All recognisable charecters belong to Stephanie meyer.
I am really interested in history, WW1 has always struck my interest, not just because of the colossal unnecessary human loss, the advancement in technologies but also because of the extraordinary stories of love, loss and bravery that have come out of those four years in which the world were at war. So I have written my own story. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you. xxx
July 30th 1917, Passchendaele France.
Blood, so much blood. It seeped into my cloths, my skin.
My hands were busy, their rhythmic movements as perfectly the same as the last.
"Nurse sawn, you are required in ward 4, major burns." Nurse Platt said to me, her gentle face contorted in horror.
"Yes sister." I replied.
I handed the tweezers to nurse Webber, her face was like stone, no emotion was shown, but I knew better I knew the turmoil behind her brown glazed eyes. I knew because I had the same battle that raged inside me. I wanted to scream and hide in a corner, I wanted to sob and curse and hide under the bed. But I couldn t and I would not, I have a duty, I have a mission.
I made my way to the ward, I passed my fellow nurses, my fellow stone faced nurses. Patients stood or sat against the white washed walls, fresh bandages encased parts of them. They chatted in their uniforms, some smoked and played cards. And then there were the ones who just stared, their eyes not seeing but the images were played out behind them.
This was the peaceful passage between wards, you could stand here in the hallway and forget the horrors you left at the previous door and the ones were going to face behind the next one, but the evidence was everywhere, the missing limbs of soldiers, the crimson stains on bandages and that ever present smell of blood mixed with earth. War was everywhere.
I readjusted my apron, a spatter of blood marred the front, it blended into the Red Cross and disfigured it, and my cuffs were in a worse state. I had no time to change them, we have no time to do anything anymore, even thinking took up too much time. We don't think anymore.
I opened the door, the atrocities set before me were beyond comprehension, such animosities surely were not the work of human hands. These superhuman inhumanities made my stomach turn painfully causing a sick feeling to rise.
Rows upon rows of beds occupied the long room, each end unseen in the midst of wounded half dead men that lay in the white beds, except the beds were not all white, distinct blotches of crimson stained the once pristine sheets. The smell of that room was I can only explain as being that of death, raw heated death.
The moans sounded as if they were from hell, the burning pain in their cries for help scratched at my heart, I could barely drown out the suffocating feeling of despaired that threatened to consume me.
I pretended to be both blind and dumb to my surroundings; I tried to ignore the hands that reached out at me of the men who thought me to be a loved one in their delirium. Too much blood and not enough hands to stop it.
I spotted ward sister hale, she was standing at the end of a bed she held her clip bored and was scribbling quickly. A thin strand of blonde hair stuck out from her cap, her usually strict posture was slouched. Even the stress has got to her, it has reached every one.
I walked towards her, I passed bed upon bed, and each occupied by a disfigured soldier, bandages and slings and missing limbs filled the corners of my eyes. I kept my focus on Sister Hale, I always focus on other things.
"Ah nurse swan, I need you to re-dress private Newton's dressings on his head. "She said tiredly, her face was shiny with perspiration. "Yes sister." I said and went to sit at the head on the bed.
Sister hale walked away slowly; there was a slight shuffle to the way she walked.
I looked over private Newton, his bed sheets were tucked tightly either side of him cocooning him to the bed. His arms lay still at his sides, his hands were bandaged tightly all of his fingers encased and concealed from view. He has suffered head to toe burns.
"Good after noon private newton. I am just going to re-do these dressing now." I said to him gently, I need to make him know that I am here and what I am going to do. I don t need to though he was sleeping peacefully, morphine is an amazing invention.
I reached for the scissors and started to cut away the crusty blackened bandage from his head. I tried to keep my breathing calm and steady but the smell of dried blood clogged my nostrils, it made my stomach nauseous. My hands were shaking.
Private Newton grumbled something; he was awake "Be still private, this will only take a moment." I reassured him. He grumbled in response, I peeled away the bandage; the flesh I revealed was a patch of jagged, black and disfigured flesh. A mixture of blood and puss oozed from the gashes. I held my breath.
I soaked a cotton bud and whipped the wound clean; flecks of burnt black skin came away. Once it was clean I stitched it up and re did the dressings.
The doctor soon came and read ministered private newton some morphine."Am I still alive?" his gruff voice asked."Yes private you are still alive, still alive and kicking if I do say so myself." I replied trying to sound cheerful. This is what we do; we try to keep up the moral.
"Good." he muttered then went silent.
"Nice work, Nurse Swan. I see you have learnt how to bandage nicely." Doctor Cullen commented as he checked private Newton's vitals.
I watched as his agile fingers checked Private Newton. He was a handsome man, tall, blonde and brave. We call him our "Angel", the only completely sane man here who is not in uniform. But I think it takes a certain amount of insanity to keep from screaming as he puts these men back together. He's either long past insanity or an angel. It's as simple as that.
