light was even to his eyes. This was different, different from how he was use to
in a living state, where soot and blackness would crest over his eyes and lead to darkness.
Then he was fading in to blackness, reliving the sprawling that said to him that he was slipping
apart. Fade. Blackout. Cut. Words that just had new meaning from cinematography.
War, Now and Forever and Afterwards
9 Aug 1914
Outside of Paris
There had been no reason to expect any other people, and for a while that was true. But as they
got in range of Paris, something wonderful happened, but truly disturbing in its own way. It happened
the night before, probably, when they saw and preparation, which they knew this themselves cast in
two light. They knew that they looked to a apparition, as he looked to them. Then the apparition was
pale and ghostly, and they realized that they were pale and ghostly to its eyes, while to itself it seemed
solid. In other words, a complete reversal. They were on the street, and suddenly it was there, though
they could only just see it. Not only was it ghostly, but it seemed as if cold and wet, as if something
was wrong with either their eyes, or its.
It wanted off, but they knew it was only the first apparition that they would see. Mayor was the
first of a large horde of people, in the last war, in 1871, people piled on to battlefields. Now there was a
front line, which stretched endlessly coiled on for steps of the mountain, upon every hill and dale. They
had used the railway to find a trammel, really just a board with four wheels running on the railway. She
sat along the front wall he applied is muscle to the wheels, and could get it going, even though it was
going slowly, it was faster than walking.
“This is nice, pleasant effect. What made you think of it, wasn't something that you did in
Baden, or someplace like that?”
“Something like that. My great grand uncle showed me how it worked, and then one day I and a
friend used to borrow one, though of course we would put it back. We just went to the end, and then
She looked surprised, she couldn't help the reaction.
“So you did so many times, thousands?”
“Many times, but not thousands, of few times at best.”
But even a few times was more than she could claim, and for the first time, she was enraptured
by his talking. There was a melodic note to it, that harmed in the air for a brief moment, brief moment
that she could capture. And that moment made in think that he could like, more than like, the attention
that she gave him.
But making this show was beyond him, so he just smiled instead and continued to pump. And
pump and pump and pump, until he got his back into it and there was no motion. Just a seamless
transfer, smooth motion from is hands and legs, into the machinery that replaced his own natural
functions. Then he realized his great grand uncle was new to this thing as well, because originally
became from the sea, on drifting waters and times, with many men under his watch. He recalled that as
a junior commander one day he just walked off a shift, and never looked back. Everything was then
hushed up, as many things were, loose ends and so on. He did not realize this until after the fact, when
loose ends came and revealed themselves in quietly minuted ornately signed and documented, but there
was an undercurrent that could not be hidden, though it was carefully orchestrated to reveal nothing,
but the wafts of odor which if you knew the language of these words was obvious, at least someone
who knew what they were talking about.
Such as, not to put too fine a point on it, himself.
Thus he read the papers instantly, pouring over them like they were the Bible. Most of the time
they were bland. But unlike most papers, they were not entirely so, and in these cracks and crevices of
the story took place that was anything but ordinary, far from it. Of course to you and I it would be
humdrum, to younger man maneuvering is way too seduced a far older and wiser woman. There were
hints of an affair, though nothing of the kind was spelled out. But in this time, and in this place, that
would be enough. And then he bid adieu, in the was that. An order given, an order received, and that
was that, his grant uncle was on his way, going in to the country where no one knew him, and no one
It was as if there were something seemingly, in this piece of paper from Franco-Prussian War,
but what made it important was he was going to join what would become Germany, though Germany
did not quite yet exist. He reported, and conscripted, and changed their name. This was the older
brother, actually one of three, and he had admired him, even lauded him, until he found out that wasn't
at all what he looked like.
These things, and a few others, were streaming along his mind while she was talking about
something, and he realized he needed to respond to it, or admit he wasn't the same. And he wanted to
be listening. So inner thoughts were abandoned, and gradually subsided, so as to understand what she
was saying. Fortunately he caught just the tail end of the sentence, and could respond adequately. But
just barely, and he responded currently, to currently in fact.
“What were you thinking of, I can tell you had something on your mind, even if you are going
to tell me good you were a bit late I had pizza muffin and so will I had to because you have that
concentrated look on your face.”
Of course this would catch him off guard, indeed it was meant to, she was going in exactly the
kind of German, because there were many kinds, and she might have been more fluent that he was.
“I was thinking about my great uncle, who came from the sea. And the road to his brother,
telling him that Baden was the place to be.”
“It must have been a wonderful story, I hate to remind you your not of this world.”
He looked down at his boots.
“I keep forgetting, that I will not be going there, at least in this form, ever again. You're sure that
there is no going back. We won't be resurrected will we?”
“I do not think so, but you never know. I know that I've seen nothing like it in my experience,
but who really knows? I do know, that there is a connection between us, and more than either of us
“What I have been wondering, is there a God, which we will talk to? Or is there something else
here that we have not been privy to.”
“I do know, though I have thought of this many times.”
“It's nice to know that the same things are on our mind.”
She nodded, and bit her lip as if she had something else to say, but repressed.
“You have something to say, I can hear it, in your voice, and your features.”
She stared in to the sky, trying to find words to say. It was different for her, she had many many
things to say, but most of them were submerged in her mind, vying for thoughts, but hovering below
limits of speech, trying not to be noticed. He had one thing to say, and the question was whether he
would say it or not, where as she had innumerable things to say, and how she said it was not clear. It
was as if looking upwards could resolve these differences, and with resolution a lower to charge
forward with a single purpose. But as you can guess, that was very often.
“I have so many things that I want to say, and I fear that it will be nonsensical, or trite. I really
want to please you, and I do not know what could be of interest to you. So I do not say anything at all,
even though I would wish I could.”
“Say the first thing that comes into your mind.”
First, before anything else, she blushed, and by that there was understanding between them, she
wanted him for the first time, that moment. Or rather, she told him so, though she had really wanted to
him, before anything else. There was a magnetic moment, which he had missed, but which had grown
into fruition of its own accord. Though secret, it had consumed your, though as yet unexpressed in its
range and vivacity. She looked up to him, and their was a blushing at the tips of her cheeks, and finally
he grassed the steps of her affection. But still, nothing was spoken. Nor was it going to be if she could
help it, nor was it going to be if he could help it, it was as if it was a secret only left in words. In every
other respect, it might as well been illuminated.
This left a tension between the to, which had to be broken, or it would become a miasma, that
would have broken in half. He realized that this would be his responsibility, because she would be
grappling on to whether she would or she wouldn't, on able to grapple with it.
“How are until Paris?”
“How long can you run this?”
She gestured at the rail, and quizzically looked at him.
“I can do this, for a long time. How long to Paris?”
“It is about 60 km or so.”
“So the middle of the next day we should be in Paris.”
She looked back at him, and saw that he was exhausted, the sweat gleaming from all over his
face, even she felt tired.
“Are you sure you do not need rest?”
He basically grunted. It was clear he was exhausted, but wasn't going to say so if he did not
have to, but her heart was caring, and he knew that he could admit so, and not pay a price for it.
“I would say that I could take a short break, at that town there, it has a side trail.”
So it did. So he slowed down, and attached the lock as they went. He had stopped pedaling
along time ago, and that coasting abruptly came to a halt.
They looked around and saw something more than a tiny village, but not much more. It had a
few shops, and what looked like a village center contain all of the functions of town center. It wasn't
sleepy, exactly, but it was the sort of place where you needed some place it was there, but unlike the
village which was compact, there were clearly many things which were not provided, but instead you
had to walk to a larger business center, that was clearly to marked.
“It seems there are only the necessities, and very little else.”
“That's because there is only enough to get by, and for everything else, you have to go a little bit
further, now we've gotten in to the suburbs.” he knew what she meant, but it wasn't exactly the first
word on his fingertips. He was used to a contained village, though he had been around enough to know
what she meant, but it was odd none the less.
She saw the contortions, and guest that hadn't seen her real city, not like Paris was, or even
Frankfurt, places such as that. Her face slapped in to caring mode, has one might in to a face for a baby,
saying it was all right, there was nothing to fear. He in turn scowled, and for a moment got off and
created his feet down, with his back towards her and scanned the related buildings. She realized that
she had done something wrong, and modified her voice appropriately.
“This is not the main train station, that is a little further on.” she had said this, but she was
saying it again, more to unruffled feathers, so to speak, and try and get the main thread reestablished.
That thread was inexpressible, but somehow tangible in a way that made it possible to know that she'd
gotten off track. And she definitely wanted back on to the track, because there was life there, life the
Each time it was inexpressible, sublime, yet tangible. The more she had, the more she wanted.
They had set off on foot, to find any supplies, because most things were invisible. You see,
those things were going to be taken off, and used. Thus they were not visible to them. It was only what
was not going to be used that would be visible. Thus the moment it was not going to be used was the
moment that it could be seen in this contra world. Then it would become visible, and that meant that
something new that it's was going to be unconsumed, and would in time be rotten. Something knew, or
was it one of the properties that things had? Either way, it was strange, very strange in fact.
But whatever the case, things that were on the bottom or on top had the best chance of being
new but were turning rotten, turning as it were under the state of grace. That meant that they looked
under and below for the best material, you would think that people would protect their things so that
nothing could go bad, he actually thought it would, but she knew better, sometimes things just went bad
and there was nothing you could do about it. Thus she showed him high above, and down below, things
which were good, but no one was going to take them. And it seemed they were all fresh, as if
something knew that now was the time of freshness, and when it was done and they were going to
spoil, poof - they would disappear again, perhaps to another world, or back to this one where they were
thrown out as spoiled. Who was going to say?
Thus they had gotten some peaches, from our away in America, one would think that there
would be gone, but no there were some left. Probably they were going to go in to peach cobbler, or
somesuch. No that couldn't be right because then they would have be consumed, they picked at them
and realized these were going to trust be discarded. So they were there just to be eaten, it made him
realize that, if she was right about such things, there would not be enough, and so they should stay
away from the front lines, and go in la belle a France, and weekly. He realized, if she did not, there
would be swarms of people like him, cut down in the prime of youth. So after half an hour, he turned to
her and said:
“We have to keep going, I was just the first, but there will be thousands, and I mean that
thousands, who will come after me, French, German, Belgian.”
“How many would will there be?”
“To lines of men from the sea to high up in the woods, without a break, without measure.”
“You have to be joking.”
“No, actually, I'm not.”
There was a moment of silence as if to enunciate the point, and for her it was a design, a
pattern, that she could not comprehend. At that moment they both ran, and got on to the tramway, and
flew as fast as it could do so. All the while she imagined that in a few days, or months, she did not
suspect years, there would be many of them where now there were very few.
Somehow the war was real to them, which it had not been before.
So they were on the Tramway, and he was pumping for his very life. He knew that Paris would
just be a gateway, because the Parisians would defend to the last bitter breath. He knew that Paris
would be gateway and they would resist everything that his German army would throw at it, and then
some. What he did not know, they would hurl back even more of the same. Wars of the 19th century
since the Crimean War, which most people had willfully decided to forget, were of short duration. The
American Civil War was not on the European continent, so it did not matter, at least to Europeans. Thus
the last war in their minds was the Napoleonic wars, and that had ended a century ago.
This came through his mind as he was pumping up and down, a vision if you will, perhaps a
delusion, but real nonetheless. He was not able to see that the Napoleonic era was going to be the
template for his own age. Only the top people suspected, and they work telling anybody but in
whispers. Many miles away in Berlin, the Kaiser suspected this was not going to go as planned, but no
one listened to him, because closer to many people the this was going to be the great victory, a great
victory that many had dreamed of. In France they dreamed of victory, but the the rude shock was closer
at hand for them. It would only take Joffrey's look around, and see that all of his plans for victory were
for nothing, nothing and a day, as it were. He would stretch out his hand and find it empty, and then get
down to the business of saving France from itself, more than from the Germans. But Joffrey was at that
point yet, he like his enemies, saw a glorious triumphant battle crying, blaring on horns, and featuring
his name in lights. Joffrey, Joffrey, Joffrey, a name the would being forgotten, forgotten and buried.
Than out of corner of her by, she saw figure, which was, like them, alert and people. He was
also French. Though they had seen figures, this was the first time they saw one in the very flesh and
blood. Or, so to speak. Neither short nor tall, but wiry and thin, he looked like the part of some crazed
man. She froze, and he wrapped him self around her to protect her, and the man? Man just walked, and
walked, Pairing down the distance, and tell he was 20 meter away from them, and then he stopped. This
meant something, it meant, for example, that he was thinking. There was something alive, he was not
just an automata, doing things by rote.
“Who are you?” this was Albert speaking, having regaining his voice.
The Frenchman opened his voice, but for several seconds nothing came out. Then gradually he
began to speak. “Are you real? Or is this just another illusion? And where is everyone in this place
anyway?” This was confusion, confusion that was felt all the way in.
“Is as real as your, which is only just.” Woman explained. “ what brought you here?” The are as
yet were no niceties, no greetings, which was very odd in this time, and this place. But the
circumstances allowed for it, because everything was off of kilter.
Before he fast them, he focused his eyes, and walked until he was standing beside. Albert saw
something, and behind his back used the hand to signal that something was terribly wrong. What he
saw was that much of man's brain was the into pieces, and scattered behind him. The man had gotten
focus and replied to the woman.
“I was with some other people, we were going to in front, because no one expects Belgian to
stand up to the German onslaught. We were on the back of a there of horse-drawn carriages, and then, I
was off the carriage. I was staring into the sky, I do not know how long, them, magically, I got up.
There were no people, none at all.” there was a monotonous pace, as if there were something wrong
with him. Then he glanced beside, probably to follow a movement, that only the could see. Them a saw
what was wrong, a good third of his skull was blowing off. While most of the skull was matted here,
there was definitely something ominous about what was underneath. It was torn and shredded, as if it
was meant to be that way. The man taking notice this at all, but the pair could not help wearing there
eyes. The man taking notice no notice of them at all, and kept talking. Finally Albert could not take it
anymore, and slammed his arm against beside of ahead, quite efficiently, as the was a combatant. He
was good at what he did. This was not a gunfights, with slapping back and for, instead he picked up his
on, slammed it twice in the head, and it was done.
