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Our drama category is for fans of stories filled with feeling, focusing on strong dialogue and well-rounded character development. Tragedy is a common theme, with gritty, realistic emotions driving the story. Readers are given clear insight into characters' thoughts and taken on a deep and sometimes courageous journey. Please send in your dramatic fiction or take a look at one of the emotive entries below.

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 25

"Save yourselves. Germany is finished. The Russians will kill...”

Krakow, January 15 th 1945   From time to time, news came through about the uprising in Warsaw. The stories that reached Maria and Katarina horrified them. Young, Polish men and women had risen up against the Germans. The word was that they had been expecting the Soviets to attack across the Vistula River but, to their dismay, their saviours did not advance but stopped where...Read On

1

The Long Road Home. Chapter 26.

Katarina hugged her sister. “I'm sorry, Maria. I didn't mean to upset you. I...”

Neither Maria nor Katarina had any time to react before the office phone began to ring. Immediately, Katarina lifted the receiver. “Matron Langsdorff.” “Ah, Matron Langsdorff. This is Herr Frank's secretary. Please evacuate the hospital immediately. All the physically able patients must return to their units. Those who are not must be taken to the ambulances. All patient documentation must...Read On

12

The Nurses

On her Fifteenth Birthday, Katarina celebrates the first day of her adult life.

This is the first chapter of a book I have been working on. If you like it, please let me know in the comments box below. If not, then please say what you don't like in the same place. Thank you.     Berlin. April 9th, 1933: A New Day In the heart of the city, Katarina Langsdorf was waking to the start of a new day, a special day, for today was her fifteenth birthday.   It was...Read On

The Boy with One Eye

If someone calls you insane or dissident or strange, it is just that they are half blind

Once, a boy was asked by his mother, what he wanted to become in his life. He said—a writer. The mother laughed. But seeing the boy’s expressions firm and eyes in flames, she said; “Well, you sure, that is what you want to do? Writers are all insane. They always smoke and drink. They live with many women. They are nasty creatures and governments hunt them.” The boy looked sad. And...Read On

4

The Long Road Home. Chapter 13.

They could see the tiny clouds of smoke bursting in air. The guns at Brenner were no longer silent!

Innsbruck, December 15 th 1943   The night wore on. Huddled together for warmth in the now freezing carriage, Katarina and Maria dozed fitfully. The hours seemed to pass by so slowly but, eventually, the cold, grey dawn began to push away the darkness. As the light grew in intensity, a few white snowflakes began to fall past the window. Maria wiped her hand across the...Read On

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 28

Men were shouting, others groaning and, beyond it all, the perpetual drone of the bombers.

Chemnitz, February 14 th 1945   Katarina was sitting in the cab of the third lorry of the convoy. A few minutes after the air raid sirens began, they tailed off into silence. She couldn't be sure whether it was because they had sounded the warning for long enough, or because the convoy was leaving the city behind. Either way, the only sounds she could hear, now, was the engine...Read On

5

The Long Road Home Chapter 14

“How can snow still be so beautiful amidst all this devastation?”

Innsbruck, December 17 th 1943   Both Maria and Katarina were glad that the policeman hadn't argued. They had spent some ninety minutes on the back of this filthy, freezing lorry as it picked its way carefully along the rubble-strewn streets, almost but not quite stopping as it drove over bricks and pieces of debris. The foreman had done a marvellous job of keeping the...Read On

2

The Long Road Home. Chapter 29.

The ruined buildings like jagged teeth in the mouth of a slain monster...

Berlin, February 14 th 1945   The convoy moved slowly through the oppressive darkness. The presence of the Allied bombers precluded that the vehicles could not use their lights. Since the bombers were protected by fighters, the line of trucks and cars would be an easy target if they were spotted from the skies above. Katarina pulled her collar tightly around her neck and tried...Read On

4

The Long Road Home. Chapter 8.

“Don't be afraid, Ilsa. They won't bomb us this time.”

Rome. September 19 th 1943   The repairs to the compound and the security arrangements were completed in a few days and the soldiers left with only a handful of men remaining to guard the entrance. The orderlies were replaced with German medics which left just Maria, Katarina and Ilsa as the only Red Cross nurses. Along with the medics, more equipment arrived and one of the...Read On

2

The Long Road Home. Chapter 27

“Where are you going?” he asked abruptly. “Berlin,” Katarina replied.

Dresden, February 13 th 1945   Katarina and Maria seemed to be waiting for a long time for a tram that they were beginning to think, wasn't coming. Furthermore, they seemed to be the only ones waiