By 1918, Europe had spent over four years embroiled in the Great War. This terrible war to end all wars had consumed an endless stream of men—all shot, gassed, or obliterated by artillery in the trenches. Dieter, a German farmer, has no idea how his sons met their fate. He knows only that they are dead, and his wife, Gerda, refuses to accept it.
After he brings home a golden bird, still miraculously alive after being rescued from an iron box, Gerda declares she will go find the truth about their third son, Karl, whose body was never found. In a desperate attempt to keep his wife home, Dieter volunteers to search instead.
The bird guides Dieter safely to the front, but once they reach the battleground, they find only chaos. Exploding shells pepper the muddy ground as far as the eye can see. The fighting is so savage and constant that many bodies are never recovered for burial.
As his chances of finding his son’s grave tumble from slim to none, Dieter becomes trapped on the battlefield. It seems likely he will share his sons’ fate.
But the bird has other plans…
Note to readers: This is a novelette, about one-third the length of a short novel.
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About the Author
Cathleen Townsend discovered fairy tales as a child and never outgrew them. She lives in California gold country with her husband and two dogs, as well as a horse who’s firmly convinced that he’s the real top dog and a cat who’s sure he can take on any dog, anytime. Cathleen can be contacted at cathleentownsend.com, and she tweets @CathleenTowns.