M was taken aback, such violence as she had never imagined it to be, was just played out. She
looked down at the body, and it was clear what had happened: more than half of its head had been lost,
in fact, losing more each time.
Then man's body was gone, like a dream, or less dream, more than a reality. The body was gone
from their sight. Young woman searched around as if to see that it was truly gone, with a man looked at
where the body had so recently been. And he knew that it was truly gone.
“Do not you realize, that when I get it, I knew it was going to be gone.”
“No I do not know that, what touched your brain and said this to you? Was it from the inside, or
something from the outside that you could explain to me?”
He thought for a minute and then described what he felt.
“I knew, rather in detail mind you, that is head was half missing. I saw it in his eyes, his eyes
were dead to me.”
She just nodded at this, intimate sense, in fact why did not she think of it? It must be, she felt
herself, that she knew and did not want to express it in so many words.
10 Aug 1914
Somehow, it was Paris, clip-clop, messy, in a phrase - the only city from here, all along the
coast, from London in the north, to Brussels in the East, nowhere in the West and South. In fact you
could to find Paris, as the one true city, in all the land of France. Because anything that you could think
of that was in the land, had its best was representation there and only there. It was, again, morning, but
shorter, but not enough so you would know. The sun was not up quite yet, nor were the children awake.
In fact there were only two people awake at all, the old man who is downstairs sharpening everything
that he had to sharpen, an upstairs, made during all things that she knew had to be done, but were
disagreeable to everyone, so they were to be done sight unseen.
If only they could be done as before, in the 80s, the 90s, what time that would be, the German
hordes had retreated, all the riffraff which gathered around Marx had blown over, all was gay, and that
did not mean homosexual, but pleasant and gentle and all the things that meant the older definition of
the word. But that was not to be, there was up ahead in the distance, a decision to be made, should I
stay, or should we go. Though people talked in the old dialect with its wordy verbose nature, people
who that it's a was dying, as if going to sleep, and never wake up again. In this house, it was not
wanted, but it was coming anyway.
In other places in the district, the new voice was a shattering voice. But here it was whispered
edge which came to most people, children, the mother, and every one else, talked to them themselves.
Them there was Peternotes, who only talked people when they talked them. Right now, he was a closet,
and no one talked to him for two days, because he did not want to talk them. He knew that his time was
coming, but not quite yet, though a ray from the emerging sun was creeping its way, down to where he
was. He nudged his way, up into the light, but not so close as to be seen.
He mumbled to himself, and nodded, and whispered. But these were actual noises, there was no
question that he was awake, and listening intently to the carrying on, though now it was just too people
soon it would be more, and more noisy.
Truly, this moment of the day perplexed, and derided, him. He did not like how all of the other
toys were dead, he did not like how the people were asleep, off in a dream world which he could not
get to, though he knew that something was going on inside their mind. He wished that he had a
companion, some like him who he could talk to through the hours of the night. It would be comforting.
But it was not to be.
So he waited, waited if that moment, where the children listen to him intently, their secrets
unlocked, and they're minds awakened to what he would have the say. Because he, and only he,
Peternotes, would tell them what was going to be happening. And he would be right, that world was
gone and he was going to tell the children about a new world, new in every detail, which the people of
books time would recognize. Even if you do not, you would recognize that it had come, and gone.
But then he froze, because someone was opening the door, and since the hands and feet were so
small it had to be one of the children, probably J since her hands and feet were so tiny and petite. As
said before, Peternotes did not want to speak to either of them, because he came from the time which
the future which he could see was only glimmering in man's eye, which had caught wildfire in 1860's,
into a magic breath. One which spoke of marvelous things, of woman's equality, and all people being
free. And then lost it again, because there was something they wanted more, even though they were not
going have it. It was marvelous time, full of marvelous ideas, but has yet it was unformed. Peternokes
was made by a man that had captured these, he saw in a novel in fact. And remember novels were quite
a new thing. They had changed him for the new century, and combined only a few which were decent.
And in this dream world Peternokes slid from and to hear until finally he arrived in the hands,
and he knew that this was the time, but not quite yet. These children, but not quite yet. Then the hands
and feet did not enter this inner sanctum, and he slipped back, and rested. He always wondered what
dreaming would be like, if only he could dream. So he dragged the Cat behind him, talking to himself
and, maybe, to the Cat if it could understand him.
On the other side, the boy understood more than anyone could imagine. He couldn't read it's
mind, but the could feel rage that Peternotes felt, even Peternote did not know he felt as strongly as he
did. He could feel the animosity, and he realized that it was going to have it be relieved somehow,
though as a boy he could only think of some violent fisticuffs as resolution. He knew that there was a
better way, but he did know how to resolve them. You would have to think about it, because that was
the first barrier, barrier between Peternotes, and the two people who meant him the best thing in the
world. He would raise this in quite of the evening with his sister. He would make it clear that this
would have to be the first thing.
Thus he turned away from the door, and picked up blocks, and played with them. But in the
back of his head, there was a spinner around, and he would in fact tell his sister about what he had felt.
She, first had listened, because he did not know exactly how powerful is voice was. Then she then
spoke: “I never knew just how angry he was, we have to do something about this, I agree. What do you
have in mind?”
He got annoyed, he had been waiting for an answer from her, not the question that he had
asked. And he showed his annoyance replied:
“If I knew I would have already been. I was open that you would have an answer. Do you?”
Actually she did. But biting her lip was second nature.
“I think I do, argue with willing to listen?”
Of course he was, in fact he was annoyed that she would ask, rather than starting in on the plan.
Then he realized, in recent months, that she was being polite.
“Of course I'm willing...”
“Well then, Peternotes would only rest his anger if he could see that we're angry, too.”
“Yes, but how do we do that?”
“Reasoning will not work, nor will a temper tantrum.”
“I agree with that, but what will work? That's the thing that I want to know.”
“Get him to realize, himself, how angry he is. That will be the turning point, if he realized he's
so angry, then he will moderate himself. But until he does, there won't be any point in talking.”
“Get him to realize that this angry? Is that it?”
“It won't be as easy as you think, will have to play a trick on him.”
“Do you have an idea? Or this this a question for us both to answer?”
“I think I have an idea, if you would like to hear it.”
He nodded, trying very hard not to get in the way.
“We have let him talk, and talk, and then will, all on his own, realize that he is angry, just as you
realized it by listening to him.”In a you and you and I and all
He nodded. It was very clear that he was so desperately angry. Desperately so.
And that was the beginning of a plan.
The cat was not impressed, and went back to washing it's paws. Actually it went back to
washing its paws as if nothing happened.
What can be done will be done
11 Aug 1914
Think of all of the places that you can think of, and realize that in 1914, there were many fewer
of them. Are now there are buildings and façades, then there was open meadows, and strange brooks,
and 1000 ways that things were nature rather than artifice. Realized to, most people lived in villages,
not aligned in city streets. It was a very different era, and people did not realize just what a change
century would make. Also realize that in the middle of this century, there was a gap, where people on
the extreme ends were very much like each other, but in the middle day were completely different. This
was, again, not going to be seeing from this end, and wasn't the allowed to be seen from the other. That
being the difference: rich people at the end of this century new that the wealth and power could be
changed. And that was different, people in the early part of this century did not know that, where has
had the end of the century, they had fought for it to be the same as it was before. And they fought to
hide this fact from virtually everyone else. Churchill knew that this could happen, Roosevelt did not
know but he would after he had been afflicted. But no such people were alive in the waning parts of
That is the difference between elder rich, who did not know, and younger rich, who saw that it
could very well happen. And would stop it had all cost. And when this writer was writing, they had
done on excellent job, Pairing one reactionary party and one conservative party, and making it so there
was an even interchange. And crushing out, the radical party. This had taken along time, and again it
wasn't easy to do.
But here in the joys of the sun, people thought that it would go on forever like this. Though
there was foreboding, at the center, and with guns which appeared gloomy from the edges. But also at
the edges were gay, as young men were strutting their stuff in uniform. Coquettishly, young women
looked up and down, sizing up who would be back again. This was not obvious, too proud and would
be shot to pieces, this is for those women who wanted one and only one child, and then lived there
lives, too crafty, and he would get several pregnant, and choose the best one, with every of too chance,
knowing at least a would have something to offer for the next generation. All of the scenarios played
out, again and again, with small variations.
Out over the plains north of Paris, where fields drain north in to the English Channel, and fields
are lined with hedgerows, that crisscross based on the dashes and the dots in the church book ledger,
not based on any form or clue on the land. They had formed since the beginning, back in the 700s when
Charlemagne throughout the map. Then they divided, and re-divided, as each son came to each son
equally. And so it changed from generation to generation, sometimes gaining, but most times losing.
They would not know that this pattern was going to be broken, or at least bent, has many branches were
extinguished. But that is what has happened, because alone of all the lands in France, this is one course
that has fewer numbers than it did in 1300s. This one was the bread basket, and then it would soon be
gone. And still people will die hungry.
Their homes were slight and gradual in their climb, they did not know that over four short years
they would be decimated, and destroyed. This was the deflowering of one of the richest lands in all the
world. They would not see another crop, another bushel, another harvest. They were dead and the vines
would not come again, they would have to the reassembled, from berries and branches, coming all the
way from America, fertile fields of France were in actuality from new forms over the sea. The people
here knew that and were scrambling, and clawing, they new that it was them that the German throat
wanted to spill on the ground. Whole towns were denuded of people, setting off to other places. This
part of France was no more, and they, at least, knew it. Thus while France had a delusion that it would
stand, this part of France new that it would not survive the war. The German armies would make sure
down to the Chateau de Coucy which was famous in its time. It would know only a smattering of
greatness, because when the German guns came through, they would level, brick by brick, place that
was. Even the English kings would not dare break the place. Such was the Chateau de Coucy. It was
such a famous place, that a writer from America wrote the book, and told the world just what a place it
She described all of many facets, and told any who would listen, about the exploits that she
found. First she told of its recent past, in “The Guns of August”, and then she told the agent history in
her book on Engerrand VII d'Coucy, “A Distant Mirror”. It was the same story stretched out over two
books, the last part of the story first, and of course the first covered last. She must have loved this place
for her to spend lifetime living it. I was one of the generation that ate up the tail, and mourned that
there would be no third book, and then realized there was no need for. Her metaphors were confused,
she was trying to fit one piece of the puzzle on top of another one which would not fit. World War I,
and late medieval France had some similarities, it was land that held her dancing. What she found
instead, was one piece of France which had its heyday in the medieval period, and no one had bothered
to tell it. There were similarities, eras which were tormented, and ripe with bitter fruit. A third book
would have been lost in time, perhaps other storyteller might be people to loss the beginning in 700, to
go with the middle period of “a distant mirror”, and collapse of “guns of August”, but it would not be
her voice. But think on one thing, place in history which fell to an onslaught, first, is not Normandy, but
right in the center, at a little known town: Dieppe. And on September 1914, it was occupied, and
destroyed later in the war, in 1917.
In such a place as this, people were running hither, backing up, and moving on. The knew that
this would be over for them, in a way that people in the rest of friends did not know. But what was the
source of this information? There seemed no way for them to have known what was going to happen.
Unless they were getting reports from the inside of German intelligence. But who spoke? Who knew?
And who spread the news, not to the government, but ordinary people? Seemed strange that these
people knew, when other people are there up the chain did not. There was confidence in the ranks, there
was confidence in the government, there is confidence in almost everyone, but not here, not now. Why
do these people know more about their governments actions than their owned government did?
One first has to look at one household, anyone at all. One would see that they were not
planning in any tangible way, instead they were scurrying about, catching what may. Let us take for
example, Mme des Desparde, whom was no one in particular, but had lost her husband a few weeks
ago. She was rushing around, fitting together her best pots and pans. Why would anyone do this, miles
away from the front? It is because she had what she thought of as a vision. She was alone in the house,
with her curled up in a ball. She did not think that she had gone to sleep, when the door ran. Not the
outer door, but the inner door, to her bedroom. Then she was completely awake, and startled. There are
one of two reactions, either one sits up and takes notice, or you are like de Desparde, and boroughs
further in two ones sheets, mind you these were good sheets and three layers of blankets. But that was
not of course why she did it.
She was under the sheets when she felt something on her shoulder. She turned her around
because the touch was soft but all the way through the covers. This was strange, and made her believe
that she was still asleep.
But then she was touched again, this time on her back.
She closed her eyes. Only finally to open one of them. What she saw frightened her, it was a
single eye staring at her. At this point, she was awake, and expected to see someone outside of the bed.
But nothing was there. Instead she had a deep dark feeling, and it pushed her in to action,
gathering things, and moving things, and in general one and get out of this house. If you would stop
her, and calm her down, you might just be able to make some sense with her that nothing was wrong
and she could go back to bed. The same thing was happening around the village. What was going on?
The people running around did not know, but you maybe able to guess. Just before the eye was seen,
something happened to a man just beyond the grave, he did not have too much energy to expend, just
enough to make himself known. He was, of course, a ghost, but not one with too much essence to
expand. So he made his way in to the house and tried to alert his one time ex-wife. This was the same
in every part of the district, and it is what spiraled the energies of living to do something. Then once the
living who had a deceased past, everyone else the next morning had seen that they too were passed.
So that is the story, first those that had family past would see something very much like what des
Deparde saw, and then other families simply copied the actions of the night before. And then more
from families did the same thing.
The house from a few houses who had lost someone, it became a panic that struck everyone in
a few days. On 11 August Fort d'Evegnee fell, and the way was opened up. The next morning Einem
saw reinforcements, in the form of “monstrous” siege guns. From the little .305 mm each comes to the
great Big Bertha, these were grade on 12 August. The way was clear all the way into France, which is
why the recently dead were awoken, and though their powers were not great, there were none of them
to raise a racket. Hence living were roused from slumber, and driven to put up roots, and go. And so go
they did, and living followed them.
