The sun rays are shining down on the streets of Rotterdam, to be precise piercing through the debris, to strike the blood doused ground. Not more than 23 minutes ago, the Dutch troops had everything under control and were defending their port from the German forces. Buildings were reduced to ashes and the bombings had set the sky ablaze. Human remains were left scattered, thousands were dead in a war they weren't fighting. Amidst the commotion, a lad of 19 years, with cobalt teal colors on his chest was crashed against a collapsed bookstore.The badges on his uniform were slightly visible as the blood gushing out of his arm was drenching him, he could breathe for only a few more minutes. Those around him were all dead, he knew the air in his lungs wouldn't be enough to take him miles in search for help. He was bound to breathe his last, and what broke him more was that he had orders to be delivered to the navy regiments to hold their fire till further directives. The river of Meuse was now in red, he recalled his captain's unwavering words,
"Till you catch a glimpse of your nation's flag high up in the blue yonder, don't let your guard down."
those words made him want to fight till the last beat. He had no enemy around, no army to fight, no strength to pick himself up, yet he wanted to fight. He was helpless, clutching on to a piece of crippled paper, with most certainty held his last command. No longer could he hear the air raids, or the emergency sirens. He wanted to ask forgiveness, he wanted to apologise to his mum for not being able to return home to take her out to the annual fair, in the nearby town after the war. As a young child, running in his grandpa's barley fields, searching for the perfect apples to take home for the supper's apple pie and listening to the old tales of Lange Wapper were what made him wonder if he could too cross towns in a leap. He wanted to become a baker and start an outlet to make his mum's stroopwafel recipe famous.
Appointing time:14:30, 8th May 1939, Amsterdam
were boldly written in the letter, he received just a month after his 18th birthday. He was called to defend his country in the world war 2. He was given a Dutch mannilicher, a service riffle to take down anyone who went against the colors he wore. Horror struck he was, the day he killed a man who tried to save his nation. Though Netherlands was neutral in the war, it didn't stop the Germans from invading, the war became intense and even barracks were attacked. Thousands of civilians dead for the aspirations of a few, who were oceans away from the mayhem.
*the last bomb was dropped to destroy the Dutch naval base*
The loud thudding of the ground made him shudder and he let out a faint cry. He could feel his body getting stiff and numb, he coughed to let the oozing blood out of his throat. He leaned his head back, his eyesight was fading and a tear rolled down his cheek. His eye caught from afar a group of soldiers running towards the ruins, the heart of the city was in. Slowly a few started running in his way. He clutched the paper tightly in his fist, though it was of no avail, he knew he would discharge the duty he was given. He slowly closed his eyes. A week later, his mum got a letter about her dead son, Ruben who died on 14th May 1940, in an air raid by the Germans on Rotterdam.
A memorial for those who lost their lives in Rotterdam bombings is found even today in Netherlands. Millions of teens who lost their lives in both the world wars might have had dreams of their own.
You're a leftover, a broken shard of nothingness, pilled up in a corner to home dust. It's comfortably numb in the dark, no longer you have the need to cross collapsed bridges or search for hope in hollow tunnels. You want to break the Gremlin rules you set for yourself during the early hours of the day. Feeding the raging hell within you past midnight is what you call surviving. It only wants to lick your open wrists and consume every cell in your wreaked body. It just isn't one of those days you fight for a better you.
The band plays on. Long haired singer, no longer twenty, the lines of experience now covered by a beard, belts out a lament of Glory Days. The drummer keeps the beat after all these years, guitarists still rocking back and forth in usion. Nothing has changed, only the public's whims.