The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

Disclaimer: This is a mature story and contains graphic sexual content. If you shouldn’t or don’t want to be reading it, go away. The events and locations are loosely based on historical ones, but all characters are fictional, and any similarities are coincidental. Contains: FD, MC, and MF.

Author’s Note: I wrote this story for the Arena’s monthly contest last December: “Revisionist history.” Entries were to be based on historical events that that occurred in the month of December, and I combined it with a holiday theme. By the time I had edited it into a final product it was no longer the appropriate season for the story. This year, I just plain forgot about it until the last minute, and now it will be only slightly less late. Oh well, I hope you’ll enjoy anyway. Feel free to direct comments and feedback to:


By: MCaesar

Excerpts from a diary among the personal effects of Corporal Arthur Ward, discovered in his Portsmouth home after his death in 1973.

I suppose that I had better keep a diary, for my own sense of posterity at the very least, but more likely as it might be of some use to me in later years when I am composing the memoirs of a war hero. That’s right, I’ve enlisted! Mother bawled like a babe when she embraced me, and Father beamed as he shook my hand. Oh, how proud they were! Their oldest boy was off to save the whole damned Empire!

It’s been barely a week since I signed up, almost a week until my twentieth birthday, and I’m already shipping out with the 2nd Gloucestershire Regiment. The officer in charge of our outfit is Captain Herbert Goodwin, a great, grizzled bear of a Welshman. He is possessed of a singular fire for “honor and glory,” which he instills quite easily in the men around him. Just as we were embarking upon the great ship that would deliver us to the Continent, to my surprise, Capt. Goodwin called me out of the ranks.

“My boy! Ward, was it?” he bellowed from beneath his thick mustache.

“Sir?” I asked, unsure of what he might want.

“It seems, Ward, that the brass-hats have neglected to furnish the Regiment with a full complement of officers before shoving us out. I find myself in need of an adjutant, and Ward, I’d like to promote you for it.”

I can’t say, one way or the other, what about me it was that impressed him, nor have I any idea what duties are entailed by such a position, but I will not be found wanting!

France is a magnificent country, from all I’ve seen during our posting here. It hardly seems like a nation under attack. We have not seen any battle ourselves, but it appears that will change soon. I’ve passed Capt. Goodwin reports of attacks and counterattacks over the past few days, and we’re mobilizing northward. It seems our army and the Huns’ mean to flank one another. Well, the lads and I will not be beaten to the punch!

The brave Captain himself prefers to spend his time among the men, tending to their morale himself, rather than exercising the privileges of his station. It is a habit that has earned him much respect among the troops, and my own admiration of the man increases daily.

We’ve settled into our lines here in Belgium. Men are working on the trenches as I write, even though the brass-hats tell us not to get comfortable.

“They say if we get used to these holes in the ground, we’ll be too cozy to get up and charge,” said Capt. Goodwin. “Well I say we’ll show them how the men of the 2nd Gloucestershire account for themselves, either in the Belgian dirt, or on the Kaiser’s doorstep!” As with nearly all his oratory, this was met with a hearty cheer.

Even so, we’ve had a rough time of it. With every push north, the Huns met us, until we’d all but run right into the sea. Near Ypres was the worst fighting, fighting even now I balk at the thought of recounting. I know I write for posterity, but I’m not sure some of the things I’ve seen should ever be known by civilized men.

Winter is coming. Its cloying sting is being felt by every man on the line. It’s a daily challenge just to keep all of one’s toes, whilst still keeping one’s head below the trench at the same time. More than a few of the men have failed at one or the other.

There has been one avenue of escape, though. Capt. Goodwin is to attend bi-weekly meetings at the command post in Armentieres, the town nearest our position. And as his trusted adjutant, I accompany him. He must find the professional atmosphere of these conferences terribly stifling to his own boisterous nature, as I am often required to manage the entirety of his affairs, while he spends a minimum of time necessary.

