Page 3 of 4

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:38 pm
by sharpshooter1
Chapter 15 Part 4
Summary – Endings/Beginnings?
Not true – just spinning a love story
Song ‘Lilli Marleen’ sung by Marlene Dietrich _ who else?

Berlin 1947
Viggo stood at the window nursing a cup of coffee and smoking the first cigarette of the day. He looked out on the grey, jagged, wintry scene; it seemed there was nothing complete or warm left in the world. Everything was broken, everyone maimed in mind if not also body. He was ready to go home, a few more months see the air bridge up and working then he would leave behind his honorary posting with the US army, the hungry faces, the ruins and the looming confrontation with the Russians.

He thought of the pampas and the wide sky, his parents, the horses, time to go home. As always mornings were worst. By evening he knew, understood and fully accepted yet again that Sean was gone forever, but oh that treasured moment on waking before he remembered. That precious heartbeat of warmth, smiling, stretching before the bitter realization that Sean was dead and he was alone.

A small plane on fire last seen over the English Channel heading back to base, then swallowed by history. No grave, just a name and a handful of memories. He took a deep breath and settled his face into its normal mask, firm but compassionate, turned back to his office calling in response to the knock.
‘Come’.
She saluted smartly, a pleasant, smiling girl
‘Colonel Mortensen sir’ then she tucked her cap under her arm, releasing dark, shiny unruly curls.
‘And you are?
Lieutenant Wagerman, sir’
‘Yes, what can I do for you? If it is about more supplies for Captain Michaels’ secret charities you must already know there is nothing to spare at present. We are awaiting the next shipment. The Russians are being ‘difficult’ and it is going to get worse - as your boss Captain Michaels knows full well, I cannot keep diverting supplies to her pet project the children’s hostel. He smiled and added ‘I suppose she thought she would get round me with a pretty new face.’

The young girl was frowning slightly. ‘Excuse me sir, but haven’t we met before?’ He shrugged pulling a folder towards himself ‘ I doubt it and it still won’t get you any further supplies, now if there is nothing else...?’
‘Of course, Long Island, before the war, that dance hall ‘Breakers Beach’ I think it was called. We danced most of the night together. You were there with an English friend, I thought I recognised your name Viggo, oops Colonel Mortensen now, I just couldn’t remember in what context’ she smiled eagerly at him ‘My name is Erica, do you remember me?’ Still smiling she fell silent.
‘No I don’t, so if you have nothing else to say I suggest you return to your patients and your duties’ he replied tersely. White faced she saluted and left.

Viggo yelled ‘O’Donnell’
‘Sir?’
‘I have to go out I’ll be back in an hour, take messages and anyone who needs to see me personally you can schedule for this afternoon or tomorrow morning.’
‘Yes sir’
Out in the cold, under the grey, frowning sky, he pulled on his heavy coat and walked quickly to the little broken park near his office. Hungry birds hopefully hopped around his feet, but no largesse today. Soon he reached the remains of an old stone bench that looked out across what had once been a small lake. Sitting hunched over he lit a cigarette and thought about what had just happened and how he had reacted. He had almost been terrified to resurrect such a precious memory, to feel again the loss and pain. Then he had felt such fury for Long Island was his private memory, belonging only to him and Sean, one of their special places.

He had been shocked that some else held a memory of him and Sean together, for a second he even dared revisit that evening in his mind, Sean smiling back at him, batting his eyelashes and his tongue wetting his lips. Viggo knew he would have to apologise to that pleasant young girl, he also knew he would again betray his love, with, if necessary, a casual mention that his ‘friend’ had died early in the war

Wearily he shook his head; he could only truly share his grief with David, Harry and Meg, such a tiny handful of people. He longed to tell people that he had lost someone he loved very much, a partner, someone he had thought to spend his life with. He longed to say the words, to say out loud the name of his beloved, to tell everyone about the pain caused by finding then losing the love of your life; a love that he had to keep hidden deep in his heart. He sat in the cold, smoking and composing himself then drew a deep breath and carefully relocked the door to his heart. After lunch he would wander over to the hospital with a few goodies, be pleasant and apologise.

