|The Winds of Uncertainty
Author: Star the Foxhound PM
It is the war to end all wars, the war that is meant to settle peace forever but everyday men are dying and the most unlikely people are destined to meet in a world of blood and violence. A WWI historical fiction 1917-end of war.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 9 - Words: 30,591 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-18-09 - Published: 02-04-09 - id: 2631597
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Winds of Uncertainty
Chapter 9: Friendship, not Love
In town, Marianne looked around the streets with the curiosity of a young child. Her typical route avoided the downtown area, going straight from her house to the hospital or the factory and back. It was amazing! The cobblestone streets were lit with electric lamps, and every now and then one of those new automobiles would fly by on their awkwardly large wheels and shiny black metal. It was a whole other world to her.
Lewis smiled at her and held out his hand to her. "Que pensez-vous?"
"C'est si beau!" she said in utter delight, turning to look at him. "Et toi, que pensiez-vous?"
"C'est une petite ville merveilleuse, tellement plus gentille puis l'endroit que j'ai grandi. Là où j'ai grandi les meurtriers et les thiefs ont erré les rues. Peut-être c'est ce qui transformé m'en bête en premier lieu," Lewis said, "Je suis heureux j'ai le gotton à partir du tout ce que de sorte que je puisse regarder dans vos yeux et être complètement heureux."
They came to the bakery and Lewis pointed to the sign. "Il y a une boulangerie. Je vous achèterai quelque chose que vous voudriez."
Marianne nodded and blushed again at his words. "S'il-te-plait." she said. "Ont-ils des beignes? Ou du brioche?"
"Naturellement ils font, viennent juste chéri d'intérieur ici." Lewis opened the door and held it open for Marianne.
"Merci." Marianne replied shyly, going into the boulangerie and tucking her coat tighter around her. The smells of fresh bread and other delicious treats put a warm smile on her face.
Lewis smiled and went to buy what Marianne had told him she wanted as well as getting a few breads and donuts for himself. "Là vous êtes. Je t'ai obtenu un beignet aussi."
She sat down in one of the chairs and smiled at Lewis. "S'il-te-plait." she said, taking her own doughnut and eating it with uptown-girl daintiness. "Qu'est-ce que tu as?"
"l'OH, juste quelques choses," he said, "J'ai obtenu quelques butées toriques et un certain bread."
"Du brioche?" she asked curiously when he mentioned the bread.
"Non, non, c'est un type différent de pain. C'est une recette américaine." He broke off a piece and handed it to her to try.
She tilted her head and took the piece of the bread, looking at him blankly for a moment. She tasted it and smiled. "C'est bon."
"Oui, cette boulangerie fait cuire très bien."
She finished her bit of the bread and continued her doughnut. "Alors," she stumbled, trying to create some kind of conversation. "D'ou viens-tu?"
"J'étais né et ai grandi à New York City. Endroit rempli par crime vraiment, endroit dangereux. De quelle région de la France êtes-vous?"
New York? Marianne had heard of that big city in her geography class. "Bordeaux." she replied, smiling. "Mais on a déménagé ici avant que la guerre a commencé."
"Je comprends. Vous avez voulu être une infirmière de sorte que vous ayez pu aider d'autres personnes, droite." He leaned back in his chair, putting his feet up on another chair beside him, figuring he may as well get comefy.
She shook her head. "Non." she said. "Non, c'etait mon père. Il a voulu un emploi dans les industries d'autos. Il y a une usine la-bas, alors on est venu ici." She sighed, trying not to think about the other reasons she had to come.
"Ainsi vous êtes venus pour travailler dans l'usine puis êtes devenus une infirmière après que la guerre ait commencé."
"Oui." she nodded, brushing her injured wrist gently with her fingers. "Exacte."
"Bien je t'ai déjà dit pourquoi je suis venu ici bien que maintenant je commence à penser qu'il n'est pas en valeur lui pour tuer une autre chose vivante. C'est où vous pouvez m'aider. Vous pouvez m'aider à être un meilleur homme." He reached for her hand across the table.
She let him take it and looked at him. "Je sais que tu es plus que capable d'etre un bonhomme." she said with a smile. "Tous ce que tu dois faire, c'est d'etre gentil envers les autres."
"Je, je. Il y a toujours l'heure d'être une meilleure personne."
Marianne smiled and continued speaking in French. "I know you'll be an excellent person." she said. "You'll make someone in your life very happy."
Lewis smiled and squeezed her hand. "You can be that person," he said in French, "I will make you happy if it's the last thing I do."
Marianne's smile faded and she let go of his hand. "I can't." she told him, shaking her head. "I'm sorry Lewis, but it's not possible."
