⌈ PLAYER SECTION ⌉Player:
Private Message; plurk: emperorpyrrhusAge:
24 Current Characters:
N/A⌈ CHARACTER SECTION ⌉Character:
Soldier’s HomeCanon Point:
Harold had originally started off as your typical, well-to-do, young man. Born and raised in an Oklahoman town by a stay at home mother and a realtor for a father, he did not grow up wanting or as an odd duck for the time. Eventually he went on to graduate from high school, and then went on to continue his education in a Methodist college. The story does not give us any information on what he had majored in; however it can be inferred that Krebs appeared to be well on his way to living a successful life.
Now comes the period that would haunt him for the entirety of his life. It was never really stated what had prompted him to join the United States Marines in order to fight in Europe during the First World War. Though it may have been both the pressure of friends, as well as the draw from Allied propaganda being shipped State-side. Either way it was stated that Krebs had joined the fight right after the United States had declared war on Germany and her allies. Despite his short term in the Armed Forces he had found himself serving in some of the bloodiest battles that Marines have ever fought in; Belleau Wood, the Argonne, Saint-Mihiel, Soissons, and Champagne. After the war almost all of the American Expeditionary Forces had been sent home except for a few. Krebs, it seems, had been one of the few to have stayed behind as part of an occupation force. Staying in Europe for a year longer before finally forced into an Honorable Discharge and sent home. By the time this occurred he had reached the rank of Corporal.
Once home he seemed to have lost all motivation and drive that he had once held. After the war he did not return to college, and instead went on to live with his parents and two younger sisters. During this time he had begun to fill his days with reading, playing pool, practicing the clarinet, walking around town and watching pretty girls from the other side of the street. After an undetermined amount of time, however, it appeared as though his parents had enough. Eventually his mother managed to break through to him and prompted him to search for work in Kansas City. What happens afterwards is up for debate though, as any future actions are not made known.Personality:
Harold is a rather complex character who can be viewed as many things; from shy, to strange, to depressed. Always doing his best to keep away from contact with others; he may be observed as being strange and lazy. Having found it difficult to speak about his time in the military to others, he had found himself to begin lying about what he had done and seen; realizing early on that no one quite cared about any stories that didn’t involve either brave heroism or the evils of their perceived enemies. Lying also didn’t sit well with him either, growing disgusted by doing so and finding it pointless he eventually stopped talking about the war altogether. Add to it that he had been seen as coming home late, while most of the rest of the towns enlisted had already returned to great fanfare, well those who were able to return. Eventually he grew distant from others, including his own family. For him, it seemed as though the world no longer cared about him, or those like him who had gone off to fight.
Haunted by what he’s seen and done, as well as the lack of (helpful) assistance and interest from others, Harold no longer feels like he belongs in the society that is trying to force him to conform back to what he was before he had left. It was foreign, changing rapidly and the world had moved on without him. He has grown to find it stifling and filled with lies and pointless and complicated rituals. To those close to him, that really know what he was like before he went to war, one could easily state that he has changed greatly. And why wouldn’t he have changed?
Having been in some of the most heated battles of the war would have left him both mentally and physically scared. Having not only served in the military, but also faced some of the most horrendous combat situations, Krebs would be physically scared, as he is emotionally. Guns are loud, and so are explosives, his hearing is most likely not what it was when he first joined. Additionally he most likely has many other scars from either fighting or from chemical weapons (the Germans had used mustard gas on US forces in Belleau). His time in the military has caused him to become distant, stuck in the past shut in and to develop a sense of pessimism that has caused him to seek a life without worry.
Krebs is trapped with what he had gone through and had found only brief solace whenever he met another veteran, someone he can relate to and fall back on what he had been reprogrammed for and never able to leave behind. It’s stated that he further that he enjoys reading history books about the war whenever he could find them, and that he looks forward to when books with maps are released. This points towards a desire to rationalize what he had been part of-- to help give a feeling of meaning to it all.
