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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

As Heart and Blood - continues by Christopher Marcus


Dear sister,

It is a strange feeling to write someone whom I may never see again. It is also strange to admit to myself that because of that I feel closer to you now than I did in Tarija. We were always on good terms, you and I – and for that I am grateful. It was not that we never had an argument, we had plenty! I used to loathe the fact that you seemed to be content staying around the house, instead of running of to get married with one of father’s ‘promising young candidates’.

But I see now, here on this dreadful troop transport ship to Europe, that it was just my own loathing of myself that was a fault. I should have gone away, I should have taken a decision, but it was easier to think that there was something wrong with somebody else. It was not only you, it was everybody else. And now the decision has been taken, and I have the pains and bruises to prove it, after the dreadful training camp in Florida.

I guess it is always hard to learn how to die … Oh, don’t knit your brow too much now, we’ve spoken of this many times, after I let you in on my decision to volunteer to fight the Communist scourge. We’ve spoken of what it meant, but perhaps it is more real to you now that you have my letter in your hand and feel that I am truly far away. I assure you, as I sit here on my bunk, feeling every convulsion of the hull of the old converted liner, with all that I own consisting of a uniform and my weapon, it feels very real to me, too; in a way I never imagined.

There is a lot of talk here about what will happen once we reach Spain. I will not expect to be able to get into touch with grandfather, but I will let you know, and father of course, if it becomes possible. But I don’t even know when or where our regiment will land. We are a motley crew – all Latinos, all volunteers, from different parts of the continent; but they’ve told me that we will be mixed with the Spanish units and that the army as a whole will be under American command. And there is not much more that they want to tell us, perhaps for security reasons, perhaps out of traditions, but most likely because they don’t know.

That leaves room for rumors – and more than I care to count. Some say the Reds are almost about to break through, and that we are merely going to be cannon-fodder; that we will fight a delaying action. Others say that the Americans are preparing, secretly of course, another nuclear bomb to take out the Soviet forces in Southern France. That is the rumor I find least likely. They would have done so long ago, I believe if they were able to. Still, there are also rumors that there will be some kind of invasion soon, elsewhere in France, or possibly in Northern Europe, to open a new second front – like it happened against the Germans just a few years ago. And how do you react to all such rumors?

In the beginning I was very keen to investigate, to try to gain certainty, but no more. I cannot gain any certainty about anything, in these matters. We are told only what we need to know and we can guess about the future until we go crazy but it will not help.

We will only know what happens when we get there – to the front. Do not be too alarmed for me, dear sister. I know you were against this decision of mine, that you thought it too rash and ill-conceived but I assure you … it is the best decision of my life. And these are good men I’ve trained with. There is not a doubt in my heart that together with men like these, spirited and full of determination to see this war to an end, then the Bolsheviks to do not stand a chance. They have worn themselves out, finally, and they will not be able to fight on much longer – not with the rest of the world against them.

We will win, and I will be back soon. You will see.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As Heart and Blood - continues by Christopher Marcus


He turned the thoughts over again and again in the long, dull afternoons in Tarija’s incessant summer heat:

Volunteering … for the war in Spain.

Fight against the Communists.

Each time, each thought became more and more vivid, as if it lit up a little more from the inside.

Yes, by all that he cherished - he would go defend the old land from the red scourge. And he would come back and be someone else. It was sometimes clear as a magnesium flare inside him, the feeling that all of his life would change if he did this. He wasn't exactly sure how, but it would change something - because it would prove that he could make those kinds of decisions. He could not explain it anymore than that. It was drawing him and he had to go.

Of course there were rational explanations, only they were vague, and not really suitable to reflect to much upon lest their internal logic be torn apart under close scrutiny. It was about his father, for one thing: The old man had always been, so Javier felt, not really in favor of him. He only had to accept, like everyone else, that of course Javier had to take over the family firm, because who else could? He was the only son in the family. But Don Gonzales wasn't impressed by his son, he had let that slip on more than one occasion. And perhaps he also suspected something?

No, Javier would not even allow himself to think that. But still the doubt was there. And even though he knew it was blatantly irrational - a record of courage, of having done something - when everybody else seemed content to just blabber on and comment and chit and chat and watch in badly concealed horror as the world slid into the abyss of war ... that would change everything for him once he returned. He would be another man, someone to be reckoned with.

