A nomad, a renegade, a wanderer, Rainer Battlefled is a man with many names. Previously a German soldier, Rainer flees the battle, taking the name Battlefled and tries starting a life away from the fighting. This turns out to be difficult when his face is on thousands of propaganda poster, all through Europe.
Rainer Battlefled, the name of a coward, the heart of a champion. Rainer Battlefled, a man with ambitions, a man with insight. Or just a lousy young man, depending on who's eyes you were looking at him through. He always tried avoiding people's gazes. He wasn't different. Rather he was painfully ordinary. Almost to the point of being boring.
He spent his life waiting. Waiting for the rain, waiting for the storm, waiting for action. He ran, trying to keep fit. He lifted, trying to gain. He ate, trying to maintain. Sometimes he'd even take a midnight walk around town. He'd hear the sirens, but he wouldn't see the source of the disturbance. He'd listen to his own footsteps, wishing he were somewhere else.
Sometimes he'd walk in circles all night. He'd walk until he was shaking from the cold air. His eyes were bloodshot when he came home to his apartment. His fingers blue.
Rainer Battlefled didn't go to school. He only moved. Slowly, like a sloth. Even while running, his movements were unnaturally slow. His characteristic slow pace was known throughout town. When people heard the sluggish footsteps against the pavement, they knew it was Battlefled.
It was a morning like this Rainer was waiting for the train. He had a backpack over his shoulder. Rainer was slightly hunched over. Looking at something on the ground. It was a poster on the ground. On the poster he could see a face. While he looked at the face he touched his own. He felt the stubbles, the roughness. Looking at the poster he heard someone coming up behind him. The person tapped him on the shoulder. He froze, stepped on the poster and looked behind him. His shoulders could relax when he saw the baker smiling at him.
"In all my years in this hole of a town, I have never seen anyone staring as longingly into the distance as you do. And finally you're deciding to travel, after all these months." Rainer tried smiling. "Are you leaving us, Battlefled? Are you fleeing before the war comes?"
"It's time to move on," Rainer said. The baker nodded.
"Take this, you'll need this. The world outside in dangerous." The baker handed him a piece of bread from his bag. Rainer thanked the man and put it under his arm.
"Where does your path lead you?"
"Berlin, London, Dublin... I don't know."
"Don't you miss your home?" Rainer felt his heart sink as he though about the hamlet he once called home.
"Home is wherever I roam." The baker nodded. He looked down at his pocket watch. The next train for Bordeaux would arrive in a couple of minutes. Rainer had taken the time to memorise every departure from this lonely French country station.
"Bordeaux is waiting," the baker said. Rainer nodded. 889Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡSWuTQJazhA
"Take care," he said, watching the baker go towards the platform. Just as he had suspected, the train was running a bit late.
Rainer looked down at the poster again. He wondered where it came from, and how it had ended up here. He crouched down, and picked it up.
He looked at his own face. A much younger face, but still his. He was smiling, his eyes as blue as the ocean and short, fair hair. So much had changed. So much would never be the same.