Thus the trickle grew to a stream, then to a gush, then to a torrent which had no measure of
French people storming out. When it became time for the French infantry to advance, this part of
Flanders was basically on occupied.
All for the want of people like des Desparde.
11 Aug 1914
This was the point where all lines were tied up, and it was impossible to switch routes, because
it was jumbled mess. He jumped off, and then turn to her so that she could jump off to. That's the way
gentlemen are. Then he looked at what was obviously a train station, And what astonished him was
there were engines and cars, which they had not seen since they past through in to this shadow world.
The woman looked at him and said:
“I do not understand why there are trains and cars here. We haven't seen them everyplace else.”
“It is indeed, if I may use the word, distinctly strange. Perhaps as we move from the countryside
to the villages, something emanates and causes this to happen.”
Gare d'Orsay was a magnificent station, which has since been converted to a museum. It was
new then, having only been in operation 14 years ago. It was long and cylindrical, and decidedly old
world in its style, though it was steel in its construction. Topped by monumental clock faces, which
pierced the gray walls and entered in to a ceiling which was in French style - nearly straight on to the
edge then almost flattened. There were large arches, seven of them on the north side and seven on the
side, those being to long sides. Once past the French style roof there was a very large cylindrical base
which held the train tracks. Now piled outside were eating mass of trends and passenger cars that had
spilled out of the workings of this conglomerated mass. Realize that the mass of the station was large
enough to fit
Then suddenly she realized what it was.
“There piled up because all of the men were sent here to deploy to the south. Thus there are
more than a few trains which in the real world are carrying the soldiers.”
He nodded, “That makes a good deal of sense. In fact I should of thought of that too.”
“Your not Parisian, have you been to Berlin?”
“Yes, but doesn't have the same reach as Paris, it doesn't pick up people and ship them to the
front the way this does. In Germany commands are grouped rather locally, and I do not think that they
are in France.”
“I do not know how they are grouped, but I think it is, as Germany is, grouped by where the
“Paris is sprawling and unified district of France, not a conglomeration of states which formed
only a little over 40 years ago.”
This drew a long slow not from her.
“France, and Paris, are virtually the same thing, from the days where kings reigned in Paris.
That is more than 1000 years.”
“So you can see that Germany is only real to the people who have lived only very short time.
The others all think of their own has their country, not Germany per se.”
“It most the a strange feeling indeed.”
“Maybe they'll decide that short trends are not enough.”
“There are only short times inside?
“Yes. Though there has been talk of lengthening trains, but it has been decided yet if it is to be
done. That's why the train station clogs up the lanes. Thus we see the result of their folly.”
“Is still magnificent folly.”
“You really think so?”
“Yes, I really think that there is truth in.”
“You may have been drafted a German, but in your heart there is something French.”
You may of course know, that spending time alone, not even long time, can promote love
between two people. In these were to people all alone in this world, with traps and myers of course.
Each was longing for a sense of acceptance, and the only source of that acceptance was the other
person. Thus the similarity of ages worked on, as it has worked on so many other people. Thus in the
hidden corners of the mind, they conspired, being unknown to the conscious self. What they did realize
was that they found things in common.
“It is late in the day, why do not we go into the inside, lock our selves in a room, and get some
sleep. Remember, their will be more like the other man, and wouldn't want to press our advantage.”
“Do you think it will be a long war?”
“Half of me says yes, it will be quick and painless, the other half of me doubts that, who knows
what the French have in store. Germany has one push and then it is over.”
“Then it will be long in that case?”
“Who knows how long that is, it good go on for months or years, the way the American civil
war went on for years.”
“ I know I should not be asking this, but how long was the American civil war?”
“Four years, four extremely bloody years. Germany fought six bottles against Denmark,
Austria, and then finally France, and then it was done. The American civil war dragged on and on, and
that is what I fear the most.”
“But you are dead.”
“Dead does not mean that we won't still be here by the end, though I hope that I can not you
will fade...” He looked at her and suddenly new that he wanted nothing more than to be with her as
long as was possible.
However long the was.
“That it's good inside, what was it called?”
“Gare d'Orsay, it is known for being the first electrified station in the world.”
“Gare d'Orsay. electrified, how interesting. That will be a monumental task with every German
city, indeed every town, and hamlet, having it's own railway station. On it would be quite a task To
electrify each one of them, because everyone worked one to have the latest and greatest railway station.
For a girl from the countryside you seen to know a lot about Paris.”
“I was born and raised up in Paris. Then I was sent away when both of my parents died. Paris is
the life blood of the country. If you saw the girls in the countryside, you would know I'm not like them,
there is strong as an ox, and three times as smelly. I'm small boned as most people are coming from
“I see.” This was the first time he had been annoyed with her, but it passed. Some time there
with be a reckoning with this, because he was from the country side, and he did not think he was either
as large as ox, nor three times as smelly. But he let it pass, as most men are one they are trying to be on
their best behavior.
But with a sweep of her body, which was covered to knees, in today's latest fashion, she turned
her self halfway away, and that was noticed. With a side that crept up insider, she knew that she had
done something wrong, something wrong with what she said.
“I'm sorry I did something wrong.” and in saying that she knew that she would not say “I” third
time. It was not acceptable for someone of her station, which was attenuated, but real none the less, she
was a lady. And she should act like it, and courteously bowed just a little bit, and gushed: “ please
forgive me if my matters were not so crude as to cause you embarrassment.”
“It's all right, many of the old people in my society take great significance in how much should
be placed on where you are in the social order. But that is not appropriate for me.” He then repositioned
himself, as someone taking or delivering orders might be. This was noticed by her and she took on a
strict posture. She realized he was not a sister who could tell everything to, nor a field hand who could
be ordered about. It was truly a gentleman, and she should act like a lady, which she had not been
So they were staring at each other, both new that something was amiss, though they did not
know what it was exactly. The old manner of their parents intruded in a way that was not acceptable,
and the new was being born on both their lips.
They rejoined efforts to find a constant place to find rest. They went through the large building
which was Gare d'Orsay, transiting through what looked like every form of office imaginable. From the
top of command, to the bottom of sweeping and dusting. Finally they took a room which was neither to
fancy nor to plain, and settled them selves in two chairs and then to sleep. They do not know if they
would wait again, so they both fought to stay awake. But it was very use, they drifted in to sleep as
much as they would have had they been alive. The rankling was distant memory, and each one thought
of the other.
Than some hours later they both were awakened, they could see that it was nightfall, and all
was quiet except there was a distant whir from high note of the building.
“What is that, what is that sound coming from.”
he knew what it was, it was an airship, extremely close and getting closer. He knew that there
were others, such as an airship. They were not alone, and then shot through his mind what would be
happening to many thousands of troops. Because this war, unlike any more before it, was not fought on
fields of engagement, but massed to a long line with few breaks. It was more a war where entire
country took up arms against another who also took up arms. It was then that it struck him that this was
on a scale never before conceived.
“We have to go, there is an airship, dirigible, and it has set a course for this exact building.”
“Why here? Why now?”
“Because it is on a mission to destroy buildings.”
“Would they do that, truly?”
“They can and they would, obviously an airship was destroyed, and the dead crew continued
In a single motion, she nodded and cost up, taking his hand as he offered. They led through the
main station with several stopped up cars, and then to the outside. Remember their were no lights, not a
single candle, to guide them through this. This means the man was in charge and she would follow him.
Through the twists and turns they found their way, since they were on the fourth floor, they
were exiting down and backwards through the building. Outside they saw what was a zeppelin, and it
seemed like it was crash into them. It's lugubrious shape was moving very slowly in night sky, and they
struggled to get away from it. There were no lights, just amassed ship in being. And it was buzzing
down on their position.
It was now time to break in to a run, but they would have to be careful in how they did this,
because looming up out of the darkness there were shapes and forms, which in the day, and walking,
were not any trouble. But at night, O the night night was different. Every turn there was something to
stop them. Albert weaved and dodged, though he was not the one who knew the plan of the city.
Suddenly there was that which would least be expected: a bright white shaft of illumination.
Pouring from out of the ground and pointed directly at the ship. Then even more amazing, shaft of
light, from nearby the light were pointed directly at the ship. In response the ship raised up, having not
dropped anything. What it meant for both of them is that they were not alone.
“What just happened?” It was a question from the woman which was toned as a question.
“Obviously, an airship arrived at this point with intent on bombing. But instead of seeing
nothing, some of the guns were pointed by dead men. It is interesting how they fire their weapons. It
must mean that all of living world, we are in a world, that is not the same, or not exactly the same.”
“Yes, it's obvious when you think about it. But on the face of it, my head is going to explode
with all of this information on what it is like. It has been years since we have battled over Europe
“Stranger then we might know, because death, was random, and doesn't leave people. I do not
see anything to suggest that accidents are applying to this. Perhaps great disasters affect people the
same way, war, a prolonged war, will set up disastrous implications, ones that we do not understand,
and will not be understood by people in living breathing world.”
“We need to figure out how this world fits in with the living world. Then can decide what to do.
We have a purpose, though we do not know what it is.”
“This might be the work of the devil, did you think about?”
She drew herself up to her full height, and enunciated what she was about to say with care.
“Than being must do our best.”
That confident and clear voice was once his own, and he realized that it would have to be his
There In an andagain. That clarity of thought had once been his.
“We have to move now.” He crackled as he listened, it was clear that he had heard something
which she had not, or placed meaning in what he heard.
Most women would have asked something, but she knew it was better to listen and go the way
that Albert suggested. Because it was clear to her that he had heard something. Something ominous,
though his face had not betrayed that, it was in his posture. He was once again, an officer and a
The feeling grew inside, it was the feeling of love of a different nature than ever she had felt
before, it was pure and perfect, pristine in its aspect. Of course she could not show this, that would be
wrong. But she was melting before her eyes, and she knew that. This was the man for her.
Albert of course did not know this, there was an inscrutable look on her face, and they needed
to get out of the way of the coming guardsmen. He knew that they were coming by the clatter and clank
of scabbards, and thrumming of the guards themselves. It was barely noticeable, but he having trained
in the Army knew exactly when it was. It was not a trap, they were only on his left side, so he turned
right. It was obvious to her, with her fingertips lightly touching, no more than that, the way to go. He
noted that she was taking direction very easily, and this gave him confidence to due more than he
Once they had shifted to right, there was long, wide open terrace and then beyond that a large
plaza that connected the streets to Gare d'Orsay, on the north side, which opened up to and avenue
facing the side of the river. The French were inland from them, and it was important that they get under
cover as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, from this angle, there was a wide diversion between the,
and the nearest other building, and beyond that was over the river itself.
And off in to the distant heavens. Which ached quite brightly over his head.
It is morning, again, and again
12 August 1914
It was on the great flood planes of northern Germany, that in the other world had become a hub
for comings and goings for a dirigible, some would say a zeppelin, which had a mission in this counter
reality. You would also recognize the commander of this, man in life commanded, and in death, as well.
He had recovered six of the men that were under his jurisdiction, and he spent a large number of hours
during such diseases as he knew, because that which in life is also that in death. He himself had damage
as well, a clean puncture wound through is left side, which was still there, though now of course it did
not bother him. What did bother him, though he put it out of his mind, was that he was dead, but felt
alive. He knew that there was some kind of reality, but of what he did not know, but he knew that he
was restored in this counter reality, and a vision of that which corresponded to health. He also realized
that there was a mission to be taken, and grasped with the firm knowledge that it was what he had to
do. And that was very simple, he would take his crew and bomb Paris, and again, and again. Until in
this way there would be marks on le belle epoche resulting from this final, ugly, damage. He knew this,
but not by how he did. It was as if he had been born in this counter reality with certain knowledge, that
he knew not from where. But they are was a war here as well as in the reality that he thought he would
die from. But it was different because the rules were not the same, they were different and it was not
Germany and France that were contending, though he did not know what it was that was contending
with itself. There was a light side and a dark side, and he crept in to the dark side of existence. And it
made him peaceful, relaxed, and filled with a purpose. He had gathered around him such men who also
knew that they were in fact, evil. He had found to others, which would know longer speak their name to
anyone here. This was an afterlife, but there was more, he did not know how much more, just that he
was in service to of force, or an entity, or some other God which demanded vengeance on all the land in
this counter reality.
He had bombed Paris the night before, and he and the men were talking about it. It was obvious
that there would be more and more individuals, on both sides, who would take up arms. On the way
over and on the way back they saw people, with weapons at their side, striking and combating with
each other, slowly over the ground, in great sweeps. He knew from this that the German side was
addressing quickly, quickly over the ground towards Paris. He did not know whether they would make
it, but it seemed likely. He did not know what would become of them, just he had a mission to perform
in this counter reality. And he knew that there were Frenchmen who were on his side, as their were
Germans who were on the opposite side of him, though it was clear that the French and English side of
things were preponderantly on the light side battle, and the Germans were on predominantly on the
dark side of battle.
He tore out of his outer lined pocket a cigarette, imported from Turkey, that he smoked
constantly, and with gay abandonment, such that his whole face was engaged in sucking the life out of
the tobacco laden euphoria. At this point in the twilight, he saw his second-in-command curry up him,
also carrying a cigarette in his mouth, so you could see, though dimly, his entire face.
“We have a load more ammunition on the right side, and check off various things that I think
would be in order to do so, Sir.”
He nodded at this exchange, and took a another path on his cigarette, which was very small by
this point, and snuffed it out.
“Tell the men to double check everything, I know that that will take two or three hours, at least,
but I want everything to be in order, once we are a light.”
