As I write this, my dearest, we await the order to go over the top. Sargent said we should use the time wisely to write to our mothers, wives and sweethearts. So, I take up the pen and think lovingly of you.

I do not know which is worse, at times, the inching forward through the Hun’s firestorm of bullets and grabbing, tearing barbed wire, or sitting here in our muddy home, always damp with nerves taut.

We seem to be forever waiting: for orders, for rations, for ammunition, for the deafening bombs, for choking gas, and oh, more precious of all to us: mail.

To read your thoughts, to faintly catch the smell of your lavender perfume upon the page. It is the lovely image of your face, your raven hair cascading loose, the curve of your breast, soft touch of your hand which keeps me warm on even the coldest of nights. My dearest, I miss you so.

When this damn fight is over, perhaps by Christmas, I shall return to you, with promises to never leave again. To forget the miasma of this place and time. To restart our lives together. Keep me in your heart, my dearest.

I must close this. The call has come to collect the mail. Orders have arrived: at sunrise, we are over the top.

Tears, wept silently and alone, now mingle with the mud and blood splattered upon his last words to her.

Sighing, I carefully place the letter back in our box of family remembories.

free-fallish meditation on mindlovemisery’s menagerie tale weaver 299: over the top

With Remembrance Day less than two weeks away:

An interactive video from the Canadian War Museum which simulates going over the top in World War One: Over the top

Two Historica Canada Heritage Minutes on World War I