Captain Michaels glared up at him, quickly hiding under her desk the food parcel Viggo handed her. ‘Well Viggo what have you been doing to my Lieutenant? She came back here almost in tears; a simple ‘no’ would have sufficed.’ She pointed towards the ward. He found Erica at her desk in the corner of the ward. He smiled, even under her nurse’s cap her curls managed to escape.
‘Miss Wagerman, er Erica ’
Startled and a little apprehensive she looked up at him.
‘I am sorry sir, I know I overstepped the ...’
‘No, it is I who am sorry, you were right, we did dance that night. It is simply I was so shocked to be suddenly reminded of Long Island and those very happy days before the war. It seemed like it was a lifetime ago and it reminded me of friends no longer here and ... for a moment I felt I would betray them by laughing and remembering the good times.’

She nodded and looked down. ‘Yes, it was a happy memory for me too and oh yes trust me I do understand. The burden of remembering and loving the lost is a very lonely and hard duty. Every smile feels like a betrayal’ A comfortable, silent moment rested between them.

‘Miss Wagerman, Erica, may I make it up to you by inviting you to an ‘elegant’ dinner at the mess?’
With a lovely, open smile she replied ‘Please call me Erica and sir, I thank you kindly, corned beef hash and beans, I can hardly wait, I get off duty at six.’

That night they lingered late in the mess talking about New York, Long Island, long gone summer days and old friends. He told her about the pampas and the Argentine, she told him about her family back in New York and how she missed them. They smiled and laughed, for an evening two sad, lonely souls found warmth and comfort.

Chapter 16 Part 5
Summary – As time goes by
Song “As time goes by” got to be the Dooley Wilson version. Casblanca and star crossed lovers – sigh.


New York 1948

In the spring they met up again in New York, Erica admitted she was finding the return to civilian life difficult. Women who had become used to dealing with danger, life and death were expected to head back happily into the office or kitchen. Viggo no longer wanted to live and work in New York he wanted to go home, to hug his parents, to ride, to leave behind the devastating memories of the camps, of starving people, of ruined cities. He wanted to be cleansed by the wind that roamed the plains of his home.

They became close friends, one night she tearfully shared memories of her fiancé, Jim. ‘He went down with the Lexington in the spring of ’42, battle of the Coral Sea. We had got engaged before he sailed, I loved, no, I still love him so much. We were very young and together we planned this wonderful life we were going to have; so many years in front of us, all the usual things; a nice home, children. Maybe we were innocent fools who knows? I am not the same person I was then and now I will never know what we could have had. Yes, he is always in my heart, someone I will cherish, someone I will love forever. I am proud to have loved him, to remember and talk about him.’ She paused and then she gently touched his hand ‘Viggo what happened to your young English friend, I think you miss him a lot. Tell me about him’ she asked softly

‘I do miss him, you know how it is, some friends are very special. Some friends you love, you think they are going to be in your life forever. He was a pilot and he was killed during the battle of Britain. We had lots of laughs and we enjoyed horses, boats and flying – and well we were very close....’ he trailed off.
They sat silently holding hands, remembering and then she raised her glass. ‘To old friends and lovers, may we honour and keep them alive in our hearts’ they smiled at each other and toasted their dead.

He still often met up with David, one evening David cornered him told him how much he had liked Erica when he met her. How good she was for Viggo, how good it was to see him laugh again. Viggo looked at the floor David shook him by the arm saying
‘Listen, Sean loved you and life, he would not want you to grow old alone, his memory to become a bitter frost, a frozen burden on your heart. He deserves better than that and so do you. Remember him but live and be happy. That is how you can love him and keep his memory evergreen, honour his sacrifice. He would have liked Erica that I do know – and doesn’t her honesty and that wide smile remind you just a little of Meg?

Meg wrote to him on the birth of her son,
‘He is a very handsome, sturdy boy - blond with green eyes, he is to be christened Sean Victor. I think you will be happy with his names I couldn’t quite slip in ‘Viggo’ without too many explanations! Mark has been posted to Singapore and cannot get away, therefore Alan and I would love you to be his godfather. We would rather have you here for the christening next month than have a proxy at the ceremony, so hop on a plane or catch a boat dearest Viggo please come.

By the way, David writes telling us you have very nice friend called Erica. Dear Viggo do not close your heart to love, she would be very welcome if you would like to bring her with you.’

A phone call later that night ‘Erica, can you get away and come with me for a visit to England, I know it is short notice but you remember me telling you about Sean? His nephew is being christened, and I have the honour of being asked to be one his godfathers and I would love to have your company, what do you think? Will you come? Please.

The christening was a happy, healing affair, full of tears, hugs and the sharing of treasured memories. Later that month Viggo and Erica were married quietly by special licence in the American Embassy in London. David was his best man and Meg was Erica’s matron of honour. They flew straight back to Buenos Aires, Viggo’s delighted and relieved parents fell for Erica’s smile immediately and organised a huge fiesta to welcome home their son and his new wife. The following year an overwhelmed and delighted Viggo held his son, Henry, Sean, Viggo, Mortensen in his arms.

A few days later he found time to ride out, returning for the first time to the little arroyo where he had danced the tango with his lover under stars. He held out his arms to the wind and twirling embraced the memory of his lost love, whispering that while he would never forget him, life had given him another chance at happiness. He had a wonderful understanding wife and now a son. The wind was warm, gentle and caressing; he smiled and blew a kiss as he mounted his horse and headed home.

The night before Henry’s christening Viggo took his son outside and held him up to the night sky. It seemed right to show his son to the moon, the stars, heaven and Sean, to celebrate his birth under the stars. To give thanks for the happiness he now knew, and to honour again the never to be forgotten night when they had danced under the moon and stars. The warm, gentle breeze ruffled the baby’s hair, dark grey eyes looked up wonderingly at Viggo and a tiny hand reached up to touch his face.
TBC Almost there.

TBC - Hang in there

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:02 pm
by loucifer67
Oh Sharpeshooter you've got me hooked
So sad but I'm hoping a happy ending is immenent
Lou
X

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:50 pm
by sharpshooter1
Trust me Lou - I'm just an old romantic at heart!?!

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:21 pm
by morvgal58
Imagine a snivelling heap, soggy tissues everywhere, nose red, tears won't stop - yup, its me. This is such a beautifully written story, Sharps, I can hardly wait for the "TBC".

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:11 pm
by Way2prickly
whimper....

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:00 pm
by loucifer67
morvgal58 wrote:Imagine a snivelling heap, soggy tissues everywhere, nose red, tears won't stop - yup, its me. This is such a beautifully written story, Sharps, I can hardly wait for the "TBC".
That was me yesterday with the chapter about Sean being presumed dead
Lou
X

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:00 pm
by loucifer67
Way2prickly wrote:whimper....
My sentiments exactly
Lou
X

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:34 am
by sharpshooter1
Chapter 17 Part 5
September 2004
Summary
Song: We’ll met again – Vera Lynn
Not true just spinning a love story

BBC TV studios 2004

Earlier they had discussed the questions that the interviewer would ask and what they would cover, especially the subject matter of his latest book. He now stood quietly between Henry and his god son Sean, leaning on his walking stick, his hand trembling slightly, waiting to go out before the studio audience. Though he was old he was still a fine looking man, tall, elegant with slightly long silver hair brushed back from a sharp planed face, something of an eagle in the clear, steady regard of his grey eyes.

He had admitted to himself that this would have to be his last journey. Two days more and then he would fly straight back to his home on Long Island. He could almost weep with longing for his terrace, his lounger and most of all the view of the sea. The sound of the sea, the connection with the ocean that soothed him, for did not all waters merge and become one in their ceaseless journey round the planet? Therefore did not the essence of Sean still exist in every wave? It was his pleasure to sometimes imagine in the setting sun, the faces of those who now only lived in his heart and in the murmur of the sea. Dearest Erica, David a true friend, good old Harry, his parents, even Meg all gone now. A gentle touch on his arm
‘Dad’ whispered Henry.
He shook his head and became aware of the applause and the interviewer holding out his hand to welcome him, he walked slowly out into the studio lights.
‘Mr Mortensen, welcome back to ‘Behind the Book’ the programme that looks at the stories behind the stories in the books.’ They shook hands. Please...’ the host said indicating the chair facing him.
‘Thank you, pleasure to be here again James’ replied Viggo.
‘Well you have certainly been busy writing since your retirement ten years ago, last year you published a well received book on the importance of the tango to the Argentine nation, called ‘El Alma de mi peublo’ ‘The soul of my people’ and of course your brilliant book ‘Loaves and fishes’ which won several awards. In it you lauded the unsung heroes who after the second world war struggled to feed the hungry in Europe.’ He paused looking across at Viggo to signal they were now going to talk about his latest and most controversial book. Viggo smiled back, nodding.

