Free Spirits


Thanks to Roger Bultot for the photo this week and huge thanks to Rochelle who continues her amazing balancing act – author, artist, Fairy Blogmother…

6 May

Copyright Roger Bultot

Genre: Family History

Word Count: 100

Free Spirits

‘Will you catch one for me Fred, please?’

‘They’re wild birds Florrie, I can’t catch them.’

‘Oh, please get me one Fred, please.’

That night he made a small cage and hung it from a branch of the apple tree.

‘That’s as close as I get to catching one for you, sis.’

The soldiers lined up early next morning. Fred looked very smart; my ma cried at the sight of him marching away.

‘Don’t forget to check the cage Florrie,’ he shouted.

‘I’ll check it every day till you’re home.’

I never caught a bird.

Fred never came home.

 

 click Mr Frog for more stories.

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10 May 1933


Well I’m back from holiday, feeling refreshed and relaxed, so bring it on!  I missed you all last week, and your stories.  Internet connection was spasmodic to say the least.  I hope you all had a good week.

In answer to Rochelle’s photo prompt this week, two stories popped into my head. I’ve gone with the stronger of the two.  Thank you as always to our gracious hostess Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her patience and unfailing encouragement.

Copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

10 May 1933

‘Come with us, it’ll be fun. We can get rid of all those books we hate.’

‘I don’t hate my books, how can you hate a book? Some are difficult to understand, but burning books, whatever are you thinking?’

‘If you don’t come, they’ll know.  All students are expected to be there, they’ll give us books if we don’t bring our own.  It’s time for a change; we are to be re-educated, the Propaganda Minister has said so, he will be there in person.’

Werner watched the burning with great sadness, fearing the world would never be the same again.

 —————————————————

Historical Note: On the night of May 10 1933, an event unseen in Europe since the Middle Ages occurred as German students from universities once regarded as among the finest in the world, gathered in Berlin to burn books regarded as being ‘UnGerman’…  Visit The History Place to read more

 

Read more great stories here,

In Harms Way


My thanks to Rochelle for her photograph this week and for the continued support she gives to all the Friday Fictioneers.  Each week she posts a photo prompt and urges us all to ‘say what we see’ – I apologise in advance for my mood this week. The news stories and film clips from the many war-torn regions of the world have occupied my thoughts for most of the week, to write anything in a lighter vein has proved difficult.

 

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Genre: Creative nonfiction

Word Count: 100

In Harms Way

In the early morning we claw at the overnight rubble and debris searching  for the missing. The children are terrified, the women distraught.  The angry and patriotic young men talk of taking up arms, while their mothers weep.

What rains down on us from the heavens is making our land barren, what little food we had is almost gone. Clean water is rationed and in short supply. Cats and dogs lie dying in our streets; it is only a matter of time.

War mongers and posturing politicians lie safe in their homes; their strategy reduces ours to dust, to memories.

++++++++

 

Man was made to Mourn: A Dirge – Robert Burns

Many and sharp the num’rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav’n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, –
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

 

For more stories click 

We’ll Meet Again


I have been AWOL for a few weeks, I hope some of you have missed me…..

I have been busy working on a tender document which has proved much more difficult than I ever imagined when agreeing to do it. I mean, three weeks of my life is too much to spend on writing something that I didn’t enjoy. It has been submitted now, at 11.45 am to be precise so I’m free now to write something I do enjoy enormously…

Thank you to Rochelle for everything, loved your post and photographs about the Friday Fictioneers get together, so lovely to see you all in the flesh, so to speak!  Thanks also this week to Kelly Sands for the photograph.

11 July

 

Genre: Family History

Word Count: 100

We’ll Meet Again

Eight year-old Sheila skipped alongside her mother, so excited to be going on this adventure. They met other families on their way to the station. Some mothers were crying, Sheila idly wondered why.

Her mother, never one for showing much emotion, kissed her as she opened the door to the special carriage on the train.  She checked the gas mask was in its box and Sheila’s name tag was securely fastened to her coat.

‘Be a good girl. Say your prayers and do as you’re told.  I’ll see you soon.’

It would be four eventful years before they met again.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Notes:

Sheila is my aunt.  At the outbreak of WWII almost all the children of the city of Hull were evacuated to safety. Everyone knows how badly London and other cities were bombed, but for reasons explained below, the bombing of Hull was kept off the newsreels and out of the papers.

http://www.mylearning.org/the-hull-blitz/p-3047/

 

 

 

Moonlight on The Ebro


I thought I wasn’t going to make it again this week – apologies to Doug for missing his very intriguing photo prompt last week.  I have been attending a conference in Italy – no, it was not lovely, nor was I lucky.  The trip went something like this – 2 hour drive – 2.5 hour flight – 2 hours on a bus – 3 hour conference – half hour bus ride – 3.5 hour dinner (no time to change after arriving) 1 hour to hotel – 6 hours sleeping – 1 hour working breakfast – 3 hours of meetings – 2 hours on a bus – 2.5 hour flight back – 2 hour drive back home.

Are you exhausted?  I was!

Thanks this week to Bjorn Rudberg for the photo prompt and as always to Rochelle for brilliantly shepherding the Friday Fictioneers into some semblance of order each week.

24 April

For some reason, I saw Spanish Civil War…

Genre: Historical fiction

Word Count:100

Moonlight on The Ebro

I remember.

The Ebro shimmered in the moonlight, unimpressed by our consuming passion. We lay holding each other so tight, we could scarcely breathe. The Brigade left quietly, at daybreak.

I taste the saltiness of tears and open my eyes. The music of the street floats in through faded shutters, it stirs memories of ‘Viva la Quinta Brigada’ your anthem, our song.

I am old, tired. I’ve waited a lifetime for my passionate fighter, mi amante.

In the cool evening air, I feel again the pressure of your strong arms. I fall freely, as I did all those years ago.

—o—o—o—o—o

 

For more information on the Spanish Civil War and of the men who went to fight against fascism in Spain –  The International Brigade

 

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Makes you think…


I was very sad to hear of the death on Saturday of Harry Patch, Britain’s last surviving WWI veteran, he was 111. I saw the interview with Simon Weston and found it very moving. He had seen so much in his lifetime and still thought war “a waste of time” and people should talk more.

I find the interest shown in him and his fellow soldiers, by so many people fascinating. A page has been set up on Facebook to remember him and so many of the posts on there are from people who have no idea of the sacrifices made by Harry and his generation, or indeed by the next generation who fought in WWII. They never lived through bombings, rationing, deprivations that hardly bear thinking about, or any of the other things that made the people who did, value and protect what they had, no matter what it cost.

I got to thinking about how lives have changed. Harry and his friends would ride on bikes without helmets, live in houses with no central heating and in lots of cases, no running water. No shops opened on Sundays, but they didn’t starve! They would have to work from a young age to help support the family but mum was always at home. When they played they had things like catapults and air guns, if they fell out of a tree, got cut or bruised or tripped over in the cobbled streets, there would be no lawsuit. They ate white bread plastered with butter and sometimes covered in dripping, they had full cream milk in their tea, but were not overweight as they had to walk everywhere.

I know life was not as idyllic as it appears in some films and televsion programmes, it wasn’t always sunny and there wasn’t always an abundance of food or enough money; but by and large the values that they lived by were better than we have today. Family and friendship were extremely important as was religion of one form or another. Neighbours supported each other, the police were respected and teachers were looked up to.

With the passing of the years “self” has become more important. “What’s in it for me” is still heard more loudly in one way or another than anything and the thought of doing without just doesn’t bear thinking about, as the crime figures show. Harry and his friends had a hard life compared with today; wouldn’t it be wonderful if, by the publicity surrounding his passing, people get to understand the values Harry lived by and learn to accept what they have, not think that they have a god-given right to have everything they want handed to them on a plate.