Lewis' face fell and he pulled his hand back, staring at her. "Why can't we be together," he said, "You are the only person who makes me even want to change."
"It's just... it's not possible, Lewis." Marianne said sadly. "There's a lot of things..."
"What things," Lewis asked, "Please tell me."
She bit her lip. "My family...my life..." Alexis... "It will be too complicated."
"Your family wouldn't like me?" Lewis bit his lip knowing that no one would like a murderer, "What if we never told them of my past?"
"They'd know, Lewis." she sighed. "All the nurses know. They come to tea every sunday and gossip with my mother. If she hasn't heard by now..."
"You're afriad to be with me then," Lewis sighed, "But can we at least be friends."
She nodded and smiled. "I'd like that."
He smiled, "Then friends we will be. There is nothing better then having a few good friends."
She blushed and kissed his cheek. "You're not angry?"
His face lit up when she kissed him and he gave her a quick hug. "Of course not, I'll find someone else. And anyway I would rather be friends with you then nothing at all."
She grinned. "Ah bon!" she said. "I should go home, it's getting close to eleven."
"Alright," he said, "I'll see you around."
Marianne smiled and waved goodbye as she made it down the streets in the dark. In the shadows, a young man in a pilot's uniform leaned against the wall of a building and smoked on a cigarette. He watched the couple with subtle disgust, and thanked god when he left. He came out, the light of the lamp catching in his hair and making his eyes sparkle. "Salut, Marianne."
Marianne's eyes widened in surprise. "Alexis?"
Just as suddenly, Marianne's face brightened and she ran into his arms, wrapping hers around his neck. He laughed and lifted her off the ground. "Ah, ma belle." he whispered with a smile. "Tu me manquais tellement."
She smiled and laughed. "Toi aussi."
He set her down on the ground and put his hands on her cheeks, kissing her deeply.
Marianne pulled away, but still smiled and laughed. "Quand est-ce que tu est revenu?" she asked, looking at his uniform.
"Il y a deux heures." he explained. "Oh, ma belle, ma petite Marie, je croyais que je ne te reverrai jamais. C'etait l'enfer, la-bas."
"Shh." she consoled. "Calmez-vous. Retournons chez moi. Mes parents auront hate de te revoir."
Alexis picked up Marianne again, laughing as he spun her around and set her back down. "Allons." he said, taking her hand. "On doit parler."
They went back to Marianne's.
The USS St. Lucien was still docked and the small group of people had boarded it. The first stop that they all made was the hospital wing, since John needed some more ointment for his shoulder. It was there that Donnie Brighelm found them, trying to walk with a broken foot. John turned and saw the man there, and went over to help him. "Where did you come from?"
"Town.." he gritted his teeth. "This..is a hospital ship?"
John led Donnie over to an empty bed. "Anne I think you better take a look at him," he said, "Before you look at me shoulder, he's limping pretty badly."
Anne tossed John the rubbing lotion. "Rub a handful of it onto your wound. What's wrong with him?"
"Its really nothin' my foot's a little sore," he tried down playing it.
John caught the bottle with one hand and began unwrapping the banadage, "Looks like he has a problem with his foot," he said turning to Donnie, "What did you do to it?"
"I.." his face burned red. "I don't wanna say.."
"I can't fix you if you can't tell me what's wrong." Anne said. "You can either tell me what happened, or it can get worse and eventually will have to be amputated."
John smiled a little, "No one hear cares if you had some accident you know." He finished rubbing the creme into his wound and sat it down on a nearby table. "Thanks Anne, that feels a lot better."
"Good." She said. She turned to Donnie. "Now tell me what happened."
"I was on dis date see?" he said. "And I leaned to kiss this girl and tripped and fell down the stairs. Think I broke my foot and whacked a rib."
"Does it hurt much," John asked. Then after a pause, "You walked all the way here with a broken foot?"
"Okay..." Anne said, stifling back laughter. "I'll find a doctor." Anne left for a few minutes and came back with the senior doctor. She watched as the doctor inspected Donnie.
"Why'd you join the war," John asked Donnie, trying to start a converstation.
"I see, I volunteered," John said, "Thought it was an honorable job, more honorable then what I was doing."
John sighed, "I was just the comman everyday factory worker. I wanted to be a fisherman but it didn't work out, I couldn't catch anything. When the war broke out I left my home and joined the British navy, then later America joined the war and I transferred to this ship."
"mmm.." he said. "Just got over a month ago."
"Been in any battles yet?"
John leaned against the wall of the room, a little bored. "Have any family back home?"
"Brother and sister."