And after the appointment, the Captain loitered in town to meet some of his officer mates at the local café. They reminisced about fighting the Boers and boasted the valor of the men under their command. They are a close group, and I felt quite out of place in their midst, so I excused myself and headed across the street to a bakery.

When I first entered, I found the shop deserted. “Hello?” I called. “Is anyone here?”

“One moment, Monsieur,” came a feminine reply from the back room. A moment later, the proprietress came out with a plate of fresh éclairs. Their fragrance made my mouth water, and it waters even now from their memory. In fact, it took me some time to realize that she was addressing me again. But for all their warmth and sweetness, the pastries paled in comparison to their creator.

“Is zere somezing I can ‘elp you wiz, Monsieur…” I looked up at the woman who was, by my estimation, not much older than me. Her curly, golden blonde hair was wrapped up in a functional bun, which almost did less to hide her beauty than the apron wrapped around her full figure.

“Umm… yes… I’d like one of those actually,” I managed to say.

“Right away, Monsieur…” she said, offering her hand.

“Ward,” I replied, taking her hand and kissing it. “Arthur Ward, with the Expeditionary, though I’m sure that’s fairly obvious.”

“Yvonne Marceaux. A pleasure.”

While she wrapped up the finest of the batch, I wondered aloud, “So you own and run this whole shop by yourself?”

The vitality of her green eyes was replaced by a deep sadness. “Oui. My ‘usband and I came ‘ere from Paris. We opened zis bakery two years ago, after we wed. ‘e went to Antwerp to visit ‘is brozer last month, and…”

“And he fell in the siege.” We’d heard rumors of foul play behind German lines, heavy Belgian civilian casualties, and the propaganda maintained they committed daily atrocities. But I had never put much stock in them before. The Germans were still men after all. Now I’m not so sure.

Having nothing else to say, I collected my éclair, bade her good day and rejoined the Captain. We returned to the regiment by nightfall.

I’ve long had a taste for sweet pastries, and it may be the harsh contrast of conditions in the trenches, but the confection from this little shop was the greatest delight I’ve yet tasted. I slept through an entire night in the dugout for the first time, I believe, because of it in my belly.

Very little has changed since we arrived in Belgium, except that it has gotten colder every day. If only Capt. Goodwin’s speeches could light fires in the dugouts like they used to light them in our hearts. The waiting wears even on him.

“This is no proper war,” he often says. “In a proper war, you see your enemy, he sees you, and you then can get about the business of trying to kill each other. Like gentlemen. None of this blasting away day and night with artillery from miles away, or a gun for two men that can cut down a hundred. It’s unsportsmanlike.”

We’ve taken losses to all manner of horror, and have reason to believe we’ve inflicted the same on the enemy. Every time the whistle blows, and the order “over the top!” goes out, every man feels both dread and hope that this will be the last time. But we are repelled and repel them in kind. I’ve begun to fear that none of us shall ever return home, not even the dead. Men freeze where they fall and we dare not retrieve them.

Still, I return to Yvonne’s bakery twice a week to spend my soldier’s salary on her goods while assisting the Captain. Capt. Goodwin has taken to visiting the wounded at the hospital erected in town, which affords me more time to converse with her. At first I feared I’d wounded her by reminding her of her loss, but she’s since become accustomed to my visits, and greets me cordially. We discuss a great variety of topics; from where we hail from, our parents’ exasperating habits, our favourite wines. Even sometimes the war.

I confide in her the thoughts I sometimes have in the trench, thoughts the other men would call me a coward for thinking. And I am unburdened a great deal in doing so. To me she sometimes recounts the virtues of her late husband, to keep his memory alive, I suspect. Unfortunately, she does not seem to share my relief.

The tactical meeting started late in the day, but was mercifully short. I’m beginning to believe that even the upper echelons are getting restless, despite the relative opulence of their accommodations. Morale among the ranks is sure to rally when the men are delivered their Christmas rations: A small box of chocolates bearing the Princess’s likeness and some tobacco. Many of them have also received packages from their families filled with all manner of trinket, clothing or foodstuff. Mother sent me a package of biscuits and Father included a small, sturdy shaving mirror, with wishes that I “keep tidy, even if you need to use your bayonet.” They also tell me that Peter and Teresa are in good health and send regards to their elder brother as well.