To put all of this into a greater perspective, the narrator of the story states that Krebs does like to look at girls that he would like to have a girl, but that he doesn’t think that he really needs one. But that he would like to have one if he didn’t have to work to get her. It goes on to say that all of the girls had grown up and become women, illustrating change in an otherwise unchanging society; and his dislike for having to talk to them, to work for a relationship is due to the complexity of it all. From his perspective, relationships are political and social affairs, that he felt were filled with lies as much as they were filled with change and complexity. Complexity, change and lies that Harold finds difficult to cope with, or care for. As stated above he wants a simple, quiet life; not one filled with drama or conflict.
Of course none of this says that he hasn’t attempted to seek help, or assimilate with society. He has, and he has also attempted to come to terms with what he had experienced and move on. As I already stated, he had tried to talk about the war before, what happened and all the things that occurred. But due to no one wanting to listen, and the dislike and futility of lying that had caused him to stop talking about the war, and grow a dislike for whenever someone tries to make him talk about it.
In perhaps the most heart wrenching moment of the story he reaches out to his mother one more time as she tries in vain to get him back on his feet again, she being one of the few people who can probably understand what he had been through (it’s mentioned that Harold’s grandfather had fought in the American Civil War some fifty years prior). For just a few moments he tries to reach out and seek help, though in a subdued and biting manner.
After being prompted by his mother, who says that, “There can be no idle hands in His kingdom.” Krebs is prompted to state, “I’m not in his kingdom.” A rather profound statement for someone who has grown up in a religious family, going so far as to join a Methodist college; it is also an obvious cry for help. Because of everything that he had gone through, everything that he had seen, he no longer feels as though he was part of God’s kingdom as he knew it; as his family knows it. His mother grows more desperate and asks whether or not he loves her. Krebs says no, that he no longer loves anything. His mother breaks down and cries; realizing that she doesn’t understand, and the fault in his words, Krebs relents and apologizes.
The incident drives home his thoughts, and what he was going through. He doesn’t believe anyone can help him, because very few can understand him and what he had gone through. Leaving him feeling lost, helpless and alone.Abilities:
Nothing that a normal person can’t do.Alignment:
This was quite a harder to choose than I had anticipated; Krebs can fit many of the others easily. However given everything that he’s been through as well as is going through, his own feelings of anger and grief could give way to feelings of fear. Fear for himself, and for the future.Other:
Things that are head canon; though I attempted to keep it to a minimum I do have to inject in certain points.
Physical scars and bodily damage: while it’s not explicitly stated that he has any, odds are high that he has sustained bodily damage during combat. Chief among these would be hearing damage, gunfire is very loud and explosives can be even louder. Having artillery going off, grenades and bullets flying everywhere, and even more terrifying sulfuric mustard gas, injury is high.⌈ SAMPLE SECTION ⌉General Sample: Ongoing threadEmotion Sample:
Presently Krebs had found himself sitting on a bench next to a tree filled with birds and flowers at its base; a pretty sight where he had decided to sit himself and rest for a moment.
Since he first arrived Harold has found himself with more time to think and be alone than he knew what to do with. Yet back home this was something that he had wanted somewhere far away, peaceful and where people would leave him alone. Somewhere that he could live without any trouble or hassle. But yet it was also because of this that his mind would occasionally revert to darker thoughts.
Horrible, terrible thoughts that he wished to be rid of; they made him feel weak, powerless….and afraid.
As he began to slink deeper into his memories until at last one leg began to shake and bounce with apprehension, his teeth biting down hard onto his lip until blood was drawn and his eyes closed tightly. No, he can control it, suppress it like he’s done before. But for a place that feeds off of a person’s thoughts and inner most emotions it wasn’t as easy a thing for him to do as it was back home. He couldn’t lie; he couldn’t hide it or escape it.
But he tried still, and with a few deep and slow breaths, he calmed himself. “Not now, not now….” He muttered through his clenched teeth.
The wind died and the birds in the tree stopped chirping as leaves fell onto his head. Behind him the bed of flowers had wilted, and the grass retreated far away from him. This distressed Harold enough to the point where he stood up swiftly and began to walk away from the area.
He was going to have to find something to occupy his time with—before the blackened thoughts returned.Questions: