Clarence's jaw dropped as she raised her head from the
pillow, staring at the monster before her. "You-you're a Nazi!" she
practically yelled, sending Volkner in an upward position, motioning his hands
up in down to try and quiet her. When she finally closed her mouth, all the
woman could do was give him a nasty look, eyes squinted and lips almost mashed
together to keep her from saying anything else.
"You said whatever is said in this tent stays, I am keeping you to your word. Okay?" Volkner whispered, not wanting any other American to hear his accent, it was foolish enough for him to talk around this woman, but it would be worse if he did around anyone else. "You said you could trust me, I want to be able to trust you," he reminded Clarence, his accent in full swing with his hushed tone.
"You can trust me," Clarence whispered, moving from the cot and into the vacant chair at his side. "But let me guess," she started, her face in an almost mocking expression, "your name ain't really John Williams." The way her lips curved downward signaled hurt, but her eyes had fire of curiosity, she leaned in some as if she was fascinated by being so close to him, probably because he was a living Nazi.
"No, you are correct," Volkner sighed, laying back down and twisting his face in pain. It didn't hurt as much sitting up as fast as he did, but a slow descend felt like knives coursing through his torso. "My name is Volkner Hoffmann, I am a Wehrmacht for the Nazi party, and this iron cross," he began to admit, holding it up above his face, "this is mine. The Führer gave it to me a few months ago, not something I retrieved from a dead man." He dropped the small cross onto his chest and placed a large hand over it, his eyes moving until they found the green gaze of the nurse. Her face was twisted in disgust, there was nothing else that showed on her face but pure hatred.
"I can't believe I helped a man the likes of you!" Clarence ranted, her voice was as quiet as she could without alarming someone close by. "A German, I can't believe it," the nurse uttered, a chuckle of disbelieve escaped her lips. "Ya know we were told to kill folks like you, not help them." All she could do was shake her head, but she never moved from his side, this Volkner found interesting.
"Fraulein Gordon, if you found my nationality repulsive, then why do you sit so close? Another statement is before you knew what country I am from, you treated me as if I was one of your own. Why is that changed? We are two of the same, human beings who were forced to live on this earth. The only difference was my family raised me to believe something completely different than yours." When Volkner relaxed his face, a small smile crept on his lips as he saw the woman before him was speechless. She knew what he was getting at, and that made her lips curve even more downward into a frown. She knew he was right, but although she said she trusted him she felt like he was a different person than the John Williams.
"So, Volkner, is it? If you're a Nazi, why are you in our tent?" her southern twang fluctuated between each word, putting a bit more emphasis on the word 'our'. "Because last time I checked, we were killing your people and taking over this little beach," Clarence bragged as she puffed out her chest some, but stopped as she saw the look on Volkner's face. He was right, he was just another human, but could he be as bad as everyone made Germans out to be? "Hey," she started, softer as she placed a hand over his that was laying on his chest, "I know we're supposed to be enemies, but I have to tell you something that may change your mind about Hitler." His blue eyes locked onto hers, they were cold and almost unbearable to keep within her sights for long.
"You know he's murderin' millions of people right under your noses? All the talk about the Jewish being sent to camps, they kill people in those camps! Every single Jew you find hidin' away in an apartment or in someone's cellar and you send away, they die. You're aidin' these terrible men and a dictator who has gone mad. You need to pull your head out of your ass and realize what you're actually fightin' for before you make a commitment that you have to live with for the rest of your life," Her words were cut and dry, but they only angered Volkner even more. This time, he sat up and used his left hand to grab hold of her white uniform, pulling her close. In his blue eyes there was no emotion, all he could do was think and chew on what he had just heard. All his life he had been told that the man he had met, spent many hours with laughing over something silly, and a family friend was actually a madman. Nothing was said between the two, fear overtook Clarence's face and restricted her throat, and pain and hurt stabbed at Volkner's chest trying to scrape at his heart.
When he finally released her, Volkner pushed her away from him. He needed his time to think, he needed quiet so his brain could turn over all these things Clarence had just said. "I know it must upset you, but you have to believe me. If Hitler wasn't such a bad guy then we wouldn't be in this stupid war," Clarence stated, her voice flat. Of course there was more to it than just that, but she needed to reel him in somehow. When she went to stand, Volkner's jaw was clenched as tight as it possibly could, his muscles bulging from his cheeks and his head turned away to gaze at the waving tent side. Clarence walked to her cot where she turned out the nearest lantern, plunging the tent into more darkness than intended.
Volkner's thoughts were all up in the air, nothing seemed real anymore. Within his hand, the cross, he looked at it. All he did to earn it was actually the worst thing he could have done. All he had been told was a lie, the man Volkner proudly called Führer was nothing more than a demon who had risen from hell and took over a great leader's body. That was the best way for Volkner to get it through his head at least. "Er muss sterben," Volkner mumbled as he turned his hand sideways, watching the cross drop onto the sand.
Hands crept over his body, warm and smooth, as Volkner drifted in and out of sleep. It first started around his ankles and slowly made its way up to his abdomen, a gentle circular motion of some sorts. Was he dreaming? If so it wasn't the worst dream he's ever had, but this was just strange, at least until some kind of liquid was being shoved down his throat, and it burnt everything it touched. Poison! He was being poisoned! He couldn't open his eyes, but he thrashed and moved every way he possibly could but hands were still upon him! Did the nurse tell who he was while he slept or did he speak in his sleep? Volkner had no idea, but no matter how violently he moved and how hard he tried, he couldn't open his eyes and the hands wouldn't go away. Murmurs could be heard, but they were faint. Was it because of his screaming? With every second that passed it seemed the voices grew louder and louder until they were inaudible shouts. Again with the liquid, all he did was sputter and cough it up along with his thrashing. Then there was a stinging sensation on his face, this made his eyes break open and his breathing labored. The nurse, Fraulein Gordon, and a man wearing white stood over him.
"Well damn! You finally woke up! I thought you were goin' to flail right out of this cot!" Clarence shouted, throwing her hands in the air. What was this? What was going on? "The surgeon had enough time to squeeze you in, to get the rest of this metal out of you," Clarence explained, an annoyed tone in her voice, "so drink the damn whiskey and he'll give you a shot of morphine!"
Volkner did as she asked, taking the small glass of brown liquid and swallowed it. Just as he finished the surgeon stabbed him with a large needle, injecting him with morphine. A small yelp was let out before everything went numb, his vision began to blur and everything moved in a slow motion. He then sat up some, using his unsteady elbows for support where he watched the surgeon cut into his leg and began the process of removing the last bit of metal from his legs and torso. Everything was like a dream with no pain and muffled sounds, and Volkner could go to sleep at any second.
"Alright John, you're all done, I'll be back to check up on you tomorrow," the surgeon said as he walked away. It was already done? Volkner slowly looked down at his legs, they were wiped clean and the nurse was applying clean bandages over fresh stitches. Picking up both elbows and letting his body fall onto the cot without any form of pain made Volkner giggle to himself, and the nurse came into view with a shaking head.
"The damn fool's high on morphine, doc must of gave you an extra dose because of your fidgetin' before," Clarence shook her head again before leaving the German to doze off. There he slept off the medication with his mouth wide open and snoring, mumbling and jabbering here and there. Clarence came to check on Volkner every couple of hours to make sure he's still asleep or awake, and if his wounds are not showing any signs of infection this soon.
As Clarence finished with the last bandage on Volkner's leg, his stomach started to rumble. Thinking Volkner was hungry she went to steal some food before dinner was served but as soon as she reentered the tent he was leaning off the side dry heaving. Because Volkner hadn't had anything to eat and a few gulps of water; nothing hit the sand. When Volkner finished his little fit, he laid back on the cot while taking in a few deep breaths, Clarence just pulled up the chair that was at the foot of his cot and sat the couple pieces of bread on her lap.
"I brought you some food in case you were hungry, but if you want to-" Clarence started but was interrupted by a large hand coming down from the edge of the cot and a young blond man sitting up, eating away at the pieces. Clarence didn't even know if there had been any chewing along the lines, but the crumbs were the only evidence that any sort of food was there."That was prima," Volkner exclaimed, licking his lips and picking up the biggest crumb to pop in his mouth. He had no idea how hungry he was until the mention and sight of food came to be, his stomach twisted and growled in the need of food, but he inhaled all that was given to him, but he still looked around with his blue eyes to see if there happened to be anything else. Of course there wasn't, so swinging his legs over the cot and bare toes into the warm sand, he stood.
Clarence was at awe, he was huge compared to her, and she thought she was tall! Standing at 5'8", Clarence was tall for a woman, but Volkner shoved her right back down the pole with his incredibly long legs and torso. Volkner could see her face drop, making his tighten up in a smile, "Fraulein, have you never seen a man this tall before?" Her only reply was a head shaking back and forth. Another toothy grin escaped his lips before it faded into a hard frown.
There stood Sergeant Buchanan with an expression Volkner would never forget. Volkner was bigger than the sergeant in every way, but he had a gun, Volkner had nothing, not even proper pants. "Boy," his voice low and demanding, his accent somewhat odd, "speak again. This time say it a little louder so I can hear exactly what you say."
Volkner and Clarence both just stood there like idiots, mouths opened wide and faces as pale as could be. With the Sergeant staring him down, Volkner opened his mouth a few times trying to force out anything, but not even air escaped through his teeth. At that time, his mind froze and his body took action. "As you know the name is John Williams and I've been fighting for only a year or so. Is there anything else you need to know? Volkner asked, his voice was higher pitched and the accent was almost completely replaced with ones he has heard from over the radios many times before while in Berlin.The Sergeant shook his head and almost blushed, being proven wrong so he thought. "No, no, sorry to interrupt you. I thought you were a German spy for a minute when you said Fraulein, guess that was my ol' country boy mind. Carry on." He gave a smile before turning away, but mumbled something under his breath, loud enough for Volkner to hear. That is when his cheeks flushed with anger.
"What's it?" Clarence asked, looking up in the German's face. "What'd he say when he was walkin' away?"
"He called me a Yank!" Volkner exclaimed, his accent back into full swing. "In all my years I have never been called a Yank. What does that mean anyways?" Clarence only shook her head and placed a hand on his broad chest, patting it a few times.
"Boy, he called you a Northerner, that's what us Southern folk call 'em. It's not a bad thing, really, at least you made it sound convincible," Clarence told Volkner through a grin. There was much for Volkner to learn, but it was the same for Clarence as well. As Volkner walked back to his cot with a slight limp, all his closed wounds started to hurt as the morphine's last punch was weaning fast.
"Fraulein," Volkner started with a grimace of pain, "I intend on leaving your American camp und head back to Germany. You can accompany me if you wish, und with my wounds I would prefer to have a medical personnel watch over me." Laying back onto the cot that with time became more and more uncomfortable. He was becoming restless, but with his injuries movement was limited without suffering pain.
"Volkner, I would like to go with you on this little adventure, but won't I be missed here? It would be one thin' for some soldier to pick up arms and head back out to the battlefield, but for a nurse, let alone a woman, just up and leave her post? Questions will go around and they might be after us." Clarence shook her head, the tough outer shell was slowly breaking into pieces, her true side showing.
Turning his head to the dark haired woman all he could do was laugh, "My dear Fraulein, I think you'll have more of an adventure with me heading for Germany than staying around here tending to bloodied men all day, am I wrong?" He watched as Clarence shook her head, locking her eyes upon his. "Then it is settled. You will accompany me on my leave. I will ask for you to gather supplies, money, and food. I will be left with the weapons." Volkner paused, watching the girl nod and turn to head out, "Oh, Fraulein, please tell me you know how to shoot a pistol."Clarence didn't take a step but a loud chuckle from her lips filled the tent, "Kid, if you knew where I grew up, pistols are for children. Us older folk enjoy the big guns." With that, she walked out of the tent, a few loud exhales coming from her nose. This sent Volkner into a small laughing fit, where he nodded in agreement.
”Bei mir ist es auch so," he whispered before pushing his head against the thin pillow and deciding to doze off once more.
The sky had turned black and the distant fighting slowly started to fade, the small battle over the beach was ending, the Americans were to recede to regain strength and numbers for another powerful hit. Volkner opened his pale eyelids and blinked a few times, he hadn't planned on sleeping for so long and the quickening darkness seemed to be overpowering. Then, a nurse's uniform could be seen, but only the back of it. The woman had dark hair and a slender figure, Clarence! Volkner was about to sit up and greet her, but as she turned and headed the German's way it was not who he had expected. She was tan, tanner than anyone here, and her eyes were just as dark as her hair. "John Williams, I am here to change your bandages, your nurse Ms. Gordon is finishing her dinner so she will be in here shortly," she spoke with an awkward smile. Her teeth were slightly crooked and her nose hooked over her top lip. She wasn't extremely pretty, and she talked through her nose.
All Volkner did was nod his head and stay completely still, the bandages that were being torn from his legs, or so he thought, made him want to scream; a handful of blankets kept his mouth closed, with white knuckles and a clenched jaw. The new nurse was finally complete and patted his leg right on a wound. Once again he tried to smile through the clenched jaw, but he gave her a nod and she turned away to see to her other wounded men.
"Ain't your face red as can be? Did that nurse come to your likin'?" Clarence's voice could be heard from the dark as footsteps passed Volkner and a lamp was lit. There her face was lit up, but only half, and the other plunged into darkness. How late was it? Did Volkner really pass out, or did he ride on the thought train, loosing track of reality?
"Nein, she yanked the bandages off as quickly as she could and I can still feel the burning of where she slapped my leg," Volkner's voice was weak, not fully out of the trance.
"Oh poor thin', if the little Nazi boy is so hurt maybe we should wait another day or two to leave, how does that sound?" her voice was full of sarcasm as a bag fell into the sand. Now she had gotten Volkner's full attention. How could he forget they were leaving! He sat up as quickly as he could and looked at Clarence's dim face.
"What have you gotten?" he asked, his voice hushed and heavy with an accent once more.
"Just what you asked, medical things and whatever food I could snatch, also a couple maps and whatnot."
"Gut, whatever money you have in your pockets, keep. We will be needing Reichsmarks where we will be going." Volkner finished as he grabbed the bag, placed it over his shoulders, and stood. He let a grunt escape his lips, but luckily things didn't hurt as bad as he thought. Hopefully the night will cover them. When he exited the tent, his heart dropped to his boots. There were men everywhere, some wounded, others fine. None as tall as Volkner, plus he was shirtless and wearing thin white pants. "This will be fun, are you ready Fraulein," he whispered as he placed a large arm around Clarence's shoulders and faking a sever limp. They needed a distraction, hopefully this would be good enough.