I sipped my coffee and continued working on my letter to Jayne. Unsure of what to write next, I commented on the brew.
“… it tastes dreadful, to be frank. We are glad for the warmth and comfort it gives us, but it might as well be lukewarm mud. There’s so much of it here, I would not be surprised if it was. Ubiquitous brown sludge, as far as the eye can see. I haven’t had dry feet in weeks.”
I took another sip and gagged as the cold coffee reached my throat. It had been warm just a second ago. Had my mind gone adrift? The rustling of clothes and the clicking of metal made it clear that duty called.
“Well my love, I must dry up. I will soon write you again. Heaps of love and kisses, which you must share with the kids.
Your ever loving Tommy.”
I hid the tales of screaming soldiers left behind in no man’s land, their limbs ripped off. I remained silent about the green rot that plagued the soldiers’ feet. I said nothing of the shrapnel tearing off entire faces, revealing white skulls. It was only the tip of a blood red iceberg. The mere thought of writing down the things I had seen made me sick to my stomach. It would only distress her.
Finally, I wrote down the location and date.
“Ypres, July 31, 1917”
I adjusted my helmet. The captain’s whistle will go soon, and I shall follow.