His second in command nodded at this order and trotted off, with his hand over his hat, because
the engines were still shutting down, and there was a breeze. After a while, he ruminated on his
position, and what he, and he alone knew his objective was. It was not what his crew know it to be,
they knew only minor things where as he knew the objective to be. The objective was to destroy the
Eiffel Tower, because in that way, it would collapse in the real world, because then it would have no
structure to support it in this counter reality. Why he knew this, it was because in his brain he could see
that the death of the counter reality was the key to destroying the Eiffel Tower in the real world.
Because that which is real first occurs first in this counter reality and then occurs in what people think
of as the real world. But it is not, just as we think things happen in real time but they are not. In the
blink of an eye they happen here first, just as things happen in reality with a delay that is not noticeable,
but is a fraction of a second later then it should be. This fraction of a second is the real world copying
from the counter reality, and he, are rather we, take that counter reality and change it to what we would
like you to be, and no force from the real world will change it. This is why there are discrepancies in
the counter world which happen first, and then, and only then do they propagate out in to the real
world, and that have second is in fact a distant reality that is taking shape, from counter reality to
reality. Most of the time they the dead cannot influence reality directly, but indirectly they can do very
And his job was clear, his job was to destroy the Eiffel Tower at the exact moment when
someone would try to do the same thing in what they think of as the natural state of affairs. He knew
this because someone was reaching in to his mind, and he could feel his knowledge changing as it did
so. He felt the change abruptly and suddenly, as if to tell him that this knowledge was pure, or rather
diabolical in nature, and it came from the darkest regions that he could only imagine. Why he and not
the others he did not know, but he could guess. There was a need to know which did not extend to his
crew, just as he did not understand what the reason for destroying the Eiffel Tower was, he was not in
the loop for that information. But this did not bother him out all, he just carried out his orders as best
that he could, and leave the rest to others higher up then he was. What was interesting to him, was there
were more people at the bottom then at the top, and none at all from the very top, who said and studied
plans that they thought were the expression of national will. It occurred to him at this instant, that
national will and force were not things that were instrumentalities of individual persons, so in a way,
mankind knows that even he is beyond the reach of normal plans.
Just carrying out orders. The soul purpose of his death.
At this point he moved inside, and began just his coordinates, he would be planning for a long
time, because he needed to know when people in the real world are doing exactly the same thing as the
ones doing in this in the counter reality. It bothered him, of course, that he did not know who was
controlling the little marionette men who controlled the, but at least he knew that there was someone
who was controlling them, which after all was more than he knew before, which were only witchcraft,
magic, and some very trivial parapsychology, in this only because his was an aficionado of that sort of
thing. So it actually was a benefit to know, truly know, the inner workings of the mind of the creator,
which he was sure he could discover. The two hands, dark and light, were, he felt, part of the same
entity, evil was just the other hand of good, and he had chosen the darkness because of his own reasons,
even while he was living. It dawned on him that he knew something, though he did not know what,
while on the other side. Of course, there could be more nuance to his knowledge. Someone apropos this
would be some purpose to the mind which communicated to him.
He got out another cigarette, and lit it very tightly, beyond his view was the machinery that
controlled this zeppelin, and beyond. Over the hills, and over the dales, he knew the their was
something about which was innately bond to the controls on this side of reality, but he did not know
what it was, but it was crafty and almost sublime in its aspect. It was not is straightforward way of
thinking that control in the real world correspondent to a control under his own hand, no was it a
straight translation from either through world or this world controlling what it did. It was far too innate
for that to be the case, was if it was controlled not from within but from some source that he could not
see, but he could feel it.
Then up out of the darkness a face formed, it was the face of his right hand man. He knew the
men intimately, more than intimately in fact, he was the first officer, and he knew everything about him
down to the last detail. The very last detail, and in hurt.
It was the brutal hours of the morning, and all was still. In the real world there had been an
alert, because it was heard that bombshells would be falling. It was a false alarm, in a way, because in
that twilight, where the shadows fall and the dead rise, a dirigible had flown through and ripped apart
very near to Gare d'Orsay, as has been told in the last two chapters. On the ground they had surmised
that there were other people, and hostile at that. In the air, they already knew that they were dead, and
still they were not quite dead. And they were going to use this fact, to do something, something for the
side which they didn't know the name of. But still, there was a kind of clarity emerging, because they
knew that powers that be controlled than. Which was more than they knew before, and that at least was
The battle hordes still lie to the East, and more specifically, in Belgium. They were scraping
and clawing, with their basis half blown off, or gouges rattling have way down there spine, or some
other distorted mangel of flesh. These were controlled by people who looked human, and had neat,
precise, perforations that were only visible if you looked very closely. These were the men who ordered
people, or rather the sampling half people in to the ditches. In other words they were intact, and they
made use of those who were not intact. And slowly they were coming down to Paris, with angry force
of a maelstrom.
Here in Paris, you would think he would have been peaceful, but forces denied that luxury. You
see, now that there were half people, there was a rush on what looked like to size, to seize the day.
Seize the day, that ancient phrase from young English tongue, that year present in both French and
English. Many tales, and phrases, leapt as if something unnatural caused them to be in the air. The
people who you would think were being prospective, were in fact have mad, have giddy, with all of the
urges that they succumb to.
But one, not exactly normal mind, was wrestling to consciousness, I speak of a doll, or perhaps
a ragamuffin. You know him as Peternotes, because while he was quite alive, most people, in fact
almost all people, would not have noticed him as living, or gifted with any form of intelligence at all.
He had been buried, and was trying to dig his way out, which was hard. You don't know how much
time it took him to barely scrape his consciousness, and see above the enormous green window which
was, from his view, shrouded in mystery. But finally after a full day, he finally could reach the floor and
What he saw was a deserted house, and he didn't know what to make of it. What he did not
know, was that the mistress of the house was dead, and all of the service scattered, as if to the winds.It
wasn't as if they had families, because they did not, and it wasn't because they had duties, for all their
work was here. It must have been a lust to get a way, as quickly as possible. But even in that objective,
day were stymied, and flustered. Each one of them was mindless in his, or her, goings on. There was no
method to their madness, and when they departed, there was no one to say whether they had gone out.
What one could say, is as far as possible, what little baggage was carried, though to a great extent, not
by the right owners. What was missing, of course, were children, and one who worked for the old
landlords was going to take the chance that they would be stuck with a pair of young children, so very
carefully, they shut them in the upstairs, and here away. This was unusual in this part of Paris.
When the girl woke up, she knew that all of old people had fled, so she looked around for her
mother, who she found stone dead, two or three hours ago. She quickly look up her brother and
explained to him what was a bold fact: they were left to their own devices. At this point, be
Peternokas , a diminutive form of Peternotes, came round around the corner, having just escaped from
the closet, and see to children, and no one else, he surmise that the three of them were all alone.
“Don't tell me, that me guess, the adults have left, and by left I need, a have left us to our own
“It seems so.” replied the boy, “What are we going to do about it?”
“Seems like they taken all of their belongings.”
“Does indeed, does not.” replied the dwarf, if such he could be called.
“Should we stay, or should he go, that's the first question that has to be answered, I think.” that
was was the girl, thinking has usual, on her feet.
The son started to think, and then replied: “Why don't we look out, and see what can be seen.”
the new that there were no children that they both knew, since there mother had hidden them from the
local police, she didn't have the money.
So all three of them looked out the window, while some people were staying indoors, almost as
many people were trundling here we to the nearest train station, to board what ever training they could
manage, since many of them had relatives.
“Some people are staying, and some people are going.”
“But,” asks Peternotes, “which are we going to be, a plan here would be most highly
encouraged? It is a quandary which we should decide now.”
They look out side again, and decided one more day wouldn't be too much to ask. But only just,
because every day the Germans were coming closer, and it might be that they would enter Paris has
they did in the faded days in 1871.
“This might be one of the last times Paris ...” Began the marionette.
“Do not think of it.” The boy intoned.
“Do you think that it might be true?”
“There is no way to know, it might be true, but not be true, it's the deciding point of the every
war. That's definitely either the beginning or the end, and we don't know which.”
“Then there is some way to make a difference.”
“Yes, I suppose there is, because you don't mind me saying, your adults don't have a clue, not
even the things that they can see, left alone things they cannot see.”
The boy nodded at this, with the girl looking at her shoes, saying nothing, except perhaps
mumbling in agreement. There was general agreement that something needed to be done, but what was
it? Three people stared in to the distance, each one of was hoping that someone else would come up
with a brilliant flash of light. Which was also equipped to hoping that it would not come to them.
The girl, followed by the boy, looked out over Paris, somewhat dumbly watching as a few
people were leaving their homes and gradually sky grayier as this is started to stream upwards to the
sky. It was yet a pilgrimage, but it was close, so very close. And they could feel that innumerable other
people were, as they were, trapped in a decision, to leave or stay. Each one had points in its favor, after
all, there was still a great deal of common among the common man, the poilus, infantry man of fame.
Surely there would be at least one push left in this beast, which would snarl even the most brutal
German depots. But against this were a small trickle of people who did not believe it, who perhaps
could not believe. And they were the for there lives, looking over here shoulders, even though nothing
could be the scene in the way of German artillery. Also, it was still a trickle, not a mass exodus, perhaps
these few were simply scared out of there wits. To the girl if certainly look as if that was the case, a
horde of the worse kind people who had nothing left to live for. That she realized, now that with the
absence of their father, this might describe them. And it described the servants, and their mother was
dead. She turned away from the side, and wept that her life, as short as it was, was entirely different
than what she expected it to be. Tears grew to a torrent on her cheeks, and her face was buried in her
brothers stiff necked necktie.
This, in turn stiffen his results to be a man, even though he really was not a man yet. There was
something about his sister crying that did something to his soul, though he did not know what you was.
Then suddenly there was a glimmer in its spine, which grew stronger with every passing moment.
“Peternotes, you are not human, what do you know about all of the ones such as yourself? You
told us that they come out at night. Is this really the case, or are you just making it up?” he had some
doubts, because a number of stories did like reading out as true. And he had to be sure, in this one
One may say that he didn't regard his companion as generally the most truthful, even though he
won major points for showing himself to children, where as the adults didn't notice him at all. You had
to be honest about what defects person had.
Especially when it was not really a person at all.
This, in turn, caught the marionette, because he knew, oh so well, that occasionally he had told
a few fibs in his life, and he was sure that he was caught. Even without saying so.
He started to lie, and thought the better of it. Better to start with a clean slate.
“What do you want to know?”
This, in turn, caused the boy in some what of a quandary. He knew about what he wanted to say,
but not exactly, and exactly was what was required. But was the girl who spoke, with a determined tone
“What I think he means, our there more than one you, or are you unique.” she had just learned “
unique” the day, in passing between mother and one of the servants, so she had been itching to use it.
The marionette was clearly uncomfortable, and from the look of him both child guess the truth:
he will that he was one of a kind, all alone in the world. That fact, alone, was enough to set him apart.
But he spoke, even though both he and the little girl were both in some stage of weeping, The girl was
blubbering, while the marionette was somewhat more subdued in his own way.
“There once was a time, along time ago, where there were more of the sort of type of thing like
myself, gradually a word taken away leaving only me.”
“When was this?”
“I don't know, if must have been a long time ago, but years is the way that I, or anyone of my
type, reckons things as they are. It is just not something we do, only humans do it, I don't know why.”
“So you don't know, but there was once a time, where things were different?” course that was a
little girl talking, what gives it away is the lilt about the voice.
“I think it is around the time of Napoleon, because before that name was not used, and then it
was everywhere. So it must have been around that time.” he looked over his shoulder at the boy, and
saw that there was exactly the kind of sureness that he would like. Then he continued on, as if he did
not see the boy at all. “ you see we were all built in about 1790 or so, and afterwards, because there was
a revival, where children should children, before that, there were infant, and then they graduated to
little adults. Then all of a sudden, care was a between time, which spread through the masses, infecting,
as it were, children of station, and then every one had a time of life where they were children. Except of
course, the very wretched, who were not taking care of at all.”
The children were listening intently, because these stories were important.
“Was it Napoleon the first, or Napoleon the third. And what ever became of Napoleon the
“It might have been Napoleon the third, now that you mention. There were the older ones who
said that this was the beginning of all over again.”
“So, it was probably involving third, several things that you have mentioned point that...” he
was flustered, because he wanted a word but could not exactly pick out which one.
Peternotes thought on this a while, and then nodded is head. “ that seems to be right.” if you
haven't noticed, he was a great deal less high and mighty then before. He had, in a way, shrank a good
deal, as if he were the same, not overbearing in the way he was even just a few minutes before.
Something had happened to him, though neither he nor they knew what it was. Certainly he would not
know that a change war generally was happening around the world. But that is in fact the case, people
were talking different, because before if for a sample you read the young Nietzsche you would be in a
thicket, but reading the elder Nietzsche, the line was totally different. It was spare, and clean, and tidy,
and all things that the younger Nietzsche was not. Or Freud. Or any one of the crowd that came of age
writing densely, and then cleaned up their work so as to communicate with a different sort of person.
Books were, different, because they reached for more numbers of people. And while they did not have
so many, it was better then to have just a Bible, and nothing more.
“I think that is the case, I was made just before Napoleon the third, and heard about the First,
though I don't know if they had actually known it. I think not, because they didn't reference him, but
they did reference Bismarck, who was terrible in his apparition, absolutely terrible.”
Again both children haven't, if you have not guessed, both of the children were exactly the
same age, twins, though of course fraternal, and not identical. So they both nodded at the same time,
and did other things, but there was not the unique pattern that identical twins would have.
The girl had been thinking, long the boy, and Peternotes, in the main, were talking. But she had
an idea, and blurted it out.
“Let us see what is left behind, and then when night crawls up, we can see if there are any
things such as Peternotes that were left behind.” But they did not realize that the Cat was pointing at
something. This was not the first time that there attention was drawn elsewhere.
And so that is what they did, from pickles, to all sorts of things, they realized that the adults had
not done a very good job. So for the three of them, there were at least a week worth of food, perhaps
longer, though there was no milk, just juice. But they had powdered milk, which would last long time.
