Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"You just write to me!"

Vintage Envelope 2: Variations on a vintage envelope.If you like my artwork,please go to my FacebookBusiness Page and like it:Billy Frank Alexander Design~ God Bless You! :-)~ Billy
Source: Billy Frank Alexander

Maps of Germany showed red lines, large red dots, and blurred words.  Allies crossed out more villages, roads and train tracks each day.  “You, Collier, yeah, you… Sgt. Giant Ben, get your butt over here! You old farm boy, what’d your mama feed you?”

“Giant” Ben, all six feet and eight inches of him, was a farmer.  Folks always said that he didn't need a horse to pull the plow…well, why would he?  The man could lift a horse!  We shoulda called him “Big Ben”, but he don't like it much. 

This day Ben led his division ahead of the red lines into an unknown village, abandoned by all.

“You, Zeke and Pop, flank the perimeter!  Watch your step, don’t be stupid!” Unlike other infantry, Ben left the profanity when D-Day happened.  A promise to God, or something. “Vinnie!***  You and Drip come with me to the church.  AND watch where you walk!”

Seconds later explosions reverberated in the air, throwing up dust and rocks.

 Zeke and Pop disappeared in pieces, without a scream or time for one.  The church trailed its own explosions, one two three, throwing Ben back out to the cobblestones.  Vinnie screamed as leg bones shattered, and Drip dropped in the vestibule, skin on face and arms shredded and burned.

Ben crawled to his knees, his ears ringing.  Zeke…Zeke…Pop! Sound out! Vinnie? You hear me?  Drip, oh dear God, Drip!

I gotta save’em.  Gotta, gotta! “Vinnie?  Oh man!” as he saw the legs crooked.  “Drip?  Oh, no, Drip!  Is that you?”  Strands of skin hung loose on his unconscious friend.

Gotta find Zeke and Pop! as he staggered to the perimeters, only to find the scattered remains. Get back, gotta get back.  Vinnie. Drip. Vinnie…speaking in rhythm.

For a giant, Ben moved quickly, darn fast.  Set the bones, don’t hear the screams!  Wrap Drip’s face with gauze!  Don’t weep, don’t cry.

“Vinnie…now listen, listen up good.  I gotta carry Drip back to the lines.  You gotta hold on to me, wrap your arms around my neck!  You hear?!

Vinnie bit back the pain.  “Sarg, I can hold onto you all the way back to the Bronx.”

The giant scooped up Drip with Vinnie enveloping his arms around Ben’s shoulders and neck. 

Each step he counted, one…two…three…until he arrived at the med tent, refusing help as he gently lay Drip onto the surgical gurney.  Then Ben placed Vinnie on the cot as a swarm of medical staff filled the room.  

Before Vinnie passed out, he grabbed Giant Ben by the arm.  “You need anything, anything at all, you just write to me, let me know!  You…you…”  Then blessed morphine kicked in.

Sergeant Giant Ben Collier crawled out the tent and collapsed on sand bags. 

How far had he walked?  Ben wondered about that for a few days.  2,000 steps? Maybe 3,000? Long legs…I don’t know…it don’t matter.

***This is the back story for a previous post "Eyes of the Soul" where Vinnie is now Vincent.  He is given letter from Illinois, delivered by Belinda McFadden.


  1. Brave guy indeed, using all his might to get them back. can't even imagine.

    1. I don't think any of us can imagine, except those who have been in a war.

  2. Probably too close to the truth for many a man.

    1. Yes...too close and always in their minds.

  3. Some memories burn their way deep into hearts and souls. And sadly they are often the memories we don't want to revisit. And revisit.
    A very powerful and unexpected back story. Thank you.

    1. My father and grandfather struggled with those memories which never left them. They never talked about them, until toward the ends of their lives.

  4. Thank God most of us will never know what it's like to endure that.

    1. We are/were fortunate. I was in college during the Vietnam War and knew some of the young men who went and never returned, either in mind or body.

  5. The stories of all three men would be interesting. Do you have a longer work in progress?

    1. Yes, I do, but these are long. I had to abbreviate Ben's story above, cutting out much. For Drip and Vinnie, it is the same. Have to work on them.

      Glad you could see behind the curtain.


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