‘At the end of ‘Loaves and fishes’ you write of meeting your late wife Erica in Berlin, forgive me, but many readers are shocked by the subject matter of your latest book, ‘Media Luz’ which translates as ‘Half light’ in English. This book is also autobiographical and begins before the start of WW2 and ends in September 1940. It is the story of a ‘love affair’ between you and a young pilot who later died in the Battle of Britain, Sean Bean.’ He paused.

Viggo nodded and answered ‘Yes, he was the love of my life, I made myself a solemn promise when he died, that one day I would be able to acknowledge and tell the world about our love. That one day we would not have to hide our love in the shadows anymore; I would honour the great love we shared.’ He paused, blinking back and swallowing the easy tears of old age then sitting up straight again he continued
‘I shared our story many years ago now with both my family and Sean’s family, although Sean’s sister Meg had always known the truth. Some of them were surprised but not angry, disappointed or upset. Indeed after thinking about it and us talking about the love Sean and I had for each other they were happy that this beautiful, loving, vibrant young man whose life was so cruelly cut short had had the chance to be in a relationship founded on love. To be loved. That he and I together experienced that most precious of gifts, deep, romantic love between two people.’

The interviewer leant forward saying ‘I understand that in those times you could both have been sent to prison for having such a ‘relationship’ and indeed you do write about the shadows that haunted and silenced you for so many years. Yet this book is also full of the fun you had in your short time together. The places you went, the people you met. The love you felt for each other and your utter despair when he was killed.

Viggo drew a deep breath and began ‘Times are finally changing. It has been so hard to keep silent and now finally I can honour him and our love. In all this time I have been comforted by a few wonderful friends without whom I really do not know what I would have done. If I can explain, a lot of people simply saw Sean and I as good friends enjoying each other’s company, as indeed we were on one level; they enjoyed our friendship as we did theirs. In those days it seemed to me people didn’t sit discussing themselves so much or pondering deeply on who might be doing what to whom. ‘Sean and Viggo’ were just good friends they enjoyed having around, part of the gang. If they did suspect they never mentioned nor commented. It may have been as long as we were discrete they were OK with it, could be they just liked us for who and what we were. Who knows?
On the other hand a lot of people then as now thought homosexual men deserved prison, even death. Yet so many of their heroes, film stars, writers were and are gay yet forced to hide their loves in the shadows and deny an important part of their identity even their grief. Surely who you love and what you do in your bedroom should not affect your contribution to society?’

He drew breath again then continued. ‘To tell lies and pretend Sean was a good friend and not the love of my life was very painful, I felt guilty as if I betrayed him by my silence, hiding him away in the shadows. Other people who knew about our love for each other, David, Meg, Harry a few very dear friends never saw the need to either condemn or gossip about us. We were so very fortunate to have had the comfort and support of these people. As you can see I have waited many years to be able to get this book published, the law is changing and now finally things are slowly getting better. At least in some parts of the world gay and bi men and women are now legally able to be as they were born to be and to declare their love openly. I hope in years to come this will be normal and not be considered an issue even worth commentating on.’

The interviewer nodded, leant forward folding his hands together steepling his forefingers and pointing them towards Viggo.
‘Yes, I understand, agree and appreciate what you say, but how do you answer the bishops and some of the churches both here and in America, who have denounced your book and urged people to boycott it, burn it etc. They say you are encouraging homosexual relationships and they quote from the Bible citing various unsavoury passages?’ He smiled adding ‘I don’t think they want you in their heaven’
‘Indeed nor do I want to go to their heaven’ laughed Viggo. He paused then began
‘Let me explain what I believe. For me there is only love, I gave my love and shared my soul, heart and body with a man. Some years later I was lucky enough to meet a most wise, loving and understanding woman whom I loved with my heart and body and still love dearly.’
The host waited a few seconds for Viggo to compose himself.
‘But not your soul? He then asked gently.
‘No, not my soul. One of the things we did was share our loss, her fiancé Jim went down with the Lexington, we healed each other, loved each other, when she died a little bit more of me died, she was an incredible, loving woman and may I add the mother of an incredible son.’
‘You seem to dismiss religion and yet you talk of your soul falling in love. What does that mean to you personally?’
‘Most of us learn to love our partners, attraction turns to friendship turns to love, but for some, like Sean and I it seems as if our souls met, we loved each other from the first moment. We did not need to wait or discover if we could be friends or whether we both liked the same food, movies etc. or even if we were compatible. It was simply like the immediate fusing of what I can again only describe as our souls, the deepest, most sacred and untouched part of us, as if that meeting, those few precious months were predestined.

When I met Erica, we became friends first, and then close friends, and then over the years we were able to share with each other the terrible burden of loss and yes the weight of remembering the dead. We fell into a gentle, warm, healing love which I still treasure and although she has been gone five years now, everyday I remember and miss her. The story behind the book is really so simple, an old romantic writing about his first love.’

‘Well yes you do make it sound so sane and simple. As one old romantic to another the chapter where you danced the tango with Sean I must admit it even brought a tear to my cynical eye.’
Viggo looked down smiling; he would keep his own tears for later. The host smiled warmly at Viggo then shaking him by the hand and to the applause of the audience he said

‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have been privileged tonight to talk to our distinguished guest and acclaimed author, Viggo Mortensen’
The camera then panned to an easel holding a large poster for the book. The cover showed a black and white photograph of two young, handsome men, smiling in the sunshine of more than sixty years ago, Sean’s arm negligently resting across the back of Viggo’s chair, the book’s title in black Courier print ‘Media Luz.’

‘Uncle Vigs you knocked it to them, good for you’ said Sean as he hugged him.
‘Dad, I am so proud of you’ Henry repeated several times kissing the top of his father’s head.

Chapter 18 Part 7
The white cliffs of Dover
September 2004
Frank Sinatra? Maybe?
Not true just spinning a love story

Henry, Sean and Viggo drove down to Dover the following morning. It was a pilgrimage Viggo made each time he came to England. Staying outside the busy port town in a small country hotel, driving out and enjoying the country side, a good lunch then late afternoon to the cliffs to stand and stare out at the English Channel and spend a little time thinking about a pair of green eyes and a killer smile.

Sean drove the winding lanes in the mild September sunshine talking quietly to Henry. Viggo, a blanket over his knees sat in the back craning his neck and staring out from the car windows up into the sky. In his imagination he saw the white trails looping and the tiny silver planes writing death across the sky. He sent love from the very depths of his soul to the ghosts of all those lost young men, no matter whose side they had been on..

They stopped for lunch; a breeze had started to cool the fragile September warmth.
‘You sure you want to go to the cliffs today, it’s getting a bit chilly. Maybe tomorrow morning when you are not so tired’ suggested Sean.
‘No, I’m fine I just need a few minutes there. Tomorrow early, we will leave for London, I promise’ replied Viggo.
‘Well, if you’re sure, come on Sean I’ll drive now.’ said Henry.
A little later Viggo sat on his favourite bench over looking the town and the English Channel. It was quiet, very few people around; a few seagulls circling and plaintively calling, the air was now autumnal cool and damp. Henry tucked Viggo’s scarf warmly around his father’s neck,
‘Five minutes Dad, just going with Sean to that burger van to get some hot coffee for you then we are going to go straight back to the hotel. Get you warmed up and have an early dinner. Good bottle of red should do the trick’ He held his father’s hands gently rubbing them ‘Your hands are so cold put your gloves on, that’s right, there we go. Nice and warm now. I’ll back in a few minutes’ he dropped a kiss on his father’s head and walked briskly across to Sean.