They didn't know it, but they were between the ghostly side of Paris, and the human side of Paris. One
of the things that mattered to this, was that there was food, in abundance, here.
Though the little girl and little boy would not know it, there doll would be on a another
mission, because that was his job: to seek out and find people who were in distress, and lead them back
to the positive side of the ledger. Of course that meant he had a duplicate, which aimed for quite the
It was twilight in the air, and in each individual throat they are was a clearing, half a noiseless
uttering, and half a tangible fear that no one else could quite understand, in this was true for every
person, they were all holding their breath. People came home from work, other people went off to a
midnight splurge of activity, still others would not make up until later on, so that there was no motion
because every one was either holding the course, or was gone to the utter villages to take refuge. But
each day, there were more and more who decided that they were not going to be here. It was still a
trickle, but now it was a large trickle. And everyone knew it.
Over in the other world, more people were there, mainly soldiers and the like, or people who
didn't understand what had happened to them, but were getting out of the city, quickly. The soldiers,
primarily, were green, there is no use to say otherwise, because at the front was still along way from
Paris. But it was getting closer.
When one reads of times like these, it goes by quickly, but that is an illusion, because each
minute on the clock, someone is dying, and someone's life is being born. People eat meals, and they do
those things which polite society does not mention, but they happen in a large city, to a great degree.
You would not want to think about how much shit occupies a minute of time. And with every minute
thousands of flies swarm over it, never knowing that anything is wrong. After all, to their eye, it is all
just excrement, and there is no war or peace about it.
Meanwhile those freshly embalmed stirred themselves and tried to figure out what had
happened, it was bewildering, One moment they were alive, the next minute they were alive but in a
different realm, and not all of the bodies were exactly fresh. In fact, at the moment when someone who
was hale arrived, there was a screaming effect when he, for almost always was he, screen out in terror
when it one was far less immune to the circumstance. Remember that at the blast center, the man who
was hit, took of the worst of the damage, and so got hit the hardest, while only if you inches away, his
friend got away with, comparatively little damage. But both were dead, but the man who had been hit
the worst, was nothing but a pile of rubble. This had an effect, because nothing worked on him in the
afterlife, and he was screaming tangle of ruin. Which, if his better able companion, knew it, would be
last thing he ever did. But it was so easy for some. These incidents were, however, relevant brief in
nature at first, but they were becoming more frequent, and has they to into Paris, they were becoming
Albrecht had sweaty palms, though he didn't know why that was, he cleaned them over and
over again, but they remained. He drew them together, even though that was not the best idea in the
world. It was not as if they were cold, and in fact quite the opposite, and yet he could not help it.
“I don't know why my hands are so freezing, when the rest of my body feels warm. There is
something wrong with me, though I don't exactly know what it is.”
She glanced down at his hands, checking them both top and bottom. It was obvious, to her, what
was the problem.
“You have poison ivy, and you should get it looked into. For now, stop rubbing your hand.” then
he noticed that she had not dropped his left hand with her right hand. And he felt warm, though he
should probably tell her that that was not a good idea, because she too would get poison ivy. He stated
to protest, and thought the better of it.
Instead, he looked out along the river Seine, with the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower in their
wake, gradually drifting behind them as they looked back. “Why are we going this way, do you have a
plan?” he turned his face up quizzically.
“Yes, actually, I do.”
“May I know what it is?”
“Behind us, lies the Eiffel Tower, which is nice to look at, but is a grand target. Over on the
other bank, lies what could be called the German forces, which for the two of us, would be an
insurmountable problem. So we are going to go this way. Which though filled with houses, will be the
“I'm not sure that that is reasonable, shouldn't we go down the bank towards the Eiffel Tower
and beyond, the Germans will probably take the place, and then dictate terms. Then it will be all over
but the shouting.”
“I don't think they're going to win, and this is why I believe so.”
He listened intently, but he was still skeptical, though increasingly the air of Paris got to him,
and he was much less certain of becoming German victory, then a while ago.
“Go on.” He said, listen quizzically.
“You have many cities in Germany, and you took Paris easily the last time.”
“To say the least.”
“But Napoleon the Third, though he thought of him self as great leader, wasn't. Not unreleased.
He was actually a man of peace, and did all of the things of peace quite well, and did all of the things
badly that were of war. Though he tried his best, with his breastplate. Bismarck was a man of war,
though he didn't like to do so very much. ”
“And you think times are different?”
“The positions are exactly reversed. The French are men of war, the Germans are in of peace.
The Germans have quite lovely things to wage war with, and the men are truly honed to their work. But
they do not have the willpower, not this time at least, who knows about next time.”
“But why will they not carry the day on third, or fourth, or however many times it may take
She stopped, and looked at him, though she was shy, her eyes gleamed. “There is not going to
be a next time, though of course your generals may not realize, and will give it their all.”
“Why are you so sure about this?”
“Because I've seen you, and you are more like, but your ancestors are not. If you were directing,
I would be very much afraid, but your fathers, I know them well, and they are nothing to be afraid of.
Your people, when they are in charge, are different story.”
“So you think my generation is ...”
“We should make peace, with your kind.”
He nodded. Though is mind was different, it had many of the same thoughts. The old men of
his generation were old fat, bursting through with buttons, while the young men were trim and lean. He
had often told him self, “if only I would have been in command...” he would not have done things
wrong way, is commander was a fool, but he followed orders. So, actually, they, on this point, were
mostly in agreement.
Then he noted, they were already dead.
They wandered down the left bank, and then they saw something which was highly unusual,
you see all the lights were dim, but there was one like, just up ahead, which was bright. Why it was so
perplexed both of them. Because individual people could not run the lights, or anything else that was to
hand. But here it was, light, as bright as it came.
Of course it was Albert who spoke first.
“That is unusual, how did one light out of several, become lit?”
They stood there on the street, just to make sure that they had not missed anything, or that
anything was out of place. Then they saw what looked like a little girl, dressing and by all accounts,
curtsy, though they could not tell to whom. It was very strange, because why would a little girl be there,
they could understand adults, but not children.
There was an order to his mad, mad, mad rush to existence. When he last moved out between
the stars, it was he alone, and he didn't like that, at all, this time when moved out among the whispers
of conjunctions, there was the glimmering of what could only be called the that magnificent order. One
by one, it had come in to focus. Now he was under the command, though he did not know if that was
the end of it, but he was assured that the reins were tightly controlled by someone, and he did not care
by who. It was just enough to know that he reported to someone, and the rest was none of his business.
Duty was in his life, order and duty, duty and order. That was all you needed to know, and all
you had to know, if you were Lieut. In a vast cog of a machine that you did not even know who it was
answered to, and did not care. He did not care, he did not want to care, he did not wish to care. All that
remains is order duty discipline, that is all there was, and all that there should ever be. What people do
not realize, is that there is a view grains of sand that are thinking something new, and the rest is just
repetitive. Whether alive or dead, there are very few things that matter.
Order, duty, discipline. That was the new order of things, as opposed to liberty, equality,
fraternity, which was the old doctrine of France, proclaimed on banners for over 100 years. Now there
was a new order in the world. A new order which would one day rule the world, so he and the others
thought. It was crisp, and clean. And get stood apart from the old order, the old ways, and the old
feelings, which had ruled the 19th century. This was a new order, for a different age, one that would
crush the life out of the old.
On the telegraph, itself a new thing, he heard the beginning of message, which he new would be
taken down, with punctuality, by his third mate. Even so it was good to know that there was a person
who, was like you, on one side, and was comfortable with all that entails. Even if that side was dark,
and ominous. Only a view second after the telegraph hit, there was a translation from the junior officer,
and it read:
“You are to link up with another dirigible. Then the two of you will hunt down the guns that are
aimed at our troops. It is imperative that you take out the guns. You will have to do this in 24 hours.”
Obviously, the immediate threat to the upper echelon, where the guns which were popping up
and down the Belgian border, and not the guns which were in Paris. He disagreed, but he had his
orders, and would carry them out, to the letter. But privately he worried that this would not do, but
order, discipline, duty carried the day with him. And he would do things as his superiors wanted to do.
The but the orders in this upper vest pocket, and said to the first commander: “ we have to get back,
and link up with a second dirigible. Then when we have done that we will put these objects back in
shape in 24 hours, and take the Belgian line.”
He did look at is first in command, because he knew that he would be obeyed, that is he put
orders out to cut the engines. Though out of the corner of his eye, he looked for a nod. Out of the
corner of his, though hesitant, there came a brief, but he thought firm, nod. In actual fact, it was only
half a nod, which would be denied if things did not go right.
But things did go right, indeed splendidly so. The engines floated gracefully to a standstill, and
for just a moment, all of the ship stopped. Everything clambered to a stop, though the noise was
unbearable, and everything on the engine wheezed a bit as it grew to a stop. But he was used to that, as
were most of his crew. The exception was the third Lieut. which vomited out a bit, though it was almost
not to be noticed. This was in fact exceptional, because, remember, he and everyone else was dead. But
they were in a sense living.
Then the dirigible eased it self down on the ground, and gently pulled the over, and righted
itself gently. It rolled around as if to say that that was all. Once again, where was this common from?
He imagined that this was a dream world, but we're was the sound coming from, if it had been an
illusion, then why did the other people here at? Unless they were all delusions to, a dream which only
existed in his head. One can never really tell if this is true, mind you, even relatively saying men can
look back over there shoulder, and wonder just for a moment, whether this is all just and illusion, but
they think nothing of it, and go back to their business. He himself, jostled with those dreams and
thought nothing of it. But now, knowing that he was dead, at least so he thought, it had grown to a
scream, and ever present wine, that was growing to the ripeness of fruit, as if it were communion and
he was the sole celebrant to an individual mass. But ordinarily, this would not be a problem, because he
would look at the other people, and say it I am this way, so must everyone else be. And that was as
comforting as it had to be. But that is life, what about Death?
Death with all of its uncertainties, had within the gread uncertainty, how was it possible to have
a living death? Was it a flash, with nothing after that, a dream that would vanish and leave nothing in
return? He did not like to think about that, because that would truly be nothing.
And endless state of nothing was truly horrible to think about, even worse than what he had,
with new past, no future, just the endless drone, and knowing nothing but the present, and what he
thought were companions. But worse is that it was truly just a grotesque façade, which gave way to
truly endless space. Then he looked around, at all that he could see, and convince himself, that this was
not an illusion. But death again stared in the face, and mocked him, as if to say “so what am I? If that is
life, what am I?” And in truth he did not have a response, though he would not admit it to anyone but
Then he brushed himself off, resolving never to think about this again, and only to think about
tangible things instead. Knobs, journals, charts, and all things that screamed out to touch them instead.
Everything that was real, however, had a form that was unreal, even the man who he knew was his
second-in-command, weaving and bobbing forward and aft. So he ordered himself to not think about
anymore, and if he did, he would go back to thinking about the clean underwear, and all of the other
trimmings, that competed with each other, even though he knew from school that this too was a figment
of his imagination, and his eyes did not see all that he thought them to see. The minds eye filled in the
details, that the retina glossed over, and fooled eye in to believing, even though it did not.
And illusion within an illusion, within an a fantasy, how could this truly be real? It made no
sense, and though he could keep it from occupying the very center of his attention, along the edges of
what seemed to be his eyesight, there was a cold crisp reality that would not be denied. At this point, he
bumped up against his second-in-command, and was reassured, that this was all just an illusion, and
their could not be anything to it. Than he stopped, and wondered if that was something that he read, or
was it a phantasm, that would be put down, and he was dreaming about putting it down so that
someone else could write.
He slowed down, to avoid hitting for the third time is second in command in the rear end,
though he had to admit that it was good to hit him, because it was a firm feeling, that the heading of
him was a firm grasp. Hitting him was a true test that there was something else visible. Thus, he could
put away any blaring shrill contortions, he did not know what would become of them, but he knew
right now, that he would follow orders, and that was enough for him.
In the garage, which was widely spaced, and another crew was already in there, talking,
smoking, drinking, with veins being loaded up with cocaine, and unmentionable things, far worse then
could be described. They filed in, with discipline one might add. He bellowed up his voice, if only to
hear it, and feel it.
“We have been all the way to Paris, and it was a long trip. So give us around of applause,
because we were going to go back there, with our pants on fire.”
Some of the listeners were truly out of it, and did not hear what he was saying. Another have
were not listening, but they might have been. Then the second-in-command of the other ship spoke out
and said: “Better that you didn't make it, because they were going to warm your hands over it.
“Then we ring down on with a fierce delight, I assure you.”
There were more exchanges, of this sort, which I will spare you. But they were as bad as these,
if worse. I give you only a taste of what “bad”. Actually, this was the best of the lot, it got worse from
there, if you can believe it. But fortunately, after having a few words, and a few phrases, which was
different, the commander looked for a tired chair to sit down on, the he wanted companionship, he
realized that this was not the companionship he desired. It was such a mess, when he was in the air, he
wanted to be on the ground, when he was on the ground, you want to be inside the garage, when he was
in the garage, his the mind drifted ever outwards to the sitting in the one place where he was solely in
charge. He stopped himself, and asked himself what he was doing. You thought about this, and the
answer was to find the commander, and get orders from him, just to make sure that he had direction.
Though, actually, he was sure that the orders were correct.
Not that he was unsure, but just to make sure that the orders were legitimate, because it was
extremely tight with the deadlines. And he wanted to be sure, in fact in a state of readiness, that nothing
could be taken for granted. So he knocked past the stupor minions, who were taking their time,
oblivious to anything, and headed back to a cubicle which was the commanders entrance, which had
not been filled, and tell recently. In fact, he had not even seen the commander, so he wanted to be sure
that this was legitimate and correct.