I helped the quarter master load up his mail cart to bring back to the front. When I had finished, around dusk, I found Captain Goodwin again occupied with his friends, so I once again went to see Madam Marceaux. At first it appeared that the shop was closed for the holiday, and I was much disheartened. But a faint light flickered in the window behind the shop, so I knocked on the door. A minute later she emerged.

“Monsieur Ward, I see you will not be deterred,” she said.

“The promise of another treat is what keeps me alive, Madam,” I said, grinning.

“You flatterer, Arzur.” She invited me inside, and led me to her modest home adjacent the shop, where she had the kettle on. “I knew you would not be satisfied leaving empty-‘anded. I made some English tea for you, so you might feel more at ‘ome.”

I thanked her profusely and was quite impressed with its quality. It was the best tea I’d had since leaving the Motherland. I offered Yvonne a biscuit my Mother had made, and asked for her professional opinion.

“Not bad, needs more sugar, I zink.” We laughed until she perked up. “I almost forgot, I ‘ave somezing else for you, Arzur.” She rushed back into the shop and came back with a small parcel. “Merry Christmas! Zey are ze finest batch of profiterole I’ve ever made.”

I put one of the delectable-looking rolls in my mouth, and I was inclined to take her word for it. “Madam, these are so good, I fear I may devour them before I even leave,” I said. To prevent that, I put the rest away so that I could eat them on a cold night watch in the coming days, when my need of comfort would be far greater.

But then my mind turned toward other comforts. I took her hand in mine and met her eyes. “Yvonne, I… thank you. Thank you for… for your kindness… for being my strength. I’m not sure I’d have made it this far without you.”

She smiled weakly and lifted her hand away. At length, she said “Bonne Nuit, Monsieur Ward, and Merry Christmas.” And with that, she blew out the candle and left me alone in the room.

I had barely any time to even contemplate her reaction before I heard Captain Goodwin’s roar. “Ward! My boy! Time to get back on the line!” I had no choice but to stuff the package into my coat and leave.

By the time we returned, the men had all received their gifts, and spirits were quite high. And flowing, as several of the gifts included favoured liquors from home. Capt. Goodwin thumped a flask against my chest. “You’re on watch, my boy. Have some brandy. It’ll keep you warm.” I looked down at the flask, thought about my day, and took a long draught.

The watch started as any other. Some of the other men smoked and chatted, but I wandered up and down the trench for a while, alone with my thoughts. I couldn’t say how long I brooded, but something changed that caught my attention.

The guns had fallen silent. The artillery of both sides had been filling the air with distant, or not so distant, thunder every moment of every day since we dug in. It was so omnipresent that it was now conspicuous only in its sudden absence. An eerie silence filled the space left behind. The other men had noticed as well, and had halted their conversation. We exchanged nervous looks, and I crept up to the edge of the trench.

A sound came wafting across no-man’s land. It was very faint at first, but it grew louder and clearer with every passing moment. It was singing. Soon the whole of the German line was singing. Caroling, no less! What a wondrous thing! Though the words were in German, the tune was unmistakably “Silent Night.”

I reached into my coat pocket and produced my mirror. Lifting it above the edge, I saw lights in the reflection. Unable to stop myself, I lifted myself up and peeked over. I often forgot how close they were to us, no more than 50 yards in some places. I could clearly see that the lights were candles, scores of them. And every one was fastened to the branches of tiny evergreens. Christmas trees! The bloody Huns were decorating! I could scarcely believe it.

Then there was a new sound. An English voice had begun singing. My voice. The other boys around me immediately joined in. We sang together, Brit and German, and I felt such an upwelling of… well, I can only call it genuine goodwill. It seems a little absurd, thinking back, but here we were with the enemy, both equally miserable and mortal, both more god-fearing and in need of cheer than we’d ever thought possible. For a while we traded carols and cheers, and holiday greetings.

Even when I was relieved, and going to sleep, I still wasn’t convinced I wasn’t dreaming. The singing continues even now, as I’m overtaken by true dreams, dreams of golden curls and dancing éclairs.

I awoke Christmas morning to the sound of laughter. Had I not experienced the events of last night first hand, I wouldn’t have believed what I saw. The trenches were empty. Jovial voices came from beyond them, so I climbed up over. I saw men from both sides conversing and laughing. I heard Capt. Goodwin’s booming voice carrying over the normal din and I followed it to find him and a few other Englishmen chatting with a pair of German soldiers and an officer.

“…So I say to Manfred,” the officer said as I approached, “’Fokker? I just met her!’” It brought fresh waves of mirth from all present.

As I neared the group, Captain Goodwin spotted me. “Merry Christmas Ward, my boy! It seems while you were sleeping peace has broken out! Get over here and meet these despicable enemies of ours.”

“Yes sir,” I said saluting the German officer, “Second Lieutenant Arthur Ward, sir.”

The man, probably in his 30s, tall and slender of build with thick stubble covering his strong features, returned the salute crisply. “Hauptmann Frederich Antlitz, Sixth Army, of the 37th Saxon Division.” Smiling, he extended his hand, and I shook it.

“So Mister Antlitz…” I ventured, ”what brings you fine gentlemen to this part of Belguim?”

The soldiers chuckled, and Antlitz mocked nonchalance. “Oh, ze usual sings, Herr Vard… ze rich history, ze vaffles, of course, but recently zer have been some obnoxious Englishmen who von’t let our dear Kaiser vacation in Paris.” Capt. Goodwin howled, along with all present, and slapped me on the back with a force not entirely necessary.

So there we “fraternized” for the better part of the morning, in defiance of all modern notions of military discipline. By lunch, someone had produced a football, and the two sides were in a rather haphazard match. I myself joined for a while, mostly to get some feeling back in my toes. After an hour or so, Capt Goodwin called me over again.

His look was more somber than usual. “Ward,” he said softly, “I’d like you to grab a few of the men and organize a burial detail. I don’t see us getting many more chances like this to bring our boys back.”

I did as he asked, and despite having the most recreation that would be available to them for some time, I found no shortage of volunteers. It was a grisly and sobering task, but one that any one of us would have appreciated were it us lying there, exposed in no-man’s land. Everyone took turns; while some made merry, others tended to the dead. The Germans followed suit, having as many to bury as we did. We even traded manpower and tools when needed, to aid one another in clearing the field. It took until dusk before we reached the end of our labors.

The sun was sinking below the horizon behind our line, and the men of both sides had all returned to their trenches for the evening. All were still cheerful and eager to examine or consume their gifts in earnest, either the ones from home or goods they’d traded from the enemy. I made one last venture out into no man’s land to make certain we’re recovered every last of the fallen.

To my relief, I found none, and was prepared to return to the trench myself. In the failing light, though, I could see a small red glow ahead of me. When I got closer, I made out the figure of a man sitting on a blasted stump.

“Ah, Herr Vard,” said the figure, in the voice of Antlitz, “Good to see you again.” As he took a long drag of his cigar, the ember brightened enough to see his face. “Care for ein cigar?”

I accepted one and leaned in when he followed with a match. It felt warm and smooth in my chest. “Everyone’s been accounted for on our side.”

“Und ours,” he replied. Another drag illuminated him, and I noticed him staring at a small photograph clutched one hand. It was of a woman holding a small child.

“Do you have a family vaiting for you in England, Herr Vard?” he asked.

“My parents,” I replied, “and a younger brother and sister.”

“Mein Mother passed ven I vas born. Mein Fater raised me alone in Berlin.”

I gestured at the picture. “And them?”

He sighed. “Mein vife, Helena. And mein son, Karl. In two veeks, he vill be two years.” There was a long silence before he broke it again. “Is there ein Fräulein as vell, Herr Vard?”

I thought for a moment. “Not in England, no.”

“But elsever?,” he asked, some amusement in his voice.

“In the town behind our lines,” I confessed, “I met the owner of a bakery, a Frenchwoman. But she’s a recent widow, and… well, she still mourns him, I’m afraid.” Suddenly, I remembered the cream puff in my coat pocket. I pulled them out and handed one to Antlitz. I had one myself, feeling the warmth they retained from being held against my chest.

We ate them in silence for a few moments. “Delicious,” Antlitz finally said. He put his photograph into his pocket, and pulled out something else. “Here.”

I held out my hand and he placed in it a pocket watch. Its polished surface gleamed in the moonlight. “Are… are you sure, Mister Antlitz?”

“Ya, Herr Vard, I vant you to have it. Besides, mein Fater is a watchmaker. I can alvays get anozer. In fact, zer vill be a new one to commemorate our victory ven I return home, I’m sure.” We both chucked. “He made it for me ven I first left home, just before I met Helena…” I couldn’t be sure, but it appeared his smile widened in the darkness. “It’s alvays brought me good luck.”

“Against the likes of the German army, I suppose I’ll take all the luck I can get.” We both laughed. He stood and I shook his hand again. “Merry Christmas, Mister Antlitz.”

“Fröhliche Weihnachten, Herr Vard.”

And with that, we both parted and returned to our respective sides of the conflict.

We made our first trip back into town today since Christmas. It seems the brass-hats in command were furious that we should celebrate with the Germans instead of kill them. Captain Goodwin received a stern talking-to, but he convinced them that discipline was maintained, and that the men were still in fighting form.

I visited Yvonne’s shop, but found it closed. There was a note on the door, and I accosted a citizen to read it for me, since it was written in French. He told me that it stated the shop would be closed for the New Year while the owner was visiting family in Paris. Having no choice, I rejoined Capt. Goodwin, disappointed and empty-handed.

I awoke in the field hospital in Armentieres yesterday. I was told a shell landed in my section of trench four days ago, and I had been comatose since then. My arm is in some pain, as I must have landed on it, and I’m sometimes struck by dizzy spells, but other than that, my discharge appears forthcoming.

The only event of note was when Capt. Goodwin came to visit me. “Is laying about all you’re good for, my boy?” he laughed, handing me this diary, and some other effects. “Thought you might want to tell your folks someday about how you landed on your arse.” He also showed me the small wound on his arm. “Shrapnel from the same shell as what knocked you about,” he explained. “It stung like a bugger, but you won’t find me in a bed for it. After all, what would the men think?”

And though I’m sure his concern was genuine, he did also leave me with some documentation that had accumulated in my absence. One paper among the stack was a notice of mobilization, rotating our regiment to a different region, farther to the south. One of the upper echelons still had misgivings about our ability to fight the German troops we’d met face to face.

I began the day feeling somewhat reinvigorated. Or perhaps I was merely restless from sitting on a cot all day. I even felt well enough to assist the medics with their rounds. It was usually grisly work. A common joke in the trenches is that escaping the mud and the cold for hot meals and a bed off the ground might be worth taking a bullet. But injuries like mine that can be shrugged off were few and far between. All too often, they were merely a slower death sentence.

After the better part of a day helping him with his other patients, mostly by holding them down, the doctor attending me discharged me back to active service. When I had gathered myself and stepped outside, it was almost dark again. Snow fell sparsely, threatening to blizzard at a moment’s notice.

“Arzur? Is zat you?,” asked a voice behind me. I spun around to face Yvonne standing beside the hospital entrance. She was shivering, and she looked like a wreck.

“What the devil are you doing out here, Yvonne?” I took off my overcoat and draped it over her.

“You didn’t visit yesterday, and I ‘eard you had been wounded, so I came to see you. But when I got ‘ere, I… I couldn’t… If you ‘ad been…” She was clearly distraught, so I pulled her close in a warming embrace.

“It’s alright. I’m fine. Nothing serious at all.” This calmed her somewhat, enough for me to face her again. “Will you be alright? I have to report back to-”

“No no. You can’t go back tonight. You will never find your way in ze snow. Please, just wait until ze morning.”

“But where will I stay?” I asked her. “The hospital is overflowing as it is. My cot’s already been given to another wounded man.”

“I can make a place for you in my ‘ome. Please just spend ze night zere.”

“Very well,” I said after thinking it over, “Fine. We’d better get you out of the cold.”

We reached her house behind the shop after dark and once she let me in, I set about lighting the hearth. She took one seat beside the fireplace and I took the one opposite once it was lit. The warmth and light put us both at more ease, and when I felt she had recovered, I ventured to ask her about her trip home. She recounted a solemn affair, her first holiday with her family since her husband’s death. There had been talk of her selling the shop, a thought that clearly pained her, but one she could find no argument against.

When she asked about how I spent my holidays, I told her all about the events of Christmas Eve and Day, to her unconcealed wonderment. She seemed much amazed and a little smug when I told her how much Antlitz enjoyed her cream puff.

“Did ‘e give you anyzing in return,” she inquired. Suddenly remembering, my hand grasped at my coat pocket, and I felt a lump within.

“Actually, he did.” I reached in, and pulled out the pocket watch. In the firelight, I could see it more clearly. It was golden, or at least gilded, and engraved with very intricate patterns, a dizzying display in the dim light. With the cover flipped open, I also noticed that it was stopped. Of course it was, I though, I hadn’t wound it since I had received it. I gave it a few quick turns and held it up for Yvonne to see.

She leaned in, peering at it intensely. “It’s beautiful, Arzur.” To our mutual surprise, the outer casing, as well as the open face of the watch, started to move. Each was made up of several moving parts, each in its own separate motion about the surface. I lifted it higher by the chain, to see it better. We both gazed in amazement at the watch for a while, in awe of its elegant movements.

“Now that is quite remarkable,” I said. “It’s quite a beautiful watch isn’t it?”

“Oui...” Yvonne replied, “beautiful watch…” I was so engrossed myself that I didn’t notice the strange tone of her voice at first.

“And the way it moves, it’s almost… what’s the word… mesmerizing.” I looked over at her, to judge her reaction, but she was still fixated on it completely.

Her mouth very slowly formed each sound. “Mes… mer… izeing…” I could make out the slow heave of her chest with each long, lazy breath. The only way I might have known she wasn’t sleeping was her eyes, which were only half-open, but still followed every imperceptible shift of the mechanism before her.

Her behavior was somewhat perplexing. “Yvonne, are you alright?”

“Alright…” she parroted.

“No, I mean are you feeling well?” I asked, becoming more concerned.

“Feeling… well…” It was becoming increasingly apparent that something was awry.

“Yvonne, look at me.” I tried not to betray my alarm. “How do you feel?” She tore her gaze from the watch, with some difficulty by the look of it, and smiled dreamily at me.

“I feel… good… wonderful…”

This only confused me further. Could the watch be responsible? “Are you sure? Why? What’s making you feel this way?”

Her smile broadened slightly. “I am wiz you, Arzur. I am no longer alone.”

This took me aback. She must have been terribly lonesome these past months, I realized, more than she could allow herself to show. Whatever the watch had done to her, she was now baring her true feelings. I’d never seen someone so vulnerable. Vulnerable to her innermost self… and to me.

I fought a long battle in that moment, but ultimately, I must confess, my chivalry failed me. The fact of the matter was that I’d been lonely too. And having what I wanted most right there in front of me… well, not a man alive would have… could have done differently.

“Yvonne,” I said, my voice wavering, though she likely didn’t notice, “come here.”

She stood, gradually but gracefully, and crossed the space between us. I myself rose, in more than one sense, to meet her. She merely waited, looking at me with eyes that pleaded, but only barely seemed to see me.

“Turn around.” My voice carried an authority that surprised me a bit. It felt strange, taking command like that, but the more I thought about it, the better it felt. This one time, in this world gone mad, I had the reigns. And I would wield them.

I began unbuttoning the back of her dress, and I lowered my head to kiss her neck. Her hair smelled of fresh bread. With every kiss and button undone, her breath caught in her throat. When it came out, it was ragged, and filled with expectation.

The dress fell, and my hands, moving as though of their own accord, made even shorter work of her undergarments, exploring her curves as they did. I sat back down in my seat and drank in her exquisite form. “Turn back around.”

She did, and if I drank before, now I feasted. It may have been the scents of the bakery that permeated her home, but my mouth was watering. And a new scent began wafting to me; a faint but unmistakable feminine musk. Even in the soft darkness, I could see her skin flush with excitement, and her proud bosoms swelled with each inhalation, aching to be touched.

“Down,” I said. I wasn’t exactly sure what I meant by it, but she seemed to take a clear direction from the order. She knelt and parted my knees. Then, her eyes never leaving mine, she deftly opened the front of my army trousers. I felt the brisk air creep about my protruding member, but I also felt a heat beating against its surface from the crackling hearth. Or perhaps it was radiating from the woman before me.

Yvonne’s eyes begged my approval, and with gulp and a nod, I gave it. Her face drew close to my lap and a slender hand delicately clasped the base of my manhood. Before anything else, she closed her eyes and breathed deeply, taking in my scent. She appeared quite intoxicated by it, and when she returned her gaze to mine, it blazed with desire. That gaze turned back downward, so I laid my head back to enjoy what was to come.

I didn’t wait long. I first felt Yvonne’s soft lips press against the head, yielding to it and engulfing it as she continued downward. How slowly, how deliberately she went, and such care delivered by her tongue! It elicited a coarse groan of my appreciation. When I was almost fully enveloped, and as far as I suspect was possible, she withdrew with equal gusto.

For languishing minutes she attended me thusly. I placed a hand on her head, not really to guide, but to run my fingers through her soft hair. In my other hand, I inspected the watch again. It was of remarkable craftsmanship, and the complexity of the mechanism obviously exceeded my own understanding. I’d never decipher it under such… distracting conditions. As if to emphasize, I glanced down to find Yvonne staring intently at the watch as I held it, even while servicing me.

“Mind your work, dear,” I chastised playfully.

“Oui… Monsieur,” she said between sucks. Her hands also busied themselves, caressing and fondling, squeezing and stroking. The suction and frictions of her mouth and hands drew me with alarming speed toward my crest. “Stop, Yvonne. You can stop now.”

She did, somewhat hesitantly, and stared up at me. Waiting, begging, desperate for any purpose which might please me. It struck me that my own satisfaction was, in this moment, her sole ambition. And I decided that if that should be the case, nothing should satisfy me so much as to please her in turn.

I rose from the chair, and divested myself of my remaining uniform. “Come,” I said as I beckoned her toward her own bedroom. Silently, gracefully, expectantly she followed. We didn’t even make it to the bed before I took her in my arms. We kissed, and for those moments, there was nothing else.

The first thing I was aware of after that eternity was her hand, again stroking my slick manhood between us. Even when consumed by passion, still she thought only of my gratification. Well, I was not to be outdone!

I flung her onto the bed, to her mild surprise. When I knelt between her legs, she made to come attend me again. With one firm hand on her torso and another on her thigh, I held her down. “No, I want you to enjoy this.”

This alarmed her for an instant, but then she nodded, reconciling my wish to please her with her compulsion to please me. She lay back, giving me consent to her body.

I planted kisses and licks up and down the length of her body, stopping to tend to her breasts, her neck, and her inner thighs. By the time reached her womanhood, she was writhing against both my arms and my orders not to intervene.

When I thought she could take no more, I made ready to enter her. I whispered in her ear “Do you want this, Yvonne?”

“Oui, Arzur. S-so much,” she gasped.

And with all the permission I’d ever need, I thrust. She cried out, I grunted, and we were as one. Our pace was unhurried at first, taking our time, but stopping for nothing, not ever her repeated climaxes. But as the minutes passed, control of my own animal urges slipped from me. I rutted furiously atop her, and she delighted in my abandon.

I came into her, in a manner most ungentlemanly as I remember it now, thought such concerns were far from either of us at the time. Both of us called out to the other in the peak of our ecstasy. Bucking with each burst of my seemingly infinite seed, I persisted until I was utterly spent.

I collapsed limply on the bed, without even the strength to draw myself out of her. Yvonne appeared similarly drained, her breathing heavy, but already calming. As wakefulness ebbed out of me, the last thing I heard before I slept was a breathless murmur.

“Merci, mi amour.”

I awoke to Yvonne’s smiling face above me. “Good morning, lover,” she purred. Much has been said of the Frenchmen’s prowess as lovers, but her expression told me my performance had been more than comparable.

Smiling back, I kissed her. “Good morning to you. What happened to us last night?”

“I don’t know, Arzur. Somezing wonderful, I zink.” To my bewilderment, she seemed entirely disinterested in what might have caused her behavior last night, and all conversation on the topic faltered. Another mystery of the watch, I suppose.

My second realization, however, sobered me. I rose from bed, and began gathering my clothes.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“The hospital sent me away yesterday, so if I don’t report soon, I’ll be charged with desertion. Captain Goodwin may be fond of me, but he’ll still shoot me if he needs to. ‘Discipline and honour must be maintained, my boy,’ he’ll say.”

She giggled at my imitation of the Captain, and then sighed. I could hardly bear the pain with which she asked what she needed to ask. “Will I see you again, Monsieur Ward?”

I thought about the question, about the orders, and about what awaited me on the battlefield. I knew what she needed me to say. “Of course you will,” I lied.

So that’s how I left her, with a promise to return that I had little chance of keeping. It weighed heavily on me, but the alternative might have crushed what little hope she had left. The march back to my position was the most difficult, loneliest walk of my life. It took something rather loud to snap me out of it.

“Ward! You’re back on your feet, I see! I was beginning to think I’d need to shoot you for desertion.” Capt. Goodwin gave me a firm handshake, then a smothering hug. “The courier reported you were due back last night, but I figured with the snow and the local lady you were last seen escorting home…” he said with a wink, “I’d look the other way this time. Preparations are already underway to move out.”

The regiment arrived back in Ypres just in time to participate in the planned offensive. It has been so long since we were here. The landscape is unrecognizable, a muddy, cratered hell. Every square inch had been shelled, without pause, for each of the 30 months we’ve been away. Though the Germans were dug in, we managed to push through.

It was mid afternoon, and we secured the forward trenches, abandoned before our advance. Amidst the corpses and debris made by our big guns, I saw something pinned under a rifle, fluttering in the breeze. It saddened me, since I doubted its owner would have parted with it while he still lived. But I couldn’t leave it there, so I put it in my pocket.

Nearly all of the progress made in the past four months has come to nothing. The battle lines are the same as they were when we began. The only gains were made by the crows.

For our regiment, this battle is over, as we’re to be held in reserve for now, off the line. We stopped in Armentieres to resupply. It feels like a dream, to be walking its streets again. I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years… Hardly anything has changed here at all. An unfortunate amount has changed with us. Seeing the town again has brought back difficult memories of happier times, when the Captain was still with us. Other memories as well…

There’s something I need to do before we move out again.

Other items found in the same trunk as the diary included a First World War infantryman’s uniform, a canteen, and a photograph of a woman and a child. Written on the back of the photo is “Helena und Karl, mein Leben und Leiben.” All were donated to the Portsmouth Museum of Military History by his wife Yvonne for their “Christmas Truce of 1914” exhibit. The pocket watch mentioned is believed to be in the possession of his great-grandson, as per the family tradition of passing it to the first son on his 18th birthday, begun when Arthur gave it to his first son, Herbert.