I run my fingers along the flowers as I watch the sun shine on Free Paris. My Garand bounces on my shoulder, though the threat from any remaining Germans lies somewhere between slim and none. The smoke from the Grand Palais still floats, but out of sight, blocked by the majestic Tower. The flowers block the smell of fire.
My mind turns to Elise. We met when she smuggled some documents outlining Nazi movements to my division, the 28th. Man, oh man, she knocked my socks off with her wavy brown hair and legs that went on forever. She didn’t wear make-up; she didn’t need it. Dirt smudged her face and, for my money, she still looked better than Hayworth and Grable combined. When General Brown assigned me to escort her around, I felt like the luckiest man on Earth.
I showed her around the encampment and what she saw in a mook like me, I don’t know. She must have seen something though. I took a few days and we hit a small village still going despite the occupation. We dined and danced in a blur of wine and jazz, the nights seared crystal clear in my mind.
In the wee hours we talked about after the war. She talked about having children and taking them to the Bois de Boulogne waterfall once Paris and France found complete freedom. I wondered if I could be a part of that dream, once my tour ended.
Her time with us ended and she headed back to Paris, and the Resistance. She got to see the waterfall, just not the way she wanted. The commander of those Ratzi bastards, General von Choltitz, rounded up thirty-five Resistance fighters and executed them. Elise died, but Paris lived.
We came marching our happy-asses in after the fighting, straight down the Champs-Elysees. The French cheered, and, I admit, I got caught up in the swell. The swell came crashing down when I tried to find Elise and heard what happened. I felt my dreams shattered, and ashamed that I could only think of how it affected me.
I hope we never forget the courage and bravery of the French freedom fighters; they are the reason freedom came to Paris. Them and a beautiful brown-haired women, full of dreams, and taken far away from her dreams.
This is my contribution for Cognitive Reflection’s Picture Writing Challenge. I went with a little historical fiction this time. Hope you enjoy it! The prompt is the picture above. The Challenge is open to everyone, so feel free to write and join in the fun!
Happy Reading and Writing!