It was the time of year when the green turned. Colors of brown, orange, and yellow peppered the landscape ushering in Mother Nature's time for slumber. Soon the months would turn to winter and snow would blanket the land. It was the fall of 1940. Germany's invasion of Belgium had occurred swiftly in May earlier of that year. A small village neighboring the city of Gangelt would soon be spun into turmoil.
The German command declared it to become a base of operations as a foothold over Holland's borders. A young Captain, in his prime, was sent to establish this vital mission and gain compliance from the villagers and townsfolk. A farmhouse was to become the center of his own proceedings and his new home. The German officer would reside within it after seizing control of it from the current owner. If they refused to leave, they could simply serve the German army until such a time it was no longer required.
A motorcade of military vehicles drove through the muddy roads towards the village. An outlay of small homes with smoke billowing to the skies as it vanished when it came to high. Only at the center of the borough did it appear to be somewhat modern. Most of the homes were still modeled after the olden times but in the center, there were telegraph lines and some power poles, though scarcely seen.
The community resembled a time before the great war and before the Great Depression had taken much fortune away from the people. Johan knew, despite his new surroundings, how bad things had fallen in the larger cities but the Fuhrer would restore the commonwealth and bring glory to Germany just as so many were led to believe. The young Captain was one such man. The German officer was in charge of sanctioning the village and its homes for the purposes of the commanding forces he served. His driver continued to drive through the west end of the municipality, eying the residents and their day to day activities through the back window of his car. Many stopped to stare at the vehicles as they passed. Some trembled, some ushered their children indoors, and others even saluted the men who drove by.
Past the village square and further up the paved dirt road, they came to the place the Captain would be calling his home. The old house was a large affair, perhaps the most expensive house outside the hamlet. Johan doubted it even had a modern boiler but it would most certainly do. The structure was well built but still displayed its age. Three stories tall with large windows permitting sunlight to cast through the entirety of the home. A brown barn nearby was no smaller than the house. It would be suitable for his men to rest during security checks in the coming weeks and months.
The German captain laid a large hand against the handle of the black Rolls Royce Phantom's door, slowly lifting it and letting himself out as soon as they came to a full stop. Johan's first step into the open air allowed him to breathe in the scents of nature and the farm. It had been nearly three days since he was last in the open air. The train station from Berlin nearly killed his sense of smell from all the burning coal and discourteous smokers. The unusually tall German captain was pleased to know his smell had safely returned and he could take in deep breaths that seemed to relax him from such a long journey.
This was God's land, he quietly thought to himself. A place where the Fuhrer could reach and make his own but not without the help of the common man. The aromas of hard work from the fields and dedication filled his flaring nostrils and left a breath of steam from his thin lips as he exhaled. The blonde German Captain respected these things and looked forward to seeing more of what the people and the land had to offer. Briefly, he entertained the idea of making it a home if he tolerated the residents enough.
Johan turned back to the extravagant car to secure his black leather bag and his orders, with another step and a twist on his heels, the officer swung back towards the home before he stopped in his place. The blonde straightened his legs and corrected his posture, briefly overlooking his uniform's appearance and waited to see who would come out from inside the dwelling. The blonde had already calculated two responses. One, the owner would graciously take him and his men in; reliving the past and be a part of a strong foundation, or the older woman would deny him out of fear. Not many took too kindly to strangers just walking in and taking over. Long pale lashes blinked as steel blue orbs cleared themselves. The captain looked over to the white curtains of the windows and spotted a tiny bit of movement. He continued to keep his thin lips sealed tightly as the soldier waited to be greeted politely. After all, he understood this was the wife of the deceased Major Bäker. A declared hero after the great war.