He stood in the doorway, and adjusted his eyes. Hunched over bearing on the of work, was a
Large middle-aged man, with only hair on the sides of his neck. In fact, it wasn't exactly clear, where
the head ended and the neck began. With all of that, there was something round, smooth, and entirely
feminine about him, as if he were on used to doing any sort of work other than pushing a pencil. And
not very much of that. Mostly, he sat and scrawled a view notes on the inside, and that was it. One
could see, red writing coming from his pen, though there was black writing on the page, with only light
scratchings that could be notation and then sent back to whoever was correcting. In other words, he was
going over papers from those beneath him, and not above him. This then turned in the commanders
mind that there was no one above, that this was the ultimate Cmdr., at least for the meantime.
“Does anyone know that there is no one above you?” It was a direct statement from himself to
With and air of nonchalance, without even looking up from the table, “ until now, no one has
mentioned it, and I would like you not to mention it again. Rest assured, there will be others presently,
and they will have powers greater than mine. Remember, their has not been a war in 40 years, give or
take.” It seemed rather nonchalant, this way that his commander was speaking. “And in any event, once
the main course arrives, it will not be long. This is a short conflict.”
“Are you sure about that.”
“If it becomes certain that this will go on, then we'll be dead, again.”
“Who are the higher ups, in any case? Do you know?”
“No I don't, and I don't inquire. That is not my proper place to know. If a commander of above
me walks into the room, I will salute, and to my duty. Where only here for a short while, anyway. Then
we will be gone, and the next will replace us. Where dead, what does it matter what happens next? In a
day, in a week, in two weeks, in 10, it's all the same to me. And it should be to you. “
This is exactly what he was telling himself, but it was daunting to hear it from someone else, at
least he thought this was someone else.
“Understood, Sir.” and he turned himself, and made no mention of what had been said. It was if
he had a conversation with himself, and gotten the response that he had always suspected.
“Dismissed.” though the commander did not look up, even the salute was done into the air,
rather than at his face. Which was a very rude thing to do. He expected better from a superior officer.
But obviously, that was not how it was going to be.
Almost retreating from his conversation with the commander, he retreated lightheartedly, as not
to disturb the few who were still conscious. Obviously, he would do his duty as best he could. But if
this was all, if all death was a crying interval, until you were truly dead, then maybe he would have
think about whether this was truly what he wanted. Maybe there was a better way, may be order duty
and discipline were not all they were cracked up to be. Maybe he should think anew, and come to some
better conclusions, he had already died once before. And maybe he would die more than once. Isn't that
a terrible thought?
He looked inside the garage, with all of the people standing or sitting, and wondered what
would become of them. Is this all there was?
It seemed so, and the taste in his mouth was dry, he could see that behind him were a dozen
other men who would take his place. And remember, he was the cream of the crop. The best of the very
best. What would it be like for poilus who populated the ranks of France, or the iron youth of
Question Not The Beautiful Rose
There was a clearing, which was fairly new, to carved out a new Boulevard in amissed a
cluttered ashes. Once upon a time, this would be a shamble, with nothing more than rue amissed a
tangle of smaller side streets. Now it was open and fresh, and, what is more important, a Boulevard
which is at least two side streets, and it ran straight. It change the nature of what was once a tangle, to
one that was a doorway into the future.
Behind them sat the Eiffel Tower, making a broad statement, the tallest structure in the world,
by most measurements. It would not be surpassed until 1930, and then only for a year by the Chrysler
building, which was placed for 31 years by the Empire State Building. It was the cusp of a dying age,
when Europe held the capital of the tallest building in the world. From 1311 until 1930, only the
Washington monument held the title for five years, all the rest were churches and monuments within
Europe. This impressed Albert, because he had only seen the building that was have as high, though
once it had been the proudest structure in Europe. And for the last 41 years was German, and a United
Germany at that.
“I would not have the it would be so high, it is amazing, just truly amazing. I can see why you
French wanted true tower that would make everyone else envy.”
She merely look at him, and held him tight. She won him to be her own, even if he was on the
opposite side of the border, she had looked at him, and though it was apparent that they would get out
alive, she still had hoped. Anything was possible, to her mind. What was death anyway? It could be
nothing more than, well she didn't want to think about. Instead, she surrounded her thoughts with him,
and nothing else but him. But he knew that the time was coming, and what was on the other side
haunted him. It was an enraptured enigma, wound up in strangeness upon strangeness, and tie with a
present which was so absurd as to be waiting in the darkness, to wait him, when he desired to know.
And he did desire to know, but not yet, there was something about the waiting that was precious, and
demure. As if it was last thing on his Parisian to do list, a frill which could not be delayed, only saved
for the last. Which was almost there, but not quite.
“Which way should we go?” He asked instead.
“I don't know, what about this way. It seems that there is life here, perhaps others such as we
have been down this very street.”
While to her it was a petite and hidden place, to him it was a foreboding mystery, and he would
rather stay on the Boulevard, and capture more of the sites, and sounds, of it.
“Are you sure, that you don't want to stay?”
She looked at his face, and it dawned on her that he was alarmed. Though it was probably
nothing, she put on a concerned look on her face, and cood. She made all the right gestures, and still he
was alarmed, actually frightened, though he would not have shown this to anyone else. It was there
“What is wrong with this small street? Do you detect anything unusual, hidden, or secret?”
“I don't know what is down there, but it is something foreboding, and, to my mind, it has
something ominous.” Though it must be said, that foreboding, and ominous, meant exactly the same
thing. He was repeating.
If she was talking to a woman, there would be a gush of things that she would say. But in the
past few days, she knew that he would be puzzled. He would shut down, and , brood and brood some
more, just to be sure that she would recognize that that was not a good move on her part, because he
would the absolute clean in his outlook. Though she would not agreed with him, it was not a face that
she wanted to express. Male could be so vain at times, and not even know it. She looked at him, and
knew that not a word of this was going through his head. It isn't that he was down, not least, but things
just didn't register on the male half of the species. What were they doing with all of that brain power,
because remember, they were supposed to be the smarter half of the species. But she doubted that,
instead, they were geared up to pleasing a women, and telling brave tale to other men. And if she
played her cards correctly, he would be twisting around her little finger. But, she did have to play the
Which is why she put her hand, and thought for a moment, clasping, with a bit of her lip. This
would have to be a delicate compromise, too little and it would be unnoticed; too much, and it would
be an insult. Which, of course, she did not want to do.
“Do you think it is imagination, or can you put it in to words that could be understood?”
She hesitated, and waited for his decision.
“There is something wrong with this picture, more wrong than with place, because there is
something wrong everyplace. After all, we are ghosts, and sometimes it's more apparent than others.”
At this point, he looked her in eye, and held her tightly, not as if to convey emotion, but as it to read her
reaction. It was a squirming feeling, and she did not like how the corner of his eye roll on top of her.
Hee haa hee hoo what to do with an Englishman, he thought, and for an instant he was merry and gay,
before that word meant homosexual. Around the clock, he saw himself as if he were someone else
looking down at him. There was something about him that was stern and a bit ominous, looking at his
jaw, determined would be the correct way to describe it, he wondered if that to was a trick of the light,
or was that how he looked at things. After all, there is no reason that he has a ghost would look outside
his body and see things differently. The rules might be very different for ghosts, and he was just
Then he asked: “Tell me, do you have moments where your point of sight is someplace else than
from your eyes? For example you look down and you see your body doing whatever it does, rather
unconsciously. Because I have that feeling just now, and it does not frighten me, but something close to
Quite unconsciously, she rolled her eyes over the top of her head. Then as devil may care she
replied: “ I haven't thought of it until just now. What do you mean exactly – do you mean that literally
you see things from out of your body?”
“I believe I just said that, yes.” For all the world, though she was the only person in it - he
thought – that was exactly what he said.
He wasn't annoyed, nor exasperated, he was just trying to explain. At first expected annoyance,
or exasperation, would she expect him to show, but no trace of those motions showed on his face. This
was odd, she would have expected this from any man that she knew, and while this was not really the
way – she chalked it up to his being German. Which really wasn't the case at all, more along the lines
that she knew men of a different sort, and this poked through as one of the differences. All the
miscommunications that men and women have when they are just getting to know someone of the
opposite sex. And remember, this was in the great war, and thus men and women had less contact then
in our own day. Each sex was a mystery, each sex wanted to know what the other one was thinking. As
if it were worlds apart from the way there own sex would think about things. Differences that were
personal, were ascribed to sex, even if this was not the case. These were different times, because as
they say, the past is a different country, and they do things differently there. It is an old expression, and
you don't understand it, until you see it in action. So she looked at him very differently than one of us
what, because, she was from that past which would see the opposite sex as quite different, different
from the way we would see him.
Apparently, however, he saw himself as different, and wondered what was on her mind, as
much as she wondered what was on his mind. In this then, they were joined by an inexorable bond of
having no clue as to what the other was thinking. Then there eyes lit up on the other, and they were
both giggling – because each one of them realized that the other was thinking the exact same thing –
and that inexorably lead to a hyperbola. Each one of them was thinking what the other one was
thinking, and that was visible on each face – that they were thinking the same thing as the other one
was. This the produced and inexorable kind of joy, because it is very rare when you see that you are
thinking the same thing as the other person. It produced a kind of itching in their gut, that not only had
they thought the same thing, but they had realized it in the other person. Finally, he laughed at this.
“You know, I must not be as different from you as I thought. After all, when do you have the
same thought as another person? It must be rare indeed, doubly so with someone who isn't the same
race as one zone.”
“May be race isn't so different, after all, we say that you are 'Allemagne', which is not that
different from us. And you say that we are the French kingdom, which has not been true for the last 40
His brow thought about this, and thought about this, and then mused on this. “Maybe you are
right, all of the races of Western and Central Europe are not so different as we might expect.”
Then a welling of feeling burst inside his skull, and he made an admission:
“Among the land of the living, I would not expect to have met you. But now that in the land of
the dead, I cannot escape you, and go back to where ever it is that I come from.”
“Is that a confession of love?” Her eyes made a coquettish look at him.
“I suppose it must be. Because I would never have thought it possible for me to say this to
anyone else. Only you, and only in this way.”
This was an soul searching confession, because in the 19th century, and all of the books, love
was something admitted only after trials and tribulations, after deeply long for the one is beloved. It
was something which would be admitted only after everything else had been tried. But in the new
century just dawned, it was different than this. Love was not something that was hidden - or oblique –
but something which was on the lips from the start of a relationship, which burrowed down to the core
of the being of what combined the two beings into one. In other words, it was not something which was
hidden, but something which looked for a chance to be admitted, even casually so. And that made the
early 20th century something that we are still working out the details. Because love is not sex, even
though there is a correlation. And sex is not the same in every particular case, though we in our movies
want it to be the same way. But the reality is different, more complex, and not the same way each time.
Neither love nor sex is the basis of that inimical bond that describes a relationship. Else why would we
stay together when the object of sex is not present? There are many bonds between people, such as
between mother and child, between men, between women, and that is only between two people, let
alone more than two. We may think that we have discovered the true nature of being, but we have not.
The Greeks used several words to describe the love that too people could share. One day called philia
or brotherly love, as in the name Philadelphia. Another they called eros or erotic love, which wanes as
one gets older. Another kind they described as the love that a mother has for a child. All of these were
different, describing different feelings that we only describe as 'love'. But there are more kinds of love
then we even dream of.
Welcome to a world which we are in the middle of, but this man and this woman were at the
beginnings. So even in the growing light that was the beginning of the day, there was also a gloaming
of a new age. And in that new age, the were new kinds of people, who would not hide, or at least not
for long, the ruminations of their heart, and the presupposition of their soul.
Because even though they were passed away, their hearts were in the new century, beating to a
different drum, and the older men which pushed them to and fro did not understand the limits that they
were testing. Their were to wars which lasted a long time in the 19th century, the Americans War, and
the Crimean War. Both of them were over, and declared aberrations. The war that there grandparents or
parents thought of was short decisive and quick. It would be over in six months, so all of the military
minds thought. And they would think of this war as fitting that pattern, and then they thought that one
more breakthrough would do the trick, until four long years had run. And then they thought, “How
could the it be this way?” Not realizing that the reasons were obvious, if they had figured them out. But
no one did.
Even though the machinery was carrying up for a long, bitter conflict - all of the generals, and
admirals, and the appointed ministers, had in mind the very same thing: 1870-71. A war that was
nothing like the sun. These two things, one in the heart of young people, and one in the mechanism of
war, would be the undoing of all that was planned. From sweeping the channel with the right side of
their arm, to the topsy-turvy world that young people lived in, which was nothing like what they're
parents saw as duty. Duty was the last thing that young lovers thought of. They dreamed of love, which
is not the same thing as what our age dreams of: sex.
It is not the same thing, and one can pinpoint the difference. In 1950s began it, but it was the
1960s where it flowered, and the pill was a large part of the change.
But back to the story – she looked at him with a soft lamber, a kind of look that touched his
fingertips with arousal, and made him desire to protect, and nurture. Because, though he really did love
her, there was differences in the way each described love. In his case, it meant a kind of protection, that
once he felt it, he would never let her go.
“You know I never heard my papa, or my mama, sound like that to each other. Only glances at
each other would betray their true affections. And these came when they were old, and had gray around
the edges of their hair.”
“My father and my mother both loved each other, but could not say it out loud, I imagine that
your parents were the same way.”
She noded. “Mais oui, bien sur.” But yes, of course. It was the obvious translation.
This time, he nodded, though more abruptly than she did. But as they learned each other's
rhythms, it was slowly gathering the effect that each was finishing the others sentences.
“But that still leaves us with the question, what to we do now?”
“It seems to me that there are two loose ends, first we must find out who else is in this Paris,
and second that we charge them with gathering food, and leave.”
“But I have not been here for long.”
“If you are right, and this is destined to be a short little war – which I doubt, by the way, but I
will defer to your greater experience - then Paris will be overrun. And fairly soon it will not be French
that is the language of the street, but German, and the German of Berlin.”
Again, he nodded sharply. But it was not as sharp as the first time, feeling a more delicate
fashion at her urging. This, slow but steady movement towards each other taking small steps in the
other direction was not noticeable to either themselves, or others, but in the cumulative effect was very
great. It would be a long time before they had gotten all of the movements down, but they were
learning. They took hand in hand, and moseyed there way up the Boulevard, looking at the buildings,
especially the ones which were grand as only the streets of Paris could make them. And if you looked
from a distance, it would seem that they were a couple already. Blissfully looking at the same things,
and quietly pointing out some of the same things. They were truly in love, and that was a very great
distance from what their parents would be.
But as yet, they found no inhabitants on this ghostly apparition of Paris. It didn't quite realize
why: almost all of the inhabitants were gathering in the corners, waiting for the darkest foreboding with
And then apparitions that were once human stalked the night, dealing death to whatever and
evidence they reached, because French and German were not noticeable to them. They had other plans,
working in death incarnate, and controlled by forces darker then one could imagine. Yes, the Germans
were the greater evil force, but that is only a detail, men from both sides engaged in carnage beyond
Twirling it around in her brain, it then realized that it was man who did all of these things, but
she was unable to voice this, because of the fear that he would misunderstand her. And she was right
for the moment, he would have misunderstood, because he would think that she was entirely
misunderstanding him, thinking that she was making a comment about himself. This was not true, she
would never have made such an atrocious comment to his face, and would never even think it.
Enraptured she touched his face, but could not make the motions for a kiss, though she wanted to very
much. But he understood completely what the motions that pulling her face together meant, and he
issued a peck upon her left cheek, which she then blushed and crept her face down, both with a keen
sense of embarrassment, and a giddy sense that at last there skins met in an embrace. It was with this
giddy sense that she raised her brow and looked in to his face, more as equals then has anything else
that could be issued. With a lock in his brown, he returned this giddy look, and they held it for a long
time, embracing each other as the sun crept over the Maple trees.
It was night upon falling night, in the 13th arrondissment of Paris. At the time it was a bric-a-brac, filled
with people who had been cast out all the inner splendors that most people thought of as “Paris” - for
all of what could be thought all as all of the great attractions Paris were there. Remember there was no
La Defense flowers to the West, and these buildings were not yet towers of erect buildings built in the
1960s, and called the Quartere Asiatique, which they would be known by the end of the 20th century.
Instead there were two which roughly from West to East divided outer from the inner. The children had
never been, and they see why now. Along the river branches of railroad were waiting to be managed –
this was down by the aptly named Boulevard de de la Gare, as it went over the Pont de Bercy, the
bridge that divided East from West – following the d'Austerlitz Quai which snaked along the La Rive
Gauche (hence the name of the Boulevard). In these earlier times, the mainly Vietnamese population
had not grown – instead it was the place which housed the bowels of the workings of the vast train
station, and the various things that went along with that. It was also called the place d'Italie, which was
inwards from La Seine, and a bustle of activity.
But even in this time it was referred to as the Gobelins, and was regarded as a place of
questionable people. Even the Cat Was not, though she was behind them and looking onwards, in
despair if nothing else.
Now the children saw what was meant as questionable people, because in their short existence,
they thought they knew, but did not. In their minds questionable people were pickpockets - which they
knew of – and the like. But now they knew better, and even though they did not actually see any
individuals at hand – just the suggestion was enough to set their minds aflutter. Actually, it wasn't their
minds, but there spines which desiccated their imagination. The boy looked around him, because he
thought he could see someone, or some group of someone's, just at the edge of their vision.
The girl, however, just curled inside the hood of her boy, and started to dream a waking dream,
and simply imagined what would go on. In her mind she imagined things with human bodies and the
skulls of wolves, with the holes cut out and glaring with their eye socket out – in a ghoulish display
which in the real world would be dismissed by her parents. But of course, this was not the world of the
living, but the world of the dead. So no one could say what was seen and what was unseen, because no
one really knew the rules.
They were wandering along the Rue du Chateau des Rentiers, a squalid little place, where many
of the famous, amissed many of the not so famous, lived in the real world. They were not recognized,
and thus made the sort of living that barely kept their nose of a water, if that. Picasso, for example,
would spend one night with nothing in his pockets, trying to decide whether he would or would not kill
himself, until at last the sun broke in East, and so he decided to live instead. The Rue bent, for it was
not designed for left and right coming together at right angles. And with every step, it gave way to an
unearthly silence, that had no sign of which way was North and which way was West. One could not
see any of the plans for the center of the city there, it was all a jumble. Such is the way of Paris.
But then out of the corner of his eye, he saw something, at least he thought he saw something. It
– for that was what he thought of – was creeping around a shadow of a narrow side street. He did not
actually recognize a face – but it seemed obviously human, or at least humanoid, in countenance.
Though he could not exactly see it's garments, they seemed brownish gray and generally disheveled,
though he did not know why this was so. But still he reached down to the girl, and quietly whispered
that they had been noticed by something. He peered deeply to see if he could catch a glance of the
thing, and once more he thought he had. But he wasn't sure. At this point, the girl had awoken from her
waking dream, and stood at attention – and she to was peering out in two the darkness. At this time, the
streetlights were lit by lamplighter's, not machines, and thus with blackness it was truly nights domain.
However, as you got used to it, there were shades of blackness which could be determined as one got
use to it. There were different shades of blackness, until a welter of minute, almost incandescent –
though that seems strange – could be determined.
They looked around, and thought they could see at any moment some suggestion of the form
that he saw. They moved looking forwards and backwards, quite different from the forward facing that
they had done. The first floor, already distorted by their size, was dizzying until it ceased to have right
angles, but was bent – to them – in odd shapes. But he knew that there was some other presence. A
missed all of the windows, doors, and railings, he sensed something which was an animate form, that
was hunting them. She, for her part, did not know what it was, but was feeding off his animus – and
while she was scared, kept her eyes and ears forwards. Unlike her brother, she did not know exactly
what was out there. But she could imagine many stranger things because of this. While he imagined a
man with some defects, her imagination ran wild. She saw different things, at different times,
sometimes she saw a wolf, or at any rate a wolfman, other times she saw a bear, or again a bear man.
Each time she actually looked at what she saw, it turned out to be a complex of doors, windows, and
other assorted stuff, which resembled a vision but when looked at directly was inanimate. But still she
kept on looking. Really what it was was her terror on the inside, seeking escape by taking clues and
distorting them. So every gesture became a vision, that was meant to be a destruction. All among the
white buildings of the 13th. Even in this area, white was the color of Paris. Though there were no trees,
or other things, to beautify the erect buildings
But then they were entering in to a doorway, and behind them came a vision that was most
decidedly real. While it was a man, it had the right side of the face blown off, as if by a grenade. The
uniform he was wearing was blue, that is he was French, but it was modeled and generally dirty, as if
he had been abused in some manner. It was not a clean, correct, and crisp uniform – but one which had
gashes and bullet-holes. In actuality, he had been wounded in the region of Belgium and France – and
had been making his way back to Paris, the city of his birth. Since half of his brain was completely
disabled, he was not truly there as most people were, but he was there enough to know the regions of
home. He was also neither human nor animal, but a strange mixture of the two – in some way still
awake and thinking, and in other parts, barely thinking at all. In some parts, one could see rationality,
especially in his left eye, which was undamaged. But in other parts, of their was no soul left at all, only
the trace of a human machine, knowing not what it was doing – only to feed himself, even if this was
the land of the dead, and it was not clear that feeding had any value.
The girl simply startled, and sashayed to the left, to get herself out of trouble. Which left the
boy in the grip of terror - for that is the state he was in – and it seemed for the moment he was to be
consumed by this terror which used to be a man. But, in the nick of time, he managed to dive aside to
the right, and trust his left hand in to his pockets and picked a round stone, which he had seen shining
while there was light. Then he drew it out, and side armed it, quite hard, into the face of the terror.
Then in an instant, the shambling hoard was dead, all of the half-life was completely drained
from the body, whether limbs or life. It was truly dead, and it slouched to the ground. Once it was down
on the ground, face forward, and therefore with its back to them, they could see how it had been shot
several times. They could also see that it had gotten up, time and again, to reach Paris, though they
could not see why it would view Paris as an objective. With presence of mind, the girl looked up and
down the street, as if there might be others of similar design. It did not seem so, but she looked again
just to be sure. Then as her brother looked at her surveying the area, he too look from side to side. The
problem was, that after this encounter, everything seemed to be alive, and visible. Such was the way of
So they stopped in the doorway, and crouched down, hoping to be unrecognized, but realizing
this was not going to be the place for that to work. So they model along the street, quietly. And after
they tread past, the Cat weaves silently behind them, though no one notices its presence.
After a short time they worked there way through a tangle of streets, and then reached the Rue
de Tolbiac, which at this time was being considered for demolition and conversion to a place where
armament would be assembled, because while each party to the family of nations denied it, each was
planning a war, though the exact coalition was not known. France was one of the two scheming parties,
the other one being Germany, and in the bowels of the department of war, various pieces of the
assemblage were already being fingered upon as ready, for some point or other, of war. Thus many of
the buildings were condemned, though the citizenry did not know what the cause was. It is always this
way – governments build up in secret, and the citizenry is the last to find out.
Tolbiac was a wide avenue, though not quite a boulevard - these things in France are very
particular about what is a Boulevard and what is merely an Avenue. But already the few trees were
labeled for demolition. It began a turn to the northeast, and gathered together all of the rail stations
going to the south and east. Now that they were on an grand Street, they could see behind them that
their were many such horrors. They were alive, and their tormentors knew this, and hated them because
of this. That is why, they had grown a collection that followed them along, and was determined to
obliterate them. They had not seen these in the daylight, but as twilight, and more darkness,
approached, they came out of the woodwork – mainly uniformed – to destroy and demolish the living
things among them.
So the two of them ran for their life, down along the street towards the river, not knowing if
they had a chance to reach it. On their right, as they approached it, were spurs of rail, and on the left
were dozens of emptying buildings. First there was forms like the horror behind them, but as they
approached the river, the forms came from left and right, until there were two dozen of them, at least.
In the dim streets, they soon realized they were surrounded, and closed in on. Of course, both were
scared, more scared than they had ever imagined – which was not hard, because both of them were
young and impressionable. As they passed groups of the horrors, she had noticed that they were slow,
perhaps because they were damaged in some way. She looked to her companion, and gestured with her
“I do not know what it is, but I think they are not quick in their motions. Could that be an
escape?” The tone was plaintive, but real in its way of describing what she saw. The Cat was not
impressed but looked at her face.
Looking around him, he noticed what she was saying. “I think you have hit upon something
important.” He then looked left and right, trying to find some way of wounding their aggressors. Then
he found what he was looking for: on a flagpole, placed in the main floor, very low down, was a two
meter long tricolour – the flag of the French people. He wrestled it from its holster, and begin to wield
it, planning to engage the mob of what were once French people.
But as he hauled down the tricolour, an amazing thing happened – all of the shambling forms
retreated away from them, as if the symbol of the flag itself was a potent sign. None of them came any
closer than that, and all of them moved away from the pair of them. They quickly ran up Tolbiac, along
the Pont National. The Seine flowed from right to left, on its way to the “English” Channel. It was one
of the few concessions to the otherwise hostile kingdom across the waterways. Though England and
France were allies, this was still not be default position, and their were still a few of them who did not
respond very well to the intimation that it would always be this way, and for under their time breath
that “English” was a word for “enemy” - and not all of them were old.
But running down the avenue were a boy and a girl who had at last seen relief from soldiers of
France. And it was found in the tricolour. At last, over on the right bank of the Seine, they rested in the
Bois de Vicennes, a deep woods further down the 12th arrondissement. It was in the branches of an old
oak tree that they finally settled down, and were asleep until the sun struck their eyes. It was the first
time since the troubles begin that they could finally sleep. And it felt as if there was nothing better than
sleep to be had in this instance. What they could not know, is they had found a way between lands of
the living and the lands of the dead, only they were not dead yet, but had a mission that they did not
know of, as yet. But we will get to that in due course, at the time we will leave them to blissful rest, and
turn our attention instead to the captain of a Zeppelin, who has evil aforethought, and is beginning to
meet the makers of that evil. Because remember, it is only man who drives the evil in this world.
Though it may seem that evil comes from another place, this is an illusion.
It is human beings, and most especially those that want something specific from the world, that
commands evil. While many of them belie themselves, and think there is a good reason for this, it is
only a lie that they tell themselves. But as one goes higher up, or perhaps lower down, the thin veneer
cracks in two, and the boiling lava of hatred spills beneath the ground. But the Cat wasn't impressed.
In his life, which still clung to the consciousness - though he knew he was dead – in never
seemed as reasonable that there was some other purpose. Thus he joined the Army, and took orders,
because at least there was discipline and purpose. Then he had renewed purpose, in that it was a short
war with reasonable prospects of gain, which the entire command structure believed in, and from what
he could see the opposite command structure also believed in, though of course they resolved a
different outcome. In short, was it the French poilus, or German Landser who would win, brutally,
coldly, with relatively little blood being shed. And high above this battlefield on the ground, would be
the zeppelins, mostly to observe and watch, though occasionally to cite the squalls and turbulences, and
very occasionally to actually join in. this would be his mission.
And then everything turned on its head, first of all, he was dead. And that is no subservient
thing by it's self. Actually, it did not resonate even now, or at least all the time. Second of all, it did not
seem as if there was any command in place, an order, a structure seemed to be missing. But gradually
that became clearer as time went on, there was an order to this, merely that he had not known what it
was. Their were also different rules, dead did not mean dead, and the dead carried on until blown up
rather than an artery pierced, or a lung shot gutted. These were different equations from the living, and
the sides were different as well, it was not French or German, but good and evil. Yes, there was an evil
to the German high command, but evil lurched through every avenue and every vein on both sides. He
was beginning to realize that it was more complex than he had imagined. He also had picked a side, he
was determined to make order, and begin to and the decision of Clausewitz: there shall be no fog of
uncertainty. This would be the legacy of the 20th century: not “ liberte, equalite, fraternite” but “order,
purpose, duty”. It was a new century, and a new people should determine how it would be run, not
France, but Germany.
