|Writing done by Rainbowfartz.|
She gets up in the morning and it hits her like hell.
She doubles over with the cramps. It damn hurts.
On a day like this at home, she’d be given a day off and her linen would be changed frequently. She wouldn’t have to jump, run…hell, she would barely stand.
She should have waited another month.
“Stand up straight, soldier!” Commander Auch barks. It’s just like Frau Schmidt.
Helena attempts standing up straight and winces from the uncomfortableness.
“You injured?” Andre asks, always beside her. She shakes her head and counts down until her drill.
He takes a second to absorb what’s happening, then starts laughing. “You’re a damn idiot for not planning right.” He pats her back rather hard.
Helena grunts and he smiles. “You gone mute? Hans I know would be swearing like hell at me.”
“You don’t know me.” And another storm-off.
Winter arrives after months at the training camp. She’s gotten used to every month and she knows how to be a man.
Andre finally makes another appearance. He stands next in line to her, for the first time since she lashed at him, and smirks.
“A week from now,” Commander Auch barks loudly. “You will have completed your training and you will be on the battlefield. No matter how much you trained, or how much you slacked off you will live or die.” She looks at Andre and he has a pained expression. “Train now and live, or be an ass and die. Your choice.” And finishing with that he drones on in the back of her mind.
She feels Andre squeeze her hand and leave.
More beer. This time she still hesitates. She doesn’t know what she could do when drunk, or what could happen to her.
“Come on. Drink your worries away.” Andre smirks mischievously at her and hands her a bottle.
“I’m not fucking drinking.”
“Come on! You are always the uptight one.” The men behind him on the bunks start nodding.
“Ja. Fine, I’ll drink.” She grabs the bottle, walks past him. “Bastard.”
The last thing she remembers is lying on her bunk drinking like hell.
Today they’re all going to die. The gun is pressed in to her hands and she wears the German flag. She is a fighter now.
The group marches onto the battlefield and she looks to Andre, still at her left. He nods but can’t grasp for her hand.
They march to their death. It rains. She will fly today.
Helena is lost. Completely and utterly lost in the fog of war.
She sees enemies everywhere. She can’t tell who is a German and who is a Russian. She’s lost.
She stares at everything. And Commander Auch’s voice rings in her head.
“Just shoot, soldier!”
She has done something horribly wrong. Andre is twitching on the floor, a gunshot wound through his stomach. He’s screaming. She holds both hands to her throat.
You killed him! You killed a German!
Everything is a blur as they carry him away. She screams as she wants to kill every Russian. She has a surge of energy and a burning hate in her heart. She wants to kill whoever killed him.
But she killed him.
She wakes up in one of the makeshift cots with an army doctor. He stares at her menacingly.
“W-what? Where am I?”
“You’re alive, woman.”
She lays back on the cot, seeing that she got shot in the leg and in the shoulder. She wasn’t dead. She was alive.
But she was a woman.
They released a list of surviving soldiers and dead soldiers. Helena went to look at it because her heart was aching and she wanted to know.
She reads the dead list.
And at the top of the list is Andre Souillin.
She put him there.
A medal is pressed into her hands. She clasps it and holds it so long and hard blood starts to spring from her palm. She pockets the medal given to her for living something horrible and sits down in the grass in front of the station.
She doesn't mourn for herself.
She mourns for Andre.
Helena returned home to her cozy high life home in Berlin long after so she could heal. After a sound scolding and hugs and tears from her parents she was stuck lying in bed every month and taking lessons from Frau Schmidt.
After a month or so she felt healed and her body held little of war. Her mind held every horror of war, and she still was a fiery woman.
The only thing that didn’t heal was her heart.