Here I am doing that thing I sometimes do with posts that are supposed to happen on a particular day, and writing it on the next day, my excuse being I live in one of the earliest time zones in the world, so in most places, it’s still the day before. Mostly because I wanted a particular photo for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, but it was really one I could only get this morning (it’s the one just below there).
Today is ANZAC Day, the 98th Anniversary of the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the beach at Gallipoli and thus became involved in the First World War effort. Though it is the Anniversary of that particular day, it has come to commemorate Australian men and women who have served in all conflicts, past and present. When I’m not writing, I work at the Australian War Memorial, so today is kind of a Big Deal. Sometimes my work can be a bit boring, sometimes it’s gut-wrenching (like when you come across service records with lines like “Cause of death: Slit throat (self-inflicted)”), but most of the time I feel proud that I am helping to tell these stories.
But what does all this have to do worn WIPpet Wednesday? Well, in describing what Cait and particularly Felipe witness while at war in A More Complicated Fairytale, I drew a lot on things I’ve learned at the AWM and I think my writing is all the richer for it. Therefore in honour of ANZAC Day, here are 24 lines (since this post is disguising itself as a Wednesday post and yesterday was the 24th) from a relevant scene in AMCF. Felipe has been at war because every 21-year-old in the Kingdom, princes included, are required to do 12 months of National Service and Cait, realising she maybe likes him a bit more than she’d care to let on, enlists as a nurse. Also, this scene will probably explain why Felipe was walking with a cane in that WIPpet from a few weeks ago. 😉 Oh, and Cait keeps asking patients who come in about Felipe, which had led to her kind of developing a reputation as a royal family fangirl.
[Felipe] was alternating between attempts at stoicism and raving from pain. A bandage covered a large section of his torso; one side of it was blood-soaked, indicating exactly where his wound was. Another was wrapped around his left leg.
“Felipe?” Cait whispered. “Felipe, can you hear me?”
“Someone get her out of here,” the Matron barked angrily. “Caitlin, just because you have some fixation with the prince does not give you any right to -“
The Matron trailed off when she saw the way Felipe’s hands suddenly gripped Cait’s and his eyes opened, recognition dawning as he focused his gaze on Cait’s face. “Cait?”
“Yes, I’m here.”
He tried to smile, but it came across as more of a wince. “Am I dreaming?” he asked, his grip on her hand tightening.
“No, you’re not.” She squeezed his hand back.
“Then what are you doing here?”
“Well, someone had to come out here to keep an eye on you, didn’t they?”
He gave a small laugh, and then winced again. “I know I’ll be all right now.”
Cait nodded, biting her lip. “You’ll be fine.”
And with that, I shall leave you, because it is now half pay one and one been awfully procrastinate-y today, so I really should go do some wiring, particularly as my nose hours traveling to Such ney and back only resulted in a few paragraphs. I’ll catch you all later!