Here is my contribution with apologies for being over the word count.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE – WALTER AND SARAH
My darling Walter,
I dreamt of you last night. Your arms were wrapped around me as we snuggled up in bed, I felt your whiskers gently scrap against my cheek. I heard your snores as you slept peacefully. My tears dried on my face as I fell asleep.
I reached out for you - but I was alone.
I reached out in my mind.
I reached out my love.
I felt my fingertips tingle.
I felt a whisper of breath
It was the lightest of touches, a feather brushing against my lips
I know you felt me.
I count the days until you are home, crossing off the dates on the calendar.
Your loving wife,
My darling Sarah,
My love, my heart.
I only have a few moments. I wish I had longer.
I will not have you crying tears for me.
I hold you tightly in my heart every moment of the day and night.
My dearest Walter,
Every night I hold back my tears. Every night I open a tiny corner of the blackout curtains peek out, one tiny corner, for one tiny, precious moment and send my love soaring across the sky to wherever you are. Keep safe my darling.
Your ever-loving wife,
My Darling Sarah,
This evening we had time for a hot cooked meal. I feel a bit more human now. The rumour is we have tonight to recuperate before we start marching again.
Today was a tough day.
My Lieutenant asked me to go through Charlie’s things ready for him to send on. I steeled myself as I did this last thing for him. We thought he was going to make it but God obviously had other plans for this young boy. I remember he told me his dad was so proud when he joined up but his mum was very cross. Now she has to accept he is gone forever.
Sarah, you must move to the country. The coast is not safe anymore. Stay safe so I can come home to you.
Love you forever and ever.
My darling husband,
We are to be evacuated to a farm at Wells in Somerset. It seems even further away from you, although I know you are thousands of miles away but if I think it is only a piece of sea separating us then I can cope a bit more.
We are only allowed one suitcase. We don't know how long we will be gone for I will work on the farm, probably in the fields. I am not afraid of hard work. I am only afraid of the evil in the world.
I am so proud of you my darling husband and all the men who risk their lives so that we can live freely but sometimes I do wonder if the price is too high.
Do you think I could write to Charlie’s mum? Are you allowed to give me her address?
Waiting forever for you to return.
Love you more and more each day.
Dear Mrs. Jones,
My deepest sympathies go out to you and your husband at this time. My husband, Walter, served with your Charlie. I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you. I met your lovely lad last summer. He didn’t have enough time to get to Wales to see you and his dad so he came home with Walter on a 24-hour leave.
We chatted and drank some tea. He talked about you, he showed me a photograph of you, his dad and his two little brothers. He kept the picture in a pocket next to his heart. He gave me a lovely cuddle as he left, in his farewell embrace I felt all the love he had for his family which I now pass on to you.
I am working on a farm in Somerset so I think of you working on your farm, doing the same chores as I am, waking up early and retiring early, physically worn out.
Let’s hope this horrible war is over soon, they say it will be over by Christmas.
My best wishes to you and your family.
Mrs. Sarah Kelly.
Thank you for your kind words.
I cry every night for my boy.
Mrs. Nora Jones.
We regret to inform you
Sergeant Walter Kelly severely wounded.
Receiving treatment at the Royal Free Hospital.
I will catch the train tomorrow.
I will be at the hospital Wednesday.
I will look after you always.
Do not come.
I came all this way to see you. Why won't you see me?
I love you with all my heart.
I have found some lodgings two streets away.
I will come to the hospital every day until you see me.
Oh, my darling Sarah,
I am not the man I was when you saw me last.
I can't be the man you married.
I won't make you look after an invalid for the rest of our life.
I do love you.
With all my heart.
Darling, darling Walter,
I leave this letter by your bedside.
I know you can't see it.
I know you can’t pick it up.
I leave it with all my love.
I leave it with you for all eternity.
As a soldier you did your duty.
As a man you honoured your country
As my husband you had to go.
As your wife I understand.
As your wife I wanted you to stay.
My heart breaks
My soul weeps
My mind shrieks
I scream in the night
I scream in the daylight
Why do humans fight?
Who was right?
Yours for always and forever.
A month later
Sara sat at the kitchen table drinking tea, the letter box clanged as an envelope dropped on to the doormat. Wearily she rose and picked up the missive. She didn’t recognise the writing, reading her name on the folded piece of paper her emotions engulfed her.
My darling Sarah,
Nurse Jones has kindly offered to write my words to you as the infection has taken hold of my whole body and my hands do not obey my commands.
I have to say goodbye to you, my darling girl, not that I want to but things have taken a turn for the worse. I am sorry for my harsh words. I still believe I was right. You are young and can continue your life. I want you to be happy. I want you to find love again. I know you will never forget me and I will always be there watching over you from afar.
You are the love of my life and now you must find a way forward, give that big heart of yours a chance to love again.
Goodbye, my love.
Dear Mrs. Kelly, this letter may take some time to get to you but the last words Walter said were, ‘Tell Sarah – all you need is love.’
Word count: 1186
Tag line: an abiding love in times of trouble.