We hadn’t advanced in weeks. My fingers and toes were turning black with frostbite. From somewhere deep within the freezing mists came the unnerving echo of enemy gunfire. This cursed weather didn’t seem to affect them as much as it did us.
Despite everything, my letters home had remained defiant – they had to be. We knew that all of our personal correspondence was reviewed by increasingly paranoid eyes. If I told the truth, If I said I thought the Fuhrer was wrong, I’d never see my wife and son again.
I steadied my rifle, despite trembling hands, as fresh snows began to fall.
Through the bedroom window I could see the forest, its canopy of leaves glistening white under early morning frosts. From somewhere beyond the trees was often heard a distant barking of dogs, the whining engine of a motorcycle, the faint echo of shouts and whistles. And then there was the smoke.
‘Didn’t you ever wonder what was happening to these people?’ asked the old man in the crumpled brown suit.
It wasn’t the first time he’d been to our village; I wasn’t the first person he’d asked these questions. Like the others, I had no answers – only the ceaseless burden of our shared memories.
Apologies for not submitting for a few weeks. We’ve moved house since my last entry and a lack of internet connection for over a month meant I wasn’t able to take part. However, I’m back and ready to get stuck into FF once more!
The cloudless, mid-morning sky radiates a deepest, richest blue. An excited, black Labrador puppy barks as children play in the sand. Wind surfers rise and fall within the gentle swell. A young couple stroll hand in hand along the water’s edge.
Up and beyond the dunes they’ve gathered, as they always do in early June. Silence and respect as the colours and flags of many nations flutter in the mild Norman breeze. The numbers may be coming smaller with each passing year, but the memories the men share of the summer they spent on the beach will never fade.