John nodded, "I have a younger brother back home and a younger sister. My brother Thomas just turned 20 and my sister Abigail is 18. Then I have my parents who are always writing letters to make sure I'm alright. They didn't like it when I made the decision to go off to war."
John looked at him when he didn't get an answer. "You aren't much of a talker are you?"
"I'd like to rest if I could.."
John sat down in a chair beside Donnie's bed. "It's the middle of the afternoon..."
"But I'm tired.."
John sighed getting bored with a converstation that seemed to be going nowhere. "Suit yourself then," he said standing up and preparing to walk away, "It's none of my business if you want to sleep the day away."
"This is the deck." Anne said, bringing Beth up from below. "Sometimes it's peaceful to stroll."
Beth laughed, then leaned toward Anne in confidence. "That John man definitely is cute." She whispered, giggling.
"Oh, he's all right." Anne said. "He doesn't have much luck with women, though."
"I can't imagine why." Beth said. "You won't tell him what I said, will you?"
"Of course not." Anne answered.
A little while later John was walking along the deck. Anne saw him and walked over. "Where'd everyone go?"
He paused and looked back at Anne. "I'm not sure, Seamus and Lucy went off somewhere together?"
John looked around. "Where'd Beth go? I thought she was with you."
Beth found Anne and walked up next to her. "Oh there you are." She said. "I was looking for you."
John nodded in greeting. "Did you see Seamus and Lucy anywhere?"
"I was just strolling along deck," Anne replied, "Where were you?"
"I was on deck most of this time."
"It's a wonder we didn't run into each other."
Anne and Beth laughed. Beth looked at John with admiration. Beth saw Anne's face and knew that she had a crush on John.
Anne felt nervous with Beth oogling John, so she stepped out of the way and pulled Beth in front of her. "I don't think you two were properly introduced." She said.
"Ah, Beth," John said holding out his hand, "You are a nurse for the army if I'm not mistaken."
"And you are...John?" Beth said. "Pleased to make your acquaintance." She giggled.
Donnie came back, limping heavily on his injuried foot. When he reached them he tobbled over onto the deck. John nodded towards Beth then knelt down beside Donnie. "What's the matter with you?" he asked giving him a small shake in the hopes that the other man would get up.
Seamus suddenly recognised familiar had been lost for awhile now,and was glad to see his going around in circles actually led him he saw someone unconscience and rushed over.
"Seamus," John said quickly, "Do you know where the hospital ward is? Someone needs to get a medic."
"Keep him flat on his back." Anne said. "Beth, can you get a doctor?"
Beth ran off, looking for a doctor.
John rolled Donnie off of his side so that he was laying flat on his back. "Do you think there's anything else wrong with him besides his foot?"
"He said something about his ribs."
Beth ran back with a doctor and the doctor checked Donnie. The doctor ordered two medics to take him back to the ward and the three men left with Donnie.
John watched him leave until he disappeared from view. "I hope he's alright." He then turned to Seamus and Beth. "I could give you a tour of the ship and Anne could help if you all like."
Seamus was thankful that the situation was being handled. He realised he would be facing this pandemonium daily at the front. "Sure," Seamus said, "I'd love a tour!"
"Well then come with me," John said a smile on his face, "There are a lot of rooms to explore and you are going to want to be back in camp before it gets dark."
"Come on, Beth." Anne said. "I can show you the rest of the ship."
"Let's see the rest of the ship with the men." Beth replied. "The more the merrier."
"No," Anne said. "Let the men have their fun. They wouldn't want to be bothered with us girls."
You don't bother me," John said, "Really, come along with Seamus and I."
"Well, in that case..." Beth said, following John and Seamus. "You coming, Anne?" She asked.
"Fine." Anne said, following the trio.
John turned to Anne. "What do you want to show them first?"
"Should we show them the sleeping quarters? I think it would be best to save the guns and stuff for last since that will be the more interesting part." John suggested, not even waiting for Anne to answer.
"Yes, John." Beth said happily. "Where do you sleep?"
"Same place as every other ordinary soldier, in the overcrowded rooms," John laughed, "Come I'll show you even though there really isn't that much to see."
He began to lead the way. "Fun." Anne said sarchastically.
John laughed, "We have four bunks right on top of each other and other bunk sections next to those bunks. The officers get all the good rooms."
"It smells." Beth said, holding her nose.
He nodded looking around at the crowded room. "Yes, it isn't very nice. Let's go somewhere else."
Quickly John led the way out of the room. The woman didn't need to spend a lot of time in the dump where he spent his nights. Next he lead the way to the kitchen where the troops eat. "I'm afriad this isn't too interesting either but this is where we eat."
Smiling, John continued his tour.