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Author's Chapter Notes:

I know I've been slow on the updates recently, sorry!

Chapter 21

They may have won the latest battle against the Germans - or at least the ones who’d pulled up outside the barn with their mounted machine gun - but it had come at a terrible price.

Not only were there two of his men lying dead, but Eric was so severely injured that Kevin didn’t hold out much hope of him surviving the next few hours, unless they could somehow get away from the barn with him and find a doctor. It didn’t seem likely though. Where would they find a doctor out here in the sticks? They’d had no radio contact for a while, and felt a little bit abandoned.

“We have to move, we can’t stay here a minute longer. What if more Germans arrive?” Brian exclaimed, his stomach still a little queasy.

“He’s right y’know” Nick agreed as he double checked for a pulse and sighed when there wasn’t one. “How about we take their car?”

“What? Are you serious? We’d be better off staying on foot and keeping a low profile.” Kevin said, although after a few moments’ thought, Nick’s idea didn’t seem quite so bad. At least it would be easier to transport Eric.

“We could do it…even if for just a few miles” Howie agreed and Alex and Brian nodded their heads in agreement.

“We could wear their hats, no one would ever know” Nick grinned at his own cunningness. As long as they didn’t come across any other vehicles, then nothing could go wrong.

They dragged the bodies of the dead Germans inside the barn so that they were out of sight from any passers by, even going as far as to cover them with hay. Once they were happy that they were well concealed, the men grabbed the German hats and their possessions before climbing into the car.

“Why do you think they were all the way out here?” asked Nick curiously. “It’s not as if there is anything worth their while out this far, just derelict houses and a couple of scattered farms.”

“My guess is they were either looking for deserters after a tip off, or they were hoping to skive off duty for a day or two” Kevin surmised. “I don’t think they were expecting anyone to actually be there”

As they drove cautiously along the country road, the men talked quietly whilst keeping vigilant. Where they hoped to find a doctor, they did not know, but if they didn’t find medical attention soon, Eric would die.

They drove approximately ten miles before Brian saw a glint of something in the distance.

“I saw something up ahead. I really think we need to get off the road now” he warned as he kept his eyes on the object he’d spotted.

Kevin pulled over into the grass and drove as far as he could, before the trees became too dense to pass.

“That was a close call!” Howie exclaimed as three German vehicles rumbled down the road, just moments after they’d sought shelter. Luckily they hadn’t seen the car they’d stolen, and had carried on driving.

“I think we’d better travel on foot and off the road” Kevin suggested and met no resistance from the others.

“What about Eric?” Nick queried as he got out of the car and joined Kevin as he leaned against the front bumper.

“We’ll have to make a makeshift stretcher and carry him” Kevin rummaged for materials which could be used. By now Eric had lost consciousness and was laying limp in the back of the car, he looked deathly pale.

“According to the map, if we travel through the forest we’ll reach Ramelle quicker than if we continued on the road” Howie traced his finger over the map, showing the others the route they needed to take.

“Then that’s what we’ll do” Kevin decided.

Once the makeshift stretcher was constructed, they carefully lifted Eric out of the car and placed him in it, but they’d been too late. Eric was dead and there’d been nothing any of them could’ve done to prevent that from happening.

Two days into their journey through the forest and the men were not only running short on food, but their water supply had gone. With no radio to the outside world the men felt alone in this foreign land.

“Would anyone really notice if we just disappeared?” Alex said the words which Nick and Howie were also thinking. “No one cares about us; we’re here in this fucking forest with no food or water…for what!”

“Where would we go? Unless you didn’t notice, we’re miles and miles from anywhere” Brian held out his arms and looked around at the trees as far as the eye could see.

“We’ll get to Ramelle, we will find the rest of them” Kevin said with confidence.

“I wish I shared your optimism” Alex shook his head.



“I miss him so much Elena” Juliet sobbed to her older sister, dabbing her eyes with her handkerchief.

“I know, but they’ll be home soon” Elena consoled her sister. She understood exactly how she felt as she was feeling the same way about Nick. Elena didn’t like to voice her real fears, but after the death of Jeremy and her brother, Elena couldn’t help worrying that Nick and the others would come to the same end. She hated to think of him in such a hostile environment and couldn’t bear to think of the atrocious things he would have to endure.

“I hope so” Juliet sniffed.

“So do I” Elena murmured.