All right, who wants to hear the back-story for this one? So during my research of all things Manfredi and Johnson, I was compelled to watch Stalag 17, the story of a German POW (prisoner of war) camp. Then I thought of my last summer camp which I described as a real prison (that explains why I went to ヨーロッパ this summer!). I added in my 愛 of POM and got this! Stars my OC Sapphire and this is humanized. I don’t own POM, Stalag 17, または fancy French chocolates. Cause I ate them all. Enjoy the fanfic.
It is my 43rd 日 here. I know. I’ve been counting. The air is hot and dry- typical enough for July. And yet I’m sitting in a place that is anything but typical. I wipe a stray trickle of perspiration from my neck and felt myself subconsciously longing for an air-conditioned house. Then I chastise myself for complaining.
Slowly, as they had done for the past 43 days, my eyes stray upward toward the clear blue sky. And my thoughts stray to my unit. My FORMER unit, I remind myself. Wherever they are.
Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private. The four of them- they knew something about war. Oh, goddamned war! Not a 日 went によって that I didn’t curse it. Like some sort of wicked virus, it infects our countries and only leaves them weakened and dying on the battlefield. I had laid my very life down on the alter and sacrificed to War. So had my unit.
I’m alive, thankfully. That’s one of the many things I’m thankful for. Private used to call me an optimist; 発言しました that I could find light in any dark. Private always had a nice thing to say for everyone. But even that couldn’t save him from War. I miss him. I miss all of them.
43 days. 43 days washed in unshed tears. I‘m lucky. The guards seldom beat us and the work is hardly arduous. Pansy camp. Nothing at all like how Captain Skipper warned us POW camps were like. We spend our days working in a dark, smelly factory- producing all sorts of useless junk. Handmade, the labels bragged. Slave-made, we said.
Our bunks were tiny, with hardly enough room to maneuver. The girl from only a few months 前 would have cared, but I did not. Most of us are females anyway. The enemy doesn’t seem to think girls could handle anything BUT pansy camp. I hate sexist people, but I hate being indebted to them even more. After all, who would want a tougher camp? Who would want to see an even darker side of war?
War. That’s a word I wish I’d never heard. But I’ve acquired some wisdom over this past 年 または so. To a rebellious young woman, what was war but a large scale video game または action movie? I flew across an ocean without a 秒 thought. I was an idiot.
Apparently, Captain Miller thought so too. While the rest of the unit quickly mastered basic training, I fumbled every time I picked up a grenade. And the obstacle course? Ha! I couldn’t even climb the rope in gym class.
Finally, the Captain ロスト it and dismissed me without an honorable discharge. That was fine with me. I couldn’t care less about honor! All I wanted was to return ホーム to a 安全, 安全です and comfortable life style. But an officer had different ideas. Soldiers were invaluable at this point in the war. So after a few papers were signed, I was on my way back ホーム to America. But my destination was not home. No, I was to continue my training as part of Captain Skipper’s unit.
That was the first time I heard his name. Miller described him as ‘a real miracle worker’. I figured that was just army slang for ‘extremely tough’. And I suppose I was right, in a way. He WAS tough. But I loved him, and the rest of the team, all the same.
I can’t choose a お気に入り of course. After all, they were like family to me. But Private was the first real friend I’d had in a long time. Possibly that was because he set the bar so high, I wondered if I’d even HAD a friend before. He made them all seem like enemies. The team called him Private, and so did I, even though he’d surpassed that rank years ago. I found that a little strange, but his high British accent and plump build made him seem younger than he really was- a private!
Still, at times he was as wise as an old man. I remember how, during the initial adjust to the team, Private comforted me, dried my tears, and shared his Twinkie stash- my お気に入り snack. That was one of many things we had in common.
Like I said, Skipper was tough. Private told me that the leader was tough on him too when HE was a new recruit. I personally found that hard to believe. Private was clearly a prodigy- a war machine. And I was just- me. But the strangest part about Skipper was that the harder he was on me, the harder I tried to impress him. I had never been so highly motivated in my life! But above all, I loved him like a brother.
I was close to Kowalski and Rico as well. Rico was- well, Rico was a psychopath, to put it bluntly. He rarely spoke, but when he did it was gibberish. At the age of 45 he was older than the rest of us (and he had the battle scars to prove his experience) yet he needed to be watched like a child. “An appetite for reckless destruction” was how Skipper put it. That was just もっと見る army slang. Rico made an excellent explosives expert, but a dreadful citizen. He would blow up anything that would hold still long enough. I’ll admit I was terrified of him in my early days, but it would be a lie to say I wasn’t still wary of him.
Kowalski was the exact opposite. His combat wasn’t quite as good as either Private または Skipper, but he’d earned the rank of Lieutenant with his sheer intellect. Kowalski was what one would expect the offspring of an Encyclopedia and a computer to be. But I’d never seen someone so socially awkward in my life. He admitted that he didn’t quite understand women. That was an understatement. When I first showed up, he was so freaked out によって the presence of a GIRL in their base, he locked himself in his lab and stayed there for 2 ½ days (later he revealed that he’d lived on Cheez-its and ザクロ juice).
Thinking about these happy times makes the empty cavity in my chest ache. For what use is a ハート, 心 when everything it cared for is lost? I know that in a matter of 分 the ベル will ring for lunch. Some prisoners were already heading toward the mess hall to choke down another serving of bland, tasteless food. I stay out; reveling in every 秒 of free time we were given. But only in my mind was I free. In my mind, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private were still there.
When Skipper had told us we were heading off to fight in the war, I was もっと見る excited than scared. At last, a chance to demonstrate my newfound combat ability! I had been promoted to private first class only a few weeks before (and heard a rather funny story about Private’s first promotion). I was confident that whatever war threw at me, I could fight it.
I was wrong. War was Hell, even worse than how Skipper told us it would be. It was at that time that I realized that we were all just pawns in a game that could never be won. But we had to keep fighting, lest the other team gain a slight advantage. Together, my unit and I survived countless battles with only a few minor injuries. Until that day. 43 days ago, to be precise.
After it was clear that the battle was lost, the enemy rounded us up like cattle. There were 207 of us all together. I was the only woman. As a total feminist, that should have bothered me. But, frankly, I was too scared to do anything but tremble. I could tell Private felt the same, but he stared straight ahead, his face fixed into a stony gaze. Skipper and Rico did the same, but Kowalski seemed to be in deep thought. Suddenly, he turned to me.
“Sapphire,” he whispered in a rapid tone, “We’re probably going to be separated soon. But when the guards come あなた must pretend to be weak! Cry, scream for your parents; I don’t care what あなた do as long as あなた give no sign that あなた are a competent soldier! It’s too late for us; we’re legends. But they might go easy on you. Oh, please Sapphire, please do what I say! I couldn’t stand it if you…” He broke off there, leaving me to study him for what might have been the final time. He was the tallest of all of us, and the thinnest too. Kowalski’s black hair had been neatly trimmed before the war, but of course at the time he had the standard buzz-cut. His face bore the tortured expression of an animal caught in a trap.
Beside me, I saw a single tear ran down Private’s cheek. Then he stiffened in an effort to conceal the break in his army professionalism. I only had time to nod before the guards came our way. Kowalski’s face instantly hardened just like the rest of the team. I allowed mine to crumple, and willed forth the tears that had been resting just below the surface anyway. The tall guard that was passing によって me did a double take, and whispered something to his comrade in a foreign tongue. Then the first one grabbed my shoulder with a grip of iron and began leading me away. Out of the war. And into the rest of my life.
I turned and took a final look at my team. It might have been the shroud of tears that covered my eyes, but I could have sworn their expressions softened, just a little bit. Captain Skipper looked me in the eyes and nodded ever so slightly. His sign of approval. My honorable discharge. Honor meant something to me, if only because it came from him.
So here I am. Pansy Camp. I don’t know where my team is または if they’re even still alive. Like Kowalski said, they’re legends. If the enemy knew that, they’d probably been killed long ago. But I try not to think of that. Instead, I imagine them at another POW camp, although that thought is hardly reassuring. They wouldn’t be in a camp like mine; my imagination wasn’t strong enough for me to kid myself like that. No, もっと見る likely they would be digging ditches and trying to ignore the welts left from beatings on their backs.
Still, it isn’t the hardships that they would find at a POW camp that bothers me. At least there they would be safe. But Skipper and Rico might try to escape “or die trying”. And I know they probably would. I hope that either Kowalski または Private would try to convince them to stay put.
But I don’t even know if they are together! I know absolutely nothing; I believe that is the most infuriating thing about this place! Time seems to stand still; each 日 is completely indistinguishable from the last! It is only because I have been counting days that I know that today is Sunday.
So I pray. I pray for the safety of my unit: Skipper, Rico, Kowalski, and Private. And I pray that, whether it is in this life または the next, we will soon be together once again.