Short story 3

“Well if they are going to start bombing around here, don’t you think it would be a good idea to rent a cottage in the country, like Devon?”said Maggie. Her sister Nell nodded her approval, so they set off; Maggie, Nell and their two children Mary and George for a small wooden cottage in Dawlish Warren.

The day after their arrival they caught the train for just two stops to Teignmouth to provision their temporary home. They had not gone far down Teigmouth High Street when there was a loud clattering. A Meshersmit roared up the road machine-gunning, and so low you could see the pilot as he turned to come back and do it again again. A sailor grabbed George and pulled him into a doorway.

It seemed an age but it was only a quarter of an hour before the “All Clear” sounded and they emerged to see Mary and the two adults come out from the alleyway opposite.

George’s mother chuckled, “That was a close run thing.”

“Let’s get our shopping done quickly and get back to our cottage,” said Aunty Nell.

They walked down the hill to the T junction at the bottom of the street, popping in and out of shops on the way, purchasing bread, butter, milk tea and some bacon. There there was a National Canteen, a lorry with drop down sides, served by the WVS, where you could buy a cup of tea for a penny and coffee for tuppence. They called it coffee, but it was a sticky brown substance to which you added hot water.

They all had tea and discussed the exciting interlude, then made their way back to the station.

The station was not there. There was just a mound of rubble. ARP wardens and rescue personnel were digging people out of the pile.

It was the first time George had seen dead bodies!


Fill out the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.

Thank you, Keith Beal