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The Photograph... [4] .. Assessment.

Ytte Skovlund's picture
Submission type:

Ytte looked at the photograph as she sat in a corner of some wrecked building in Midway.

Sure, the photograph was one she had taken only a few days since. She intended to send it to her Father but preparations for the storming of the Dänisch lines had more than preoccupied her. She remembered pushing it into a leather wallet, to keep it safe.

But this. This Photograph looked worn, very scratched. Almost ancient. But she knew it was not less than a few days old. 

She opened a metal cannister, inside she found... was this bread? She smelled it, tasted it. It tasted like bread, sort of. But she was very hungry. She ate every last crumb. And another metal cannister. Another strange metal ring to pull to open it. this was a drink.. of sorts. Sugary, and  a very slight taste of sour fruit. She drank that also.

Having fed herself, she turned her attention to the pile of items next to her. A pistol, a rifle. No powder. she pointed the pistol to the corner and pulled the trigger. it fired, and again. Without having to reload. This was some strangeness to her. With the guns there was also a rather unwieldy axe and a metal bar of sorts. And a really nasty little knife. made out of a strange material. sort of flexible, more rigid than rubber though, and not leather either.

She sat back and sighed. Her mind could not take anything in. Thirty minutes ago she was running across a wet Danish field. Now she had no idea where she was. But the heat. Unbearable. 

The clothing the man had given her was rough, coarse. Cheap. But the material it was made of was something she had never known. The fastening down the front consisted of two lines of serrated hooks, by pulling the clasp up and down she realised the garment opened and closed. To her slight embarassment she had to ask the helpful servant in the bunker how it worked. The shoes she wore again were made out of some unknown material. Like leather, but not leather. Light. She wondered where her own leather boots had gone. Quality Austrian leather which her orderley had polished to a mirror like shine. A Prussian officer must keep thier uniform in perfect condition, no matter what the circumstances! 

And where did this thing around her neck come from. A strong collar, a bit like the Stock worn by recruits back in barracks to hold thier heads high and straight on parade. She felt around the back for the buckle, there was something there but it felt more like a hole. Whatever it was, it was not to release the Stock. It just felt uncomfortable it chafed her neck, and her sweat made the chafing worse.

Ytte pushed the photograph back into the evelope and the envelope back into the jacket pocket where she had found it. Keeping low, she crawled over to one of the windows of this shattered building. She looked out, keeping her head low. She had no idea where she was, there might be enemy troops around. 

What she saw confused her even more. Less than an hour ago she knew exactly where she was. Denmark. with its low grassland and woods. And its rain of course. The nature rallied agaist war. The spring flowers had still bloomed away from the battlefield. The birds still sang. This place could not be more alien.

She rrealised she was on the edge of a town, every building she could see was as shattered as the one she occupied. to the left she saw a fenced compound full of rusted metal.... boxes?  Boxes with windows and tiny tiny wheels? The boxes were piled one on top of the other. Wandering around in the compund she saw a dog. A dog and some chickens.

She looked back at the entrance to tne bunker she had just come from, behind it, people. men and women runing and beating each other, some fell. It looked barbaric.

"Where in Hell am I?.. Am I in Hell? is this God's punishment for some great misdemeanour I cant remember?"

She took stock of her body. She was whole. Not a wound in sight, not even a scratch.

Ytte pieced back in her mind the events of the last hour. She was leading her men to the Dänisch lines. Alte had just helped her to her feet when she stumbled. He was behind her. Ytte smiled. "The old goat was actually looking out for me"

So  they were running, her men around her. One or two had fallen, but on the whole the attack was going well. There she was, running towards the rampart. Then, in less than an instant she was stumbling into a metal clad room. Worse, she was stumbling naked into a room where several men were ! At least one was gallant and gave her a towel for modesty. And then the shower, her body was covered in a film of grease or something, it smelled like disinfectant and goose fat.  But, and this was her first thought. She was whole, she had not lost a limb, she could see, she could hear. At least she was not one of the many she had seen the last weeks in the surgeon's tent. Screaming for their mother as their wounded limbs were hacked off by the surgeon.

" Small mercies"

Ytte crawled back to the corner and closed her eyes. "What to do...."

A Prussian officer's duty is to rejoin their regiment at the soonest possible opportunity. Ytte determined that would be her task. She would go out into this strange place and seek out her Regiment. They cant be so far away. 

She pulled up the serrated fastener to her neck, then folded her two blonde plaits under the wollen hat. She gathered up what she could of the equipment.

She then stood straight, in true Prussian style and faced the door. She paused, and to remind herself, and also to give herself courage, she clicked her heels and saluted. only to herself.

"Lebe der König! "


Joe Spivey's picture

((Ahhh, those first faltering steps :) But with the added disadvantage of being so out of time, so out of place in a world where almost everything is so strange. The thought she might be in hell is very reasonable considering the massive cultural and geographic changes to her world. Love the retrospective thoughts of new clones but it is no wonder that so many of them go insane. Good luck young Prussian.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Subdane's picture

((I particulary enjoyed this post. Reminds me of the post I once did on Subdane. I have edited and cleaned it up. It now sits in 8 chapters that is not ready to be revealed :D

Keep the story coming, I for one am enjoying following Ytte's story :)

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