I glimpsed at the privates records, he was 18. My heart stopped for a moment. Another young wasted life.
I had finished my day; I went in a daze to the nurse s dorm. It was a large room at the back of the hospital. The ceiling was low, in places you had to duck to save yourself from hitting the bed was at the far side of the room up against the window, I had a small chest of draws which I shared with Angela, Nurse Webber. I slumped onto my bed, kicked off my boots and lay back.
I felt the hot stinging pain shoot up my tired back.
I sat back up and reached for my most prized possession. A small picture frame, the person smiled back at me, his uniform perfectly fitting his lean body, he had combed his hair back, he had his hat tucked securely under his arm the picture didn't do him any justice. You couldn't see his thick auburn hair that shone in the sun or the green intensity of his , pictures could never do Edward any justice.
He looked so proud, so full of enthusiasm, almost as if he were simply going out to play football. But what makes this picture even more precious to me is that is shows his innocents.
I love him you know. I love him with all my heart. When this war is over we are going to get married, well after he has given me a ring, we will make it official. I smile blissfully at the thought.
Edward said that his parents have a cottage near their house that we will live in; we are going to decorate our room blue. Stop, I can't think any more of this, not yet. When the war is over I can think of this, when Edward is back in my arms we can think of it together.
This is a time of war, there is not time to be subtle, no time to waste on thinking of things that you can do nothing about. We go about our lives but we do not live them, if we were living them like we should we would all be home. Edward would be home.
Edward is fighting in Passchendaele, he tells me. I can hear the guns from here. It's an odd feeling; we are so near yet so incredibly far.
He can tell me exactly where he is, and I cannot tell him where I am to be exact either for the same reason as he.
I joined the VAD, voluntary aid detachments, with little to no thought of what I was really doing. I just wanted to do my bit, why should I sit at home whilst our men are fighting? It hardly seemed fair. So that is how I ended up in Passchendaele. This is how I ended up in Hell.
I have put my name down to be transferred to a convalescent hospital in dover, Edward says he sees no end to this war and that things will only get worse, they can only do so much to stop the enemy from getting across the channel, to get to England they will most likely go through Calais. I suppose Edward is right, things will only get worse, the war was supposed to be over by Christmas them all said. That was three years ago.
I took out my second most prized possession, a letter. It's a bit muddy and far being in a good state, but none of that matters, not to me. This was Edward last letter he sent me; I got it two weeks ago. I ve read twice every day since then and I will until I get his next one.
I will read it to you.
i hope you are well my love and keeping yourself safe, I only wish I was with you to do it. The airs changing here my sweat, not long now I don't think until I see you.
I am well, as healthy as a horse and ready to give fritz a fright, I don't think he will be able to withstand our British might for much longer, there is word going about that the German morale is low where as ours (excluding private McCarty) is rather high and dare I say it jolly!
I remember our day in Ypres, our meal at the restaurant. The way you looked that night, all rosy cheeked and bright eyed, an angel I m sure you are. This memory I hold dearer than your photograph. We will do that again dearest, I promise. When we are back at home I will take you to the best restaurant the whole country has to offer. Just keep thinking that my love as I do.
Anyway I have to go now, Whitlock and McCarty are at each other's throats again and I am afraid they are going to save the Germans a job and kill each other themselves. Chins up my love.
All my heart dearest, your Edward.
"Be safe." I whisper back. That is our promise to each other. Those two words get me through the day and hush me to sleep every night over the hum and clatter of bombs.
His happy words only lull me into a false sense of security, they trick me into thinking he is as well as he sounds. But I know he isn't, I know what he must be seeing day in day out, and I ve seen it with my own eyes, smelt it and heard it.
But his letter and words are none the less a blessing.
Before long the room was awakened by the arrival of the other nurses. I put away my things and sat up to greet them. They wondered in in a flurry of grey and white, slowly and tiredly and found their beds. I smiled at them and some smiled back.
Nurse Webber came to her bed and lay down. She wasn't in the mood to talk.
I just put my head back on the pillow and concentrated on catching sleep. But it wasn't easy, snippets of the rooms conversation floated to my ears.
"40 more admitted into the flu ward this afternoon." Someone said
"It's getting worse, I counted 30 in the morning." Their friend replied.
"Epidemic." someone else muttered loud enough for everyone to hear.A few prayers were whispered. I just closed my eyes. Too much talk. I let sleep steal me away for another restless night. I will worry about this flu tomorrow.
Goodnight Edward, Be safe.
Wow this took ages to write. Hope you all enjoyed it. If you have any questions I will be more than happy to answer them. Please please please review and tell me what you think. Next chapter will be private Edward Cullen turn.