Or so it appeared on this new dawn. But there were problems, not the least of which were the
French didn't necessarily subscribe to their own scheme, nor did the Germans all want the same thing.
From the high view, everything looked orderly, but from the detailed view, all was not all neatly settled,
there were French who would rather have order, then liberty, there were Germans who subscribed to a
different drummer. That is, to some extent, why the newly empowered German high command, which
remember had not fought a war before, was to suck in the new generation, and train them to a new
He tried not to ponder this fact, it was somehow – disreputable wasn't the exact word, but it was
close enough for him. There was something straight about it, something dirty, and that made him
shudder. He did not want to know what it was about, because that led down the path which he did not
want to take, because on the other side was to think about questions he did not want to answer. Because
he knew, deep down, that his motives were not pure, and that he would come face to face with his own
evil. It was all right to gloss over this fact, but to stare it in the face was more than he could take. His
eyes laid forward upon things like uniforms, and high boots, and every thing that was all in order, and
somehow this made a kind of sense to it if he didn't think about it too much.
But in his heart, he knew that at its base was a of perverse kind of rotting flesh, which he could
smell, even if the bid not want to think about it. He did not know what it was, but it held a not around
his heart that he struggled with. Which is why he does not think of it as much as is humanly, or even
His face brightened as he saw the Commandant of his group, because this was order made
manifest. And order was a powerful tool to wishing away the things he would rather not think too much
on. He did not offer anything other than a salute, and he expected nothing in return – though of course
the Commandant would take him aside for questions, or gather all of the commanders to explain how
they were going to handle those – one could not call them men anymore – beings under their command.
Or rather, those beings nominally under their command, but with outbursts which made them like
animals. They would do things, and they had to be cleaned up after.
But this matter was hushed up, because they could hear, as animals could not, what was being
said about them, and they would respond, and who knows what they're response would be. He knew he
didn't wish to find out again. Some of the time, they would just stare off in two space, which actually
was the least offensive, but there were more violent reactions, and at this point the commander had to
act. And at one point, the commander simply had to kill. Which was unpleasant, and risky.
And the commandant nodded to him, and spoke with a low murmur tone of voice, not wishing
to be heard by anyone, even the other commanders. Which meant it was secret even to those who were
“I read your report on your most recent activities. And I have to say, I was very impressed on
how orderly and punctual you were.” though he would not display it, he felt the Comandant somewhat
dense, and concerned with trivial things. Not that he would say so directly, or disobey an order, but he
tended to think that any personal communication was trivial, and not relevant. You would not tell his
Commandant that he was a superior intellect, because that would be immodest. It was to remind you,
but it was also immodest to say so, when there were so many people who could make the same claim.
In a word, the Commandant was dense. Therefore he merely nodded, and then stood straighter than
ever. “Furthermore,” continued the Commandant “ there are many characteristics of your behavior that
shine out for do recognition.” not only verbose, but not getting to the point. One could almost raise this
to an art form of redundancy, pleased only that commander could use “redundancy” as a signature of
his effect, though he did not show this to the Commandant.
In fact, he talked to himself, pleading to get on with it. Which was something he did not do. But
the Commandant was going on and on about going on and on. And veering into territory where the
commander would likely yawn in his face. In fact, he was trying to struggle with that now. And then
something happened that made him startle forward.
“That is why I must have you stand down, to check on some irregularities.” Now he understood,
the Commandant was getting around to removing him from command, and did not know how to do
this. But his commander was the sort of person who would be nice in this situation, they were both
dedicated to the same thing. It was at that point that he knew that he would be shot, and the
Commandant was simply moving to a place which that could be done succinctly, and with a minimum
of fuss. Realizing, too late, that his Commandant had something in mind. He noticed very suddenly that
to men had grabbed his arms, and were already jerking him away, while there pirouettes were
monotonously droned on by the resetting of the official arrest warrant. There was new specific reading
of the rights, mind you, that would be a leader date.
Just before the two men would haul him away, he caught a glimpse of an Elm tree, standing
square and stout, not the way American elm trees are tall and beautiful mind you. And in that elm tree,
was a bird coated with red tinted a bit with orange feathers across the face and part of the chest.
Otherwise there was nothing unusual about this Robin – a very common bird in a range that
encompasses almost all of the European continent – in Germany it was called “Rotkehlchen”, which is
to say a diminutive of red throat. It was, for a fly catch, tall and distinct. But upon that day he wondered
how this could be in this place where everything was either dead. It was odd, but he did not have time
to think about it. It was a bird associated with Thor, but he did not think anything of that role.
The Last Day
13 August 1914
It was a day like any other day, except they did not know it was the last day like any other day.
The last day never is noted for being the last day, only in retrospect. Only in retrospect can a day to be
labeled “the last day” , and that comes with distance and prospective. Which, of course, people do not
in general have. Their are a few people who know, and tap there briefcases, and worn everyone, but no
As you can guess, neither Albert, nor is the little maid which he looked at so fondly, were in this
category. In fact one could say that they were as far out of this group as to be measured in kilometers.
They both were blissfully unaware of the goings-on as possible. On this day they had wandered
through the great city of Paris, and were flocking westward, because they want food, and there was
none in any section that they could think of. Which by now made sense, in the ghostly half of Paris,
food was not one of the last of things which made it through from living half. They had long since been
tired and hungry, with the badgering with each other that that would occur with, them instead they just
went through the motions. Thirsty, however, they were not, as long they would drink from pools and
fountains. It was not the best water, but it was drinkable.
“I did not know that I could last such a long time without food.” of course this was the man's
voice, because he always had some strip or stash of bacon on his person, it being a habit that is father
“Water you need constantly, but once you Are characterized by hunger (affame) you quickly
settled down to not having food.” what she did not say is women without children tend to give as much
of to the women who do, and to the men, as was possible – such was the expression “la nourriture etait
est rare”, literally in that French kind of way, “was rare”. So they kept moving, looking for “nutrition”.
This was a sharp contrast to the weather of the day, which was beautifully sunny, but was rapidly going
to be a scorcher, and both could feel that, even if the politics eluded them.
While the woman was quiet, the men rolled on and on about how Italy was going to enter the
war, though on which side no one seemed to know. He recounted one story from a man who had
recently visited Matua, and was sure that the local citizenry would tend to go with France, rather than
with Germany. But he explained their was a secret agreement between Germany and Italy, which
outlined that the government of Italy would support the Reich of German. Then he dropped in to a
more conversational voice, and explain that no one, including the Reich, really you which way the
leadership of Italy would go.
The girl, for her part, or perhaps you woman, though each angle would be there by turns,
looked as intently, but actually was thinking about whether this man could be caught in a married, for
having gained his love, the next step, for her, was matrimony. She dreamed about all of the delicate
details she would like embroidered on her wedding dress, and how everything would be just so.
But then something would happen... and it startled both of them.
It started when they were walking between the leaves of the woods of the Vicennes, and the
outer limits of XIIth. While there was a lake on the ground, they were not particularly near it. The two,
German and French, were bounding along the Avenue, still gawking at trees, and bushes. The terrain
was a gentle rolling hills, that just barely hid the next train. Their were both conifers and deciduous
trees, very carefully planted so that you would not notice they were arranged very carefully. Then they
saw a little girl and boy walking beneath the blue sky.
Speaking in German, because he was surprised, “What are you doing here?” of course the two
children did not recognize German, even the Baden style of German. But they looked at him, and then
at her, recognizing that she was probably French. So they waved at her, “Hello.” in a modern style of
voice, their parents would have been mortified, because of course that was a way of speaking that
involved the telephone, which would not do.
Albert Realized the mistake he had made, speaking in German when only some of the people
would understand it, and more directly, older people would understand. So he spoke in French: “We are
very glad to see you, one way did you come here. What injury have you suffered?” because of course,
he thought that everyone here was dead.
The little girl spoke out to him, drawing close as she did so, “We are not damaged in the least.”
Making it clear that she was a precocious girl.
“That seems very odd, everyone we know in this world, is dead.” Proclaimed the young woman.
“Are you sure that you are unharmed? Perhaps you do not recognize the injury that you have suffered.”
“We are sure that we're unharmed.” Said the little boy. Both the little girl and little boy had
made an agreement not to tell about Peternotes just yet. One, it would take some explaining, and they
felt that any adults would look askance at that, two, they didn't know where he was off to, though in
that way that little people sensed, it was probably something important, and something that they should
not know about.
“What do you mean everyone is dead here?” Asked the little girl.
“All of the people we have seen have injuries, mostly worse than ours.”
“Yes we've seen dead people as well, though we didn't know that all were injured, because we
are not.” She was trying to make out how little she could get away with explaining. After all, they
didn't know anything about either of these people. And one of them, at least, spoke the enemies tongue.
“But You are all right, aren't you?” the woman kneed down to talk to the one girl and boy at
their own height.
“ Yes. Were fine.” Commented the boy. He was stretched thin and to his maximum height,
feeling as though the taller he was, the better able he was to speak with them. Actually, this had the
inverse affect: it showed both the woman and the man that he was a little bit more than half again there
height, and the feeling struck both of them how much he needed protection. The girl had to restrain
herself from padding is head, and then to caress the little head of the boy.
The little girl realized that the prolixations of the boy were having the inverse affect, but she
did not know what to do. She could imagine stepping forward, and saying something, but what she did
not know. And anyway, that would be to aggressive, and straightforward, for her liking. Where grownups were concerned, she was timid.
This is why the woman looked at her closely, and melded her blue eyes, and said:
“It's all right, we aren't going to hurt you, even if we are dead.”
The little girl looked back in two her eyes, directly so, but without great confidence. “Are you
“Yes, of course.” Responded the woman, “ I am very sure about this. Though he is dressed in
the enemies uniform, the man here is a friend of ours. And he would never hurt you,” Pause. “either.”
The little girl looked up at the man, and looked at his uniform with renewed attention. Neither
she nor her little friend had noticed the uniform, it was not something that they would notice. One
uniform was very much like another.
“I believe you, I think,”
“What would make you sure?”
“Please just give me some time, because we hear a lot of stories about wicked people who start
out being nice, but then turn quite nasty.”
The woman could see the sense in this, and rose to her feet, and nodded at the same time. The
man watched all of this, and made his face congenial, but said nothing. It seemed the obvious thing to
do, under the circumstance.
Then the boy piped up: “Show me where your wound is, I would like to see it.”
The man replied, and rolled up his shirt and their was a wound as big as his hand covering all
the way up from the groin to just underneath the bellybutton. It was not deep, but it had a puncture that
went nearly through.
“And yours?” asked the little boy of the woman.
“I don't think that would be polite.” Said the man. So the little boy closed his mouth, but
wondering where her wound was.
The Cat look on. No one watch.
Though there was more talking, it really was just too brace themselves, and get to know each
other. It was as if they were being sprayed with cool gentle water, and relaxing in it. It was not any
single thing that put them at ease, more the totality of the exchange. Eventually they begin walking to
the far end of the woods, but this was intentional on the man's part, he had in his mind going to AlsaceLorraine, knowing that this would be the first encounter between Germans and French, there had been
skirmishes, his own among them, but they were quite small and isolated, the test of firepower would be
started in the Battle of the Frontiers. God help them.
In the real world, dominated by the concerns of real men, 14 August was the beginning of the
real war between Germany and France, though as we know there was a great deal going on before
them. One might say that the war in the minds of the planners had been going on for quite a good deal
of time; among the fighting generals for at least a month, which is the point where disengagement was
problematical. It was down to the men who fought that it had only been decided which day would go
down in history as the burbling offensive. And their was debate about that. But13 August was the day
which some people would say it truly began.
On that day both the French poilus and the German Landser were given orders to attack, but
the French only lasted for at most 10 days, while the Germans held fields in France for four years. Thus
the French could be forgiven that after a period of time to remember the first world war as being fought
in their fields, and somehow remember it as the war the Germans started. But it was not that way
completely, the Germans were more aggressive, and took offensive to the very gates of Paris. But do
not think that if the French had their way, that it would be any different. There was murder
aforethought on both sides. The Germans were just better at it, and perhaps more disciplined. The
French dreamed of being conquerors, as their forbearers were on the fields of Austerlitz, but the
Germans enacted. Because on that day the French opened the festivities, not the Germans. And their
was the difference: the French dream, and the Germans took. Over time, however, the Anglo- French
alliance became one of defending their home, and the German- Austrian was more about taking what
they conceived of as theirs by right.
The German plan, called the “Schlieffen Plan” was in fact very simple: it would start by
invading Belgium, which was neutral, and turn to invade Paris. The French did not have such a noble
or enlightened plan, but would improvise. The elan of the French began in the workings out, a rather
not workings out. They called it “Plane XVII”.
They did not know that there was a ghostly world, which mimic there's in some ways, but had a
different command structure, because, largely, the top commanders would not be in charge. Who would
will be told eventually, but no one that we have met knows anything about them.
But behind the larger set pieces, we can soon in to a man, who is both buried in the living, and
buried in the land of the dead, but that doesn't mean much to him, because though is buried, he is still
conscious, and try to get his way out of his predicament. A day ago, he was dismissed, convicted,
buried – but that is not the way it works on the dead half. The problem is the man who are in charge of
planning the minute details have to learn all over again. One of the first things they have to figure out,
is that shooting a person doesn't really kill them – after all, they are dead already. By the time he war
gets going, they have figured out half to bury them and incinerate them in order to be dead. This is why
in world war two very had to go through such gymnastics, because many of the people who were sent,
were not even soldiers, and they had to find out what exercises they could be put through. On the
ghostly side of the world, one has to be sure that a dead person is truly dead. In the 20th century
millions of people were submitted to this, as oppose to a few thousand of them. A long time ago people
know this, but not so much recently. Things had to be learned all over again, wisdom that was common
knowledge in ancient times, was forgotten.
It always is.
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