Friday, June 28, 2013
My little French Tale
I was watching "Inglorious Bastards" on the television the other day. I had seen it once before and liked it. I didn't intend on watching it a second time but a family member hadn't seen it so I endured the movie again. While I watched it I suddenly thought I could come up with a story...about a girl who falls for a German. I know sappy, and probably boring to most but I still thought why not...so here is what I managed to come up with so far...
Germans were everywhere. They were in shops buying French scarves for their wives. They were in restaurants eating French food, or drinking French champaign while smoking their cigarettes. Madeline pushed her bike up the cobblestone street towards the hospital. She weaved through the sea of Nazi soldiers while keeping her head down.
On the sides of the streets vendors were set up selling their fresh produce and fish. Madeline stopped at a small candy shop to purchase a petit four. The small stony cottage like store had been a favorite of her fathers. He would often bring her here during one of his trips to the city to deliver his wine. He would point out all the goodies that he would like to eat. Some her mother had liked when she had been alive. Those he would purchase for Madeline when she needed to feel special. After selecting a small purple cake for her father she continued her way to the hospital. Here the Nazi soldiers were denser; really they had no business being at a hospital. There weren’t any shops or pastries. No dancing girls or circus acts for entertainment, there was only death here.
Madeline locked her bike at the rack in front of the building near the entrance then walked slowly inside. The smell of death and old forgotten people was always pungent at first. She had to take small breaths before full emerging herself in the hallway. Twenty steps in all from the door down the hallway to get her down the hall to the nurse’s desk and then ten more to her father’s bed.
The man she once looked up to as a child had been vibrant and strong. He could plow a field and sow seeds in one entire day, then change the horse’s shoes if necessary all without complaint. His arms were always so very strong, thick and muscular but never too hard for a hug. That was a far cry from the man she was looking at now. The man in the bed was rail thin, his skin almost transparent. Blood bruises littered his arms and legs. His once large brown eyes now saw deep with the sockets, his cheeks hollowed so deep the bone was hardly hidden.
Madeline swallowed hard pushing down the lump in her throat and approached her father. Softly she placed a kiss on her father’s protruding cheek bone. His lips looked cracked, as though he hadn’t been able to lick them in days.
“Are you thirsty?” she asked softly.
Slowly he lifted his heavy lids and looked up at her with confusion in his eyes. Horror replaced the confusion followed by anger. Madeline waited patiently for him to realize who she was. Sometimes it took him a minute, other times it took him a panic attack. She held her breath as she waited to see which direction he would go today.
Recognition finally showed. He smiled showing all of his white teeth, his lips cracking and the skin pulled taunt.
“Mon coeur.” He whispered. Light shone in his soft blue eyes, his face bright and happy.
“Water?” she asked again.
He nodded like an obedient child. To the side of the bed was a small metal tray. A water pitcher sat on top half empty and a glass turned upside down next to it. She poured a glass of the water and looked around for some kind of straw there weren’t any. She frowned turning back to her father.
“Here.” She said. “You have to sit up a little.”
He struggled to push himself up the bed. She had to place the glass of water down on the side table and place her hands under his arms to help him. He was heavy, he felt like a sack of bricks. Once he was settled in his sitting position she kissed his smooth forehead then reached for the water. He took long deep sips of his cool water. His eyes flutter with pleasure with each pass of water. The small moments of euphoria on her dad’s face always made her smile. She kissed his smooth forehead again then took the glass away.
“I have brought you something to read.” She said placing a book on his flat stomach. He didn’t read anymore, could hardly hold anything but that didn’t mean he didn’t like the gifts. He was still in his mind, though his body was very much useless. The stroke he had suffered from some three months ago was still robing him. Madeline hoped and prayed for some kind of relief for him. He had been such a good man, a wonderful father and she loved him.
“Are the German’s still outside?” his voice was sloppy and full of venom.
The Germans had come to Paris riding their tanks and jeeps. Some came on motorbikes, while others walked behind them caring their guns across their chests with the barrels pointing up. The French had made an agreement to let the German’s take over if they promised not to destroy Paris. So the German’s came, and they made Pairs their home.
“Yes Papa the Germans are still here.” She sat on the edge of the bed with the book in her hands. She began to read the first sentence in Sir Arthur Doyle’s book of Sherlock Holmes. Her father patted her arm affectionately then fell asleep just as she finished the first paragraph.