When someone you love dies, the last thing you're thinking about is their will. You're much too busy grieving and crying and wishing to think about something like that. Michelle certainly hadn't. Not when her beloved Grandpa Francis had just passed on.
He had been the kind of grandpa every little girl dreamed of. He doted on her and showered her with affection; spend hours on rainy days teaching her his native French. He had only one daughter- her mother-, and Michelle herself was an only child, so whenever he came over, she always had his undivided attention. She absolutely adored him.
His death was unexpected and sudden. One day he had gone to sleep and simply didn't wake up.
Her mother rubbed her back as she cried, muttering over and over "He was just tired, baby. He's been tired for a very, very long time. And now he can rest, isn't that nice?"
She hadn't stopped crying. "But he never seemed tired."
Her mom smiled sadly. "Anyone who's ever been in a war is tired, love. No matter how well they hide it."
And indeed, her Grandpa had been a solider for a time, serving in the war. He walked with a cane due to an old injury. At the funeral, he had a flag draped over his coffin and people in while gloves carry it to the grave. Her mother had laughed quietly. "He'd hate that." She murmured. "He hated the army, and he'd hate that."
Three days after the funeral, she had sat on her bed with her head phones on, listening to French pop lullabies and thinking that maybe she was feeling the tiniest bit better, when he father entered the room.
"Chelle," he said softly. "Chelle, we just got back."
She glanced up. "Yeah? And?"
"…He left you something."
She sat bolt upright. "What?"
And that's how Michelle ended up thinking about a will after her grandfather's death.
He had left her a box. All his money went to her parent's savings and her collage fund, but he left specific instructions to leave her that box, so that she may know the truth.
On the top was written- Special Ops- Squad 287. She sat cross legged on the floor of her room and opened it with bated breath, wondering what on earth it could be. She looked inside.
The box was full of papers, pictures, tapes, and notes.
Her brow furrowed, and she picked one up from the top.
Name- Francis Bonnefoy
Date of Birth- March 12
Home Address- 14 DeCourt Lane, East Welldam Grove, New York
Nationality- French, immigrated to America at age 15
Current Job- Sales assistant- Millington's Fine Hats
Living Family- Mother, Odette Bonnefoy. Father, Louie Bonnefoy.
Other Skills- Speaks fluent French
She blinked. This was a draft paper. Her grandfather's draft papers, from the last war. Now curious, she shifted more papers.
There was an old snap shot of two blond, bespectacled young men, obviously brothers, dressed in soldier's garb. Their arms were thrown around each other, and both grinned at the camera. The shorter, longer haired one was mock saluting, while his taller companion flashed the old 'V for Victory' sign. Michelle flipped it over. 'Mattie and me (Al) about to leave to be deployed," had been scrawled in an untidy hand. She didn't recognize either of them, by faces or names, and she placed it to the side.
The next picture appeared to be a homemade post card. It showed a dark haired, sun kissed man posed in front of a torpedo, smiling widely. 'You'll always be my bombshell' was written on the front in blue marker. Printed on the back was: '…But this will have to do until I can get you back. Miss you lots, the food here's terrible. I love you, Toni.' Michelle inwardly cooed. That was one of the most adorably sweet, completely dorky things she had ever seen.
The second picture was posed. 12 men sat in two rows of 6, dressed in military uniforms. 'Mattie' and 'Al' from the first photo were there, as was 'Toni' from the second. As was her grandfather, she saw with a sad smile. A small Asian man who sat in the front row held a sign on his lap- Sp. Ops, Squad 287.
She found an incredibly old post-it note with the words: 4 next meeting- Must bring up safety, buddy system. Split into 2 groups? Trust building? Recharge walky-talky. **Meet with nurse about MW's meds**
It made no sense to her, so she moved on. What she saw next, however, made her start. Because staring up at her from the paper were her grandfather's baby blues, sparkling in a way she had never seen them do in life. He was much younger of course, but he was smiling, lifting a glass of something as if toasting the camera with two other men. One was the man from the bombshell picture, Toni, while the other was in the squad picture and had slivery-white hair with shocking red eyes. On the back, in unfamiliar handwriting was the statement- 'The three biggest drunks on base!' Michelle half smiled at that. Then, suddenly realizing something, she picked the squad picture back up and flipped it over.
