The Christmas Truce of 1914 brought enemies together, an iota of peace in the midst of war
|Daily Flash Fiction Challenge winner
The tail end of a boom sang in the air, fading. It was about 0820 and the sun had just shown its face.
Ansgar yawned. That last cannon shot had marked the zenith of activity in the past day or more. For hours at a time, he could have almost forgotten about the war, were it not for the morons who would spontaneously fire their guns. These scrimmages ended quickly: the soldiers on both sides of No Man’s Land had their hearts in Christmas and home, even if their bodies were trapped in trenches.
A few minutes passed. Some metres south of his position, someone fired a shot skywards. Ansgar sighed mentally until he noticed the white flag poking above the trench’s parapet, high enough now for the British to see. And there were words written on the flag: “Merry Christmas”.
Moments later, a reply on another flag: “Danke Schön”.
An hour afterwards, Ansgar found himself climbing out of his trench, loaded with rations. He had just gotten past the barbed wire when a voice said in English, “Want a Virginian?” A British soldier was holding a pack of cigarettes.
Ansgar laughed and answered in accented English. “No thanks,” he joked. “I only smoke Turkish.” He held out a can of peaches.
The other man laughed, taking the can and replacing it with the cigarettes. “You Huns’ve got better rations, I’ll admit.”
Ansgar shrugged. “But no tobacco.” He extended his hand. “I am Ansgar.”
“Name’s David.” They shook hands.
Some distance away, several soldiers from both sides were kicking a football around. “Let's join them,” the German suggested.
David laughed and nodded. They played for hours.
That night, the Germans and the British sang carols, and the chanting went back and forth until the sun rose. Then, the firing resumed.