Tweet of the Day: Perseus and the Garden Shed
Paris, République française, 6 October, 07:42 hrs + 2 GMT
Max wondered down the ruin chocked streets. Behind the movie back lot facades of the buildings, heaps of cinders smouldered. Knots of survivors tended to each other, dug through the rubble or, meandered in wide-eyed shock, their eyes focused somewhere on the horizon where, perhaps, the souls of their love ones now dwelled, beyond need or pain.
Max took out his little camera and clicked away.
Click: A young girl clutched a melted toy car.
Click: A man cradled the head of his wife in his lap.
Click: A fireman downed a bottle of water.
Click: A dog sniffed through the cinders in search of cadavers.
Click, click, click, click….
The camera lens afforded him many things, distance, perspective, and focus. Above all else, it kept the sheer insanity before him at bay yet laid bare the unmistakable reality of a city obliterated. It protected him from the realization that this was not some faraway battlefield, that these people were foreigners.
This was home.
A eerie sound drifted through the morning air.
The voices of men grew louder and louder. The air thrummed with their shouts to the beat of their footsteps. Their song brought life to those distant eyes, filled their hearts with hope. Down the Champs-Élysées came the soldiers, down the same avenue their grandfather’s and great-grandfathers marched. Side by side marched Scots, Welshmen, Englishmen and Frenchmen. Before them the French flag, but not just any flag, but the flag of the Free French, with a red bold Croix de Lorraine at it’s center. Max recognized the song. It came from a video game. A song written in a made of tongue that spoke of mythic heroes, of dragon slayers and shapers of worlds. How better to fight old myths made real with new myths. The group seemed large, but to Max trained eye they were pitifully small. Four brigades at most. Thirty-two hundred men with no armor or helicopters, just the weapons they carried on their backs.
They headed south to the front lines.
Too few men to hold a line over eight hundred kilometers long. From the Pas-de-Calais to the Swiss border.
But hold they must.
He would join them.
He ran back to the aid station were Collette triadged the flow of wounded.
He whispered in her ear, “I have to go.”
She kissed him, “I know.”