By Visage

A very short idea inspired by the recordings home in "The Big Record" with no actual mention of anything to do with the episode. No profit is being made nor infringement intended.


He slowly slipped a single sheet of precious writing paper out from the stack in his foot locker, careful not to wrinkle or tear it. He turned back to his bunk and settled in, a book in his lap to use as a desk. He smoothed the sheet out with the back of his hand before picking up his pen. With his very best handwriting, he scratched a greeting on the top of the paper in the top left hand corner and the date on the right followed by a short introduction.

He sucked in deep breath through his nose before letting it out through his mouth. He clenched his fists together, trying to calm the tremble in his fingers that pulsed up his arm and made his legs and stomach weak. Though a very small thing, there were lots of ways this could turn out. In no less than seven eventual outcomes he pictured himself against a brick wall while twenty one guns saluted him.

A small thing, but necessary. Very necessary, firing squad or no. He shook his head and brought his pen back to the paper.

I know this is slightly unorthodox. But I also know that you are not always getting a full picture. I wanted to assure you that all is well here. While food may not be of the best quality, there is enough to go around. There is a lot of hard work to perform, but we make sure that everyone is safe and treated well. We have had very few injuries and sicknesses, and even fewer losses.

His eyes traveled up to the ceiling in thought as he tapped his pen on his chin. There was so much to say, but even more that needed to be left unsaid. Hopefully his reader could read between the lines and make up the difference.

It is because of this man who runs this camp by his actions rather than in title. He inspires the best in all of us and looks for what will protect the most men, even if they are not necessarily wearing the same uniform. He is brave and smart and inspiring. I have no doubt you are proud of him. It is because of this that I write. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to daily life here. But I for certain know that because of him, this war WILL come to an end.

He took a deep breath, knowing this last line could be the proverbial nail in the coffin if anyone other than his reader should see.

Please know that while he does his best to look out for the men of this camp, I will do my best to look out for him. I will do everything in my power to make sure he comes home.

Sergeant Hans Schultz delicately drew his signature below a closing salutation, ignoring the squeeze of his heart. For all the times he swore he knew nothing, this certainly was declaring something. Once the address was on the envelope there was no turning back.

He reached down to his foot locker once more and retrieved two envelopes. The first he addressed to his brother in Zurich. He was still producing toys out of the Swiss Branch of the Schatze Toy Company, untouched by the problems in Germany. By first sending his letter there, disguised with his regular correspondence to his brother, his true note would be free from censors to reach his intended reader. It was the least he could do for the man who saved his life more times than he could count.

On the second envelope he wrote the address he had memorized from the last batch of letters that had come in, hoping it reached its intended person and no one else.

Mrs. Hogan
13 Willow Court
Bridgeport, Connecticut USA

Schultz folded the paper and placed it in the envelope before sealing it in the first. He held it close to his chest, his eyes squeezed tight in prayer. "I promise to return your son to you, if it's the last thing I do."