Viggo sat and watched the grey, sullen sea, the sun had disappeared. He thought of his dear Erica dead these five years, then as always, his mind turned to Sean, to that magical time they had spent together, those few months that had had to last him a lifetime.

Song? Come fly with me – Frankie of course

The clouds must have broken a little to let the sunshine through; he felt the warmth and vaguely heard the sound of an engine. Time stretched then dissolved; and in the golden warm light he saw an arm around his shoulder, hugging him, warming him, an arm with perfect golden hairs catching the sunlight. A soft voice remembered in the recesses of his mind for over sixty years whispered to him
‘Come fly with me’ he looked up into that smile and those loving green eyes
‘At last’ he murmured, happiness filling his heart he turned his head into a well remembered kiss.

Sean finished paying for the coffees and he and Henry turned from the wind and lit their cigarettes.
‘Be the last time over here for Dad’ Henry commented as the over full plastic cup he was balancing spilled hot coffee onto his hand then suddenly distracted he looked up. ‘Look at that, the sun’s rays where the cloud has broken through it’s really beautiful; can you hear that plane engine it seems very low, very close?’ He said looking around.
‘Yes, sounds like a small plane’ replied Sean looking around then up at the sky. ‘Sounds like it is heading back out across the channel, will you look at that? Look there it is, what is the crazy bugger doing?’ he added pointing as the tiny plane did a victory roll, then shimmering in the last rays of sunshine it vanished into the clouds. They both turned at the same time and caught sight of the figure now slumped on the bench; dropping the drinks they ran the few yards. Weeping, Henry cuddled his father into his arms, burying his head into the still warm neck. Sean knelt and held Viggo’s hands, then touched Viggo’s cheek garnering with his finger tip a solitary tear and touching it to his lips. Henry sat up and kissing his father’s face he noticed the gentle smile on his father’s lips. They looked at each other and smiled through their tears.
‘You heard that plane, we saw it touched by the sun, saw that victory roll then it vanished, do you think, is it possible..?

fin

***Coda***


Long Island June 2005
Mad about the boy ~ maybe try the Greta Keller version this time?

The moon stood still, filling the sky with pale almost transparent light and the sea endlessly, romantically, whispered its message to the sand. On the terrace Sean and Henry stretched out on their loungers, drinking, talking, watching and listening to the sea. It was quiet, just them; their wives away for the night in New York on a visit to the theatre.
Sean sat up suddenly and looked around, listened then asked
‘How often does it happen?’
‘Just now and again, especially when the moon is full and the sea is calm’
They raised their glasses ‘Viggo and Sean’ they toasted.
Then they sat in silence and listened to the echoes from a time long ago and far away, the sounds of laughter, a piano and a wistful voice singing ‘Mad about the boy.’

Fin
Hugs to all - S x

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:41 am
by loucifer67
Bravo Sharps
Im weeping here
So So lovely that they were reunited
Beautifully written

Hope you'll post more of the same

Lou
(Your official cheerleader)
xx

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:05 am
by Moominmamma
Oh Sharps! I am typing through the tears again. This story is so very bitter sweet and ablsolutely lovely! abighugs_gif

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:29 am
by sharpshooter1
Lou, Mooms - bless and thank you so much for your kind comments and support. Very happy that you enjoyed this piece.

I wrote 3 'War' stories -
WW2 UK/US "Mad about the boy" ~
WW1 France "L'accordeonist" ~
WW2' Denmark. "Perchance to dream" ~
If I remember rightly I posted the other two to the TMB fan fic section several years ago. I'll have a look and check.
:smile:

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:45 am
by Way2prickly
Bravo!!!!!!!

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:40 pm
by sharpshooter1
Thanks W2P for sticking with it, much appreciated. and I hope you enjoyed the ending and it didn't disappoint. Hugs :smile:

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:59 pm
by morvgal58
Sharps, I'm crying my eyes out here. What a beautifully written story - all the way through - but the ending was so poignantly lovely that it will haunt me for a very long time. Thank you so much.

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:12 pm
by celyse92
Sharpshooter - Just started reading, in the middle of finishing up some work I should be doing :roll:
and it's unfortunate because I'm hooked into your writing. It's simply clever and beautiful. I will continue to read!