Back row- Ivan Braginsky, Berwald Oxenstierna, Ludwig Beilschmidt, Alfred Williams-Jones, Matthew Jones-Williams, Francis Bonnefoy.
Front row (seated)- Arthur Kirkland, Yao Wang, Kiku Honda (holding sign), Gilbert Beilschmidt, Antonio Carriedo, Toris Laurinaitis
She quickly identified the third man with her grandfather to be Gilbert Beilchmidt, and 'Toni' to be Antonio Carriedo.
Next she found a paper folded into fourths. She opened it.
Missing-A leather bound book with no value to anyone but the owner. If you have any information, tell me. If you have it, please return it, no questions asked.
That's a little vague, Arthur. Perhaps if you gave us more information, we could find it faster.
That's because it's a diary. Our little Brit doesn't want anyone to know he keeps one. ;D
AWWW! Artie has a diary!
Al, be nice.
All you gits-
IT'S A FIELD JOURNAL! I'm recording everything that happens to us!
…Isn't that what a diary is?
Antonio, Alfred, and Francis-
We have been told to record everything that happens. That's why they gave us the cameras. So Arthur is following orders better than any of the rest of us.
Why are you writing back and forth when you can just talk to each other?
It's kiend of fun to right back and forth. I can pratice my English!
It's "Kind" and "Practice." The correct form of "right" is "write." You wrote Right, like right or left. Close, though. You're improving.
It's on the table near the mess hall. Someone put a magazine over it.
For the record, I think you all are idiots.
Michelle nearly laughed aloud. She could just see this, posed in a hallway of some sort, and people squibbing on it as they went by. They sounded like boys in her school, all of them teasing each other in that strange way boys do. She would like to meet them, she thought. In fact, maybe she would…They probably didn't know Grandpa had died…She shook that thought from her mind before she could make herself upset again.
Underneath that was a manila folder, strangely formal in the otherwise random mish-mash. Ignoring the ominous feeling it caused in her gut, she slowly removed it and flipped it open.
Final report- Special operations Squad 287
Toris Laurinaitis- Deceased. Gunshot to the skull
Berwald Oxenstierna- MIA. Thought to be deceased.
Yao Wang-Deceased. Burn wounds indicate a bomb or hand grenade.
Ivan Braginsky- Deceased. Suicide.
Kiku Honda- MIA. Body not found.
Francis Bonnefoy- Survivor. Extensive damage to right leg and foot.
Alfred Williams-Jones- Deceased. Starvation, exhaustion, blood loss.
Ludwig Beilschmidt- Deceased. Gunshot to the chest.
Matthew Jones-Williams- Deceased. Fever, exhaustion, starvation.
Antonio Carriedo- Deceased. Blood loss.
Arthur Kirkland- Survivor. Paralyzed from the waist down.
Gilbert Beilschmidt-Deceased. Trauma to the head and spinal cord.
That was it. The rest of the report was missing.
Michelle continued to stare at the page. She read it twice, then a third time, trying to understand what she was seeing.
Deceased. Deceased. Deceased. Deceased. How was that possible?
All of them dead or missing but her grandpa and this Kirkland man. All of them gone but two. How? She picked up the squad picture, now holding in as if it were a precious treasure. Eyes scanned every young face on the page, taking them in. And the fact that all but two were dead.
'…What happened to you?' She asked the photograph.
There was no answer. Then her eyes fell on the box, still filled with paper. After a moment, she pulled it closer to her.
'Maybe…Maybe this can tell me...'
Er…Hey there! Thank you for clicking on this story, it's made me very happy!
So this is a random idea I couldn't get out of my head for the life of me. I thought it turned out okay…
Michelle is Seychelles, if you hadn't figured in out. I've seen her called Michelle, Victoria, Angelique…I decided on Michelle because it's the easiest to spell…Heh *Holds up a sign that says 'I'm dyslexic and lazy!'*
This takes place in the future. So the war Squad 287 fought in hasn't happened yet, it started about 10 years from now.
Is it worth continuing?