This War of Mine.

Brandon Bell, guest writer

January, 9, 1917

War. . . War never changes“.

Henry tossed and turned in his sleep. He couldn’t take it anymore. He was sick and tired of sleeping comfortably while the whole world seemed to tear itself in half.  Henry wanted desperately to fight; but his wife Elise made him swear that he would stay and take care of their unborn child. But this was his final tipping point. The Germans had plunged too many of his friends into the grave; and the pull of vengeance had become stronger than he was willing to resist. He came to a decision, Forgive me Elise, I have to fight.


Henry’s pocket watch buzzed in his pocket to signal the time had come. Now or Never

He thought. As quiet as he could manage, he slipped out of bed and onto the floor, trying his best not to disturb Elise. The day before, he had prepared a small bag of clothes and an apology note for Elise to find in the morning. Now he slung the bag over his shoulder and turned around to take one final look at his wife. As if sensing his gaze, her eyes begun to flutter and she met him with a tired stare.

“Nightmares again?”

Henry Nodded although she couldn’t see it.

“Can’t sleep, sorry I tried not to wake you”

As she grew more and more awake she noticed the bag on his shoulder and the note sticking out of his pocket.

“Henry, what’s in the bag? Where are you going?”

“I’m just going for a jog to get my mind off things. . .I’ll be back soon I promise.”

But Elise had foreseen this for sometime and knew in her heart what he really meant by “soon”. Silent tears filled her eyes.

“Okay, just promise me you’ll get back safe okay?

“Of course. . . Sleep well Elise.

And with that, he walked away without looking back. Because if he did, he was certain he would change his mind.


==Three months later=


With his head slammed against the butt of a German rifle, Henry changed his mind. This isn’t how it was supposed to be! “After more than a month of combat in a labyrinth of trenches and tunnels, the battle of Arras was finally won” (10 Bloodiest). But victory hadn’t come easily, and Henry and his platoon hadn’t been so lucky. Now they sat blindfolded and gagged in the back of German train car, headed for a prisoner of war camp. With his vision of avenging his friends slowly fading, Henry began to question if it had been worth it.

At least a hundred thousand men lie dead on both sides and for what? Honor? Freedom? Or just for a slight dent in the enemy lines?

            Henry felt the ground shift as the train came slowly to a halt. Someone yanked off his blind fold and the world came rushing back into view.


The door of the box car was open, and on the other side stood five German guards armed with rifles and harsh faces. The supposed leader of the bunch stepped forward and spoke with perfect English.

“Welcome to Döberitz, scum. This is your home now.”

As the officer continued to speak, the others guards began escorting the troops out of the car as if normal routine.

“Here you will learn how to work, how to cry, and how to stay in line. Those who fail to do so, will get the chance to meet my baton more personally”

The troops were lead into a expansive courtyard surrounded by walls and watch towers.

“This is what we call the commons area, to the east is where you will find your sleeping quarters along with mail call. To the west, is the canteen, and to the north is the work field where you will be spending the majority of your stay. You will be reporting here five times a day on a hourly basis, failure to do so will result in the confiscation of your “precious mail” (Prisoners), and as well as some time spent in solitary. As for today, you’ll be going straight to the sleeping shack for some. . . Initiation.”

The troops began to trudge towards the sleeping quarters but we’re abruptly stopped.

“Ohh and one more thing, my name is Volks and if your looking to take the easy way out, come find me and I’ll be glad to arrange.”


===Two months later===

Life had become hard, to put it lightly. Prisoners were forced to search for sleep in tightly confined spaces where rarely sleep ever came. The work was spine crushingly brutal and often served no actual purpose other than to make them suffer. But it wasn’t all bad, sometimes the food was edible enough to eat; and every once in a while, mail would come in and brighten the mood just a tint. Most of it was censored though, and what news they got was often hard to believe. But the troops didn’t care, any news real or not was a story. But more importantly, all news came written on a piece of paper and overtime these pieces of paper became a form of currency to them. But unfortunately, Henry never got any mail personally. So every time the mail truck came in, Henry would try to haggle away his rations of soup for scraps of paper. Hunger had become part of his life, and he was willing to accept that now.

But today was the day that all his starvation had payed off. Today he would finally make things right. It had taken him weeks but he had finally managed to gather enough scrap to purchase a pen, and with this pen he began to write a story. A story about a man who became so obsessed with war and glory, that he took his entire life to understand what it really meant.      NThe n. NWar is something that we all fight in, but it’s not about how you fight, it’s about what your fight for.


Dear Elise.

I’m sorry


Works Cited

This War Of Mine.” This War Of Mine. 11bitstudios, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 31 March. 2016

Newson, Rhonwyn. “The 10 Bloodiest Battles of WW1.” The New Zealand Herald. 4 Aug. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

Prisoners of War 1914-1918 : Download Original Documents.” WW1 Prisoners of War. Web. April, 1, 2016


“The Sinking of the Lusitania,1915,” www.eyewitnesstohistory. 2000. Web. March, 31, 2016

The History Place – World War I Timeline – 1915 – German POW Camps.” Web. 31 Mar. 2016.