Private Hermann lived alone in his bunker for a few months. He lost contact with his division. He had split the skull of his companion, Private Friedrich, with an ax, after a quarrel of which he no longer remembered the beginning. He remembered the heat, the darkness, the fear of the enemy, the anger that rose like a desire to vomit, screams, blasphemies, that's all.
He spent his days watching the deserted beach through a loophole. In the evening, he ate canned food, and then, until dark, walked along the concrete walls of his room, fumbling, as if searching for a way out, until he fell asleep. Sometimes, in the darkness, he stumbled over the overturned body of his companion and friend. But more often than not, there was this unsurpassable wall, cold and rough. Where does this wall come from, he thought, how is it that I can touch it, why does it stand against me ? In his confusion, he imagined that there might be something behind the wall. It excited his imagination and haunted his dreams.
On summer nights, the vault of the sky above the ocean was studded with small diamonds. The sound of the waves barely covered the sobs of Private Hermann, cloistered inside his dark bunker overlooking the beach.
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