1917 the 17th of October

It’s 6 a.m. First Lieutenant Armel Truet from the French Infantry Corps is taking a sip of Cognac after a sleepless night. Armel will be leading a 50 men squad to the assault of Hill 217 just up north of Calignac, he is part of the second wave. His friend Jacques was part of the first one who took off at 5.30 under a clear sky and with a full moon in sight. The second wave is also known as the lethal train partly because the effect of surprise has vanished and because the Jerrys have the reputation of being sharp snipers. Three minutes to go according to Armel’s watch.

2017 the 17th of October,

Arnaud Truet is dismounting from his moped and is parking the two wheels road scooter in front of his office, an advertising start up he has founded somewhere in the 5th arrondissement in Paris. A nice, quiet but fancy spot two steps away from the rue Mouffetard the popular pedestrian street that runs almost from the bottom end of the Gobelins avenue almost all the way back to the Pantheon. Just twenty minutes ago Arnaud has given a talk to 30 aspiring leaders at a workshop in the neighbouring 13th arrondissement. 


It’s dark in contrast with the bright open space Arnaud had established his office into, that was the first thought Arnaud came up with when he opened his eyes. His vision seemed slightly blurry on the left hand-side though. For a short moment he considered why his human periscope only allowed him to observe the scene in front of him but noise, a massive headache and a sensation of cold burn monopolized his thoughts.

Arnaud: What is this place?

Armel: A field hospital near Calignac’s front line, it’s a military hospital.

Arnaud: Who’s talking?

Armel: Me…it seems you have invited yourself in my body, I will take the right side if that’s alright with you and before you ask me how come, let me tell you I have seen weirder and more bizarre stuff this year alone. I am Armel Truet by the way.

Arnaud: Truet? That’s my name too, wow such a small world I am Arnaud Truet, Armel you said? That’s my great grand father’s first name, he got missing in action in the first World War just a few months before my grand mother Andree was born, she never met him.

Arnaud: Did you hear this Armel ? They say they are about to operate us, you need to tell them I have high level of iron and I need to take my medication before they do anything.

Armel: I have high level of iron too, in my case its called shrapnel and it just happened this morning, a few gifts from the Germans, a nice collection of pellets expertly planted all the way from my left leg to my neck with a miniscule steel crown located just behind my ears, that one is small but extremely painful. Anyway don’t worry it’s my body, you are a bit tick aren’t you, are you sure we are related?

Arnaud: I don’t know how I ended up here, I was giving a talk on leadership and guerrilla marketing and how you need to be a warrior and here I am. Travelling almost 100 hundred years back in time. Which date is it?

Armel: 17th of October why? Leadership, war and emotions you said, ah yes sounds similar to what we tend to do, in fact most of us do it? 

Arnaud (almost excitedly): Is that true? What is the name of the program?

Armel: Diary that’s how we call it…, I know we are sharing a brain at the moment but surely you don’t come across as you need a full one to function…. 🙂

Armel: Listen, shut up now, we need some rest I think they are talking about a major surgery. We may see each other on the other side.

Arnaud: What do you intend by saying this?

Armel: You will see…….


”What do you mean by where was I ?” answered Etienne

”Yes I mean where was my body the last 2 hours?” frantically enquired Arnaud

”You are worrying me Arnaud you know that!” said Etienne ” but if it does reassure you, let me tell you that you were staring blankly at your tablet with your office door closed.” 

”Can you find me an aspirin Etienne? I have a massive headache and also can you tell the floor staff to tone it down I can’t stand this cacophony.”

”Are you sure you are alright Arnaud, you always tell us you like that noise, having the team on the phones, shouting, arguing and prospecting you say that’s living on the edge, that’s how it should be , you always refer to it as the buzz of life on steroids”

”That’s what I say, really? ”


To my great grand father


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Written Material 2017 Copyright – Pascal Derrien-