And it wouldn't have to be flamboyant or anything like that! Javier loathed that idea; he was more attracted to an image of returning home, with stories and all - of the horror of war - and then noticing the suppressed pride in the eyes of everyone who was important. And perhaps a sudden interest from ... well, that was scarcely something to hope for, but still. It would not hurt his chances of unmaking that strange unreality of being a gay man in one of the most machismo societies in this hemisphere ... an existence that, he had often reflected seemed to be little better than that of a ghost.

The only thing he had to do now was to transform the light-filled thoughts into action. He had to go to the consulate, get the papers.

And soon, he would be bound for Europe – and a new life.


That afternoon Javier slipped off from work early, and walked through the Calle Madrid and Ingavi past the venerable church and then headed directly for the Spanish consulate in Tarija. He had to clear the paperwork now, to make it real.

And then, as he crossed the street, and nearly was hit by a car because he was so absorbed in the sudden feeling of clarity that it gave him to have this purpose - then it occurred to him for a moment that he hadn't really checked up on the situation in Spain. What was going on at the front? What was the most recent news?

The Soviets juggernaut had looked poised, just a week ago, to smash through the Pyrenees at some moment in the not too distant future. Overwhelming amounts of men and materiel kept flowing in from the seemingly endless supplies of the Motherland - willing cattle to be sacrificed, he mused, for a cause so wrong, so idiotic that there were not really any name for it in Spanish. He could not imagine that these ... men, whoever they were, from Siberia or some farm in Ukraine –how they could be worth much as fighters. Their only strength lay in sheer numbers. And yet ... what if those numbers were still enough and were about to be put to use, once again, as they had been since Moscow, Kursk and Sedan.

What if the Soviets were about to win?

It was so banal and he felt instant shame for having considered it. Because it made him hesitate...he stopped. The consulate was just around the corner. The afternoon was hot and pleasant. A couple strode across the street, passing him - hand in hand. He didn't feel a sense of loathing as he usually did when he saw couples. Instead he suddenly felt ... a strange sense of loss. And then ... fear?

Would he be coming back?

Mobilizing all his courage Javier Gonzales breathed deeply, then continued, turned the corner, and went straight to the consulate entrance.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Short Story by Christopher Marcus

Welcome Christopher Marcus-

A story from the World War III 1946 time-line

As Heart And Blood


Javier Gonzalez had lived all of his 27-year old life until now in the provincial town of Tarija in southern Bolivia, and had feared that he would probably have to live the rest of it there, too ... running his father's wine-business as everybody else expected of him. But what else was there to do that made sense?*

It was, after all, a privilege to be an heir to a moderately lucrative enterprise in a pitiful excuse for a country that had been beaten in every war it had fought (which his father, a retired colonel from the catastrophic Chaco War against Paraguay, often grumbled about - whether anyone listened or not); Bolivia - a country that had more people begging on the streets than street dogs, or so it sometimes seemed to Javier. No, nothing much would probably change, even though the world was in flames elsewhere.*

And Javier's ... secret ... life would probably not change either, including his inability to make it more than a fantasy, that is, without being discovered. That was not even an option. Not in a society where family was everything and men were expected to be … men. Just as he was expected to take over Los ViƱos de Valle, a prospect which made him both frustrated and angry at times, but no more so than he kept working in the administration and accounting for his father. But at least he would not have to think about economics and then, maybe ... one day, he would know what to do. To make something real.

Well, maybe that one day could conceivably come before too many years. There was, after all, always Renan ... Renan who worked in the bank at the Plaza and who, at least in Javier's most daring imaginations, shared his dreams for another ... life. A life that was not … expected.*

And Javier had something to pin his hopes on (when he did not chide himself for having them in the first place): It was well-known that Renan Fuentes was one of the most sought after bachelors in Tarija - wealthy family, respected, all that -* but he never seemed to have an interest in the girls offered to him, for the obligatory marriage. Even old Don Gonzales had tentatively inquired about Renan (whose father he knew well and who was 'respectable') and, well, Marina - Javier's youngest daughter. The girl needed a husband soon (and to get out of home!). That was for sure.*But Renan did not seem to be interested and so nothing came off it.

But nothing came off Javier's extremely discreet suggestions to Renan either. He tried whenever he was in the bank to get the salaries for the workers, to leave a remark that would somehow indicate a reason that the two should meet privately, since 'they got along so well' during business hours.*Etcetera. Etcetera. There had been many convoluted attempts by Javier at designing the conversation… but each time with no change. Renan seemingly saw right through him, with trained politeness – attractive politeness. But nothing changed.

Yes, the only thing that was sure in Tarija, and in Javier's life, was that nothing much was bound to change at all! And apparently he did not have the guts to change it, or the wherewithal, or both. Sometimes he felt cursed. Sometimes he hated himself. Sometimes he just took Virginia, his favorite horse, for a ride out onto the Great Chaco plains that stretched beyond Tarija and all the way into Paraguay and northern Argentina – in order to stay away for days at a time. And to try to forget that he had to come back.*

But then the war in Europe erupted again and his grandfather's Spain was suddenly threatened and everybody in the family began talking (his family was very good at that) about what ought to be done... and what a terrible, terrible situation it was that nobody, not even the recently-so-mighty United States and England seemed to be able to do anything.*

That's when Javier felt deep inside that he knew what to be done: He would volunteer.*He would go to Spain and fight.


Christopher Marcus is a writer, illustrator and inner city shaman (his secret identity). You can read his free short stories about how to survive a variety of life’s situations at . Chris is also an avid traveler and a great fan of reading and writing about a multitude of things – including alternative history, naval warfare and slightly odd historical events.

Dank and Damp- Re-written by Roiserer

The man had a slight trace of a limp as he walked across the concrete towards the door of the munitions section. He passed by the sandbags, saluted the guard and went inside.

The private at the desk looked up and smiled, then stood up and gave the visitor a smart salute.

"Great to have you back Sargent Major, sir"

" Good to be back Kelsey.," he said, returning the salute. "Get me the figures on the 3.7 ammo, will you? "

"I see you’re getting right back into it Sargent. We all thought you’d want to take it easy until you worked your way back. What's so important about the 3.7 anyway?"

The Sargent Major gave him a look. "I’m fine, Kelsey. I’ve had plenty of time off in the hospital and plenty more time getting used to this new foot of mine. Now be a good lad and get the inventory will you. Those shells are the only ones we have with the VT fuse"

The private dug out some papers from a filing cabinet behind him, and then opened a folder.

"Oh I see. I heard those shells were like magic. All I can say is I’m not getting into any football matches with you and your wooden foot - I bet you can really belt that ball now. I suppose your running speed is not too great but then again no one will want to get in your way either. With that thing you’d end up breaking someone’s leg if you missed the ball and hit'em in the shin. My mother always says that when God closed one door he opened up another. Why I bet that…"

"Kelsey be quiet will you lad? I’m trying to work here," sighed the visitor as he looked down the list…"What’s this?! What happened to all the 3.7 VT fuse ammunition? It doesn’t show up on the inventory sheets."

"Oh most of those were packed up shortly after VE Day and sent off to Devon to be near the live fire sites. Not much need for Archie munitions being spread all over the countryside anymore. It’s not like the Huns had any planes left. Somebody probably thought they needed to be nearer the training grounds. I think most of it went to Okehampton."

"Seems like a strange place to store shells that are sensitive to being damp. I suppose someone must know what they’re doing. Anyway it’s above my station to question the higher ups. Well it’s time to get them out of there and back into the hands of the ack ack gunners. Old Ivan is going to be paying us a visit it seems, and we’re going to need all those magic shells spread around again. Curious … didn’t they have instructions that they were to be keep dry and under no circumstances were they allowed to get damp?"

"Now that you mention it Sargent Major, I do remember something like that. I’m sure they kept them high and dry in Okehampton…hang on, that’s in Dartmoor isn’t it? Rains all the time there. Seems a bit of a stupid place to store ammunition that is sensitive to getting damp. Well as you say I’m sure they know what they are doing. From what they tell me those shells are amazing at knocking down planes. It would be an act of treason to allow them to be damaged if you ask me."

"No one asked you Kelsey," replied the Sargent Major, "Now let’s get going on the paper work. Ivan is going to attack soon: I can feel it."

"But the paper said that the deadline was the 15th of October... "

"I don’t trust that Stalin…never did. Short’uns are always trouble. They said that about Napoleon. My Colonel used to say, ‘Never trust a small man, brain’s too near their arse’. "

Kelsey’s face fell. "That’s not fair Sargent Major. Not all of us pint sized are trouble"

"That’s true Kelsey. For a shorthouse you’re a bloody good bloke."

"Thank you Sargent Major…I think."

The visitor left the private a little nonplussed as he left.