Hello Jonathon, and thanks very much for the kind sentiment. Here is a cute story that sort of fits with Halloween right around the corner. This is a longer story and it passed the "funny test" with my son.
VB-Feldpost #1, “The Cemetery Ghost,” pgs 10-13 by Gefr. K. G. Bernhardt
We’d occupied a rest position in Oellville. It was a tiny place with narrow alleys, old and ugly buildings with chipped plaster. The obligatory manure pile in front of every door fit right in the picture. Our squad was assigned to one of the farm buildings. Although the place smelled ripe, our main objective was to rest and recuperate. It felt good to finally have a roof over our heads, and a soft mattress for our weary bones.
We’d turned into quite the warriors. Aesthetics meant nothing, and we’d left our civilian “I” behind somewhere in Germany long ago while stowing our personal clothes. And we learned that our quarters came equipped with a hen house, whose scrawny inhabitants we nursed in the hope of fresh eggs. To us, like all soldiers, the next meal was all-important. Fresh eggs were as good a thing as arriving in the lobby of the soldier’s heaven.
Our quarters, in any case, may or may not have been exactly comfortable, depending on the individual. But there was general agreement that the “Villa Hocus Pocus,” as we later christened it, was downright eerie. This place wasn’t ten paces away from the village graveyard, which was much larger than any small village should have warranted. Unfortunately, our vehicles were all parked in the meadow next to the graveyard. And that, of course, meant nightly guard duty. Otherwise, the locals would have stripped our vehicles bare.
Now, experienced soldiers aren’t easily alarmed by graves, or anything of the sort. But, as luck would have it, we had Jupp with us… always telling his ghost stories. And he really believed in spirits, and the power of the invisible, but all-powerful and secret Otherworld. He knew everything about magic, to the point that some of the guys thought he was cracked. But, as his buddies, we in the squad really didn’t take him seriously.
It so happened that our squad came up for guard duty at the vehicle park on our fifth night in Oelville. As luck would have it, Jupp was assigned to the shift between 2300-0100. We decided to have a little fun with him, and warned him not to try and commune with the spirits of departed Frenchmen. After all, we said, the enemy was still the enemy! Most importantly — and difficult — we kept straight faces. Jupp took it all in earnestly with the demeanor of a man who understood the Otherworld and its’ workings.
The night was black and eerily quiet. In the sky, dark and forbidding clouds towered high. From time to time, the moon would appear through rips in the cloud cover, casting fantastical strips of light and dark. From off in the distance, the rumbling of the front could be heard, dully echoing across the land.
Jupp walked his guard post lost in thought, as befitted a supposed magician of the dark sciences. His gaze was down, and he never cast a glance at the tall, cement crosses in the graveyard. Thirteen times he looped around the vehicle park, counting each round. And then he jumped involuntarily while passing the graveyard. The bell on the church steeple tolled twelve times — midnight. He paced on, each step falling as the bell struck until the graveyard was behind him.
Suddenly a sound from the graveyard! Jupp stopped in his tracks and unslung his rifle, heart beating out of his chest. Holding his breath, he peered intently between the crosses. And then, another sound; groaning, hollow and eerie. Jupp stood there a long while, his mind in overdrive as he swallowed down a nameless fear. Finally, he knew what he had to do! This was definitely a lost soul, trapped between this world and the next. Perhaps it would reveal itself to him.
As the eerie groaning broke out again, Jupp decided to make contact. His voice shaking, he tried to sound as manly as possible under the circumstances: “Spirit, what do you want?”
But the spirit refused to answer. “Perhaps it doesn’t know German,” Jupp thought to himself. Yes, that was it! This had to be a French soul that he’d encountered. Using his best French, Jupp called out loudly, “Monstre, qu’est-ee-que vous desirez???!”
After long seconds, a deep voice replied darkly, as if out of the grave: “I need some toilet paper.”
I’d like to mention that Jupp swore off all attempts at contacting the Otherworld after this. As a matter of fact, he turned all his attention to this world the very next day. And we never heard another peep from him about the subject, and most especially not about the spirits that inhabited graveyards. But, whenever we mentioned the “Villa Hocus Pocus,” Jupp’s face turned bright red, and he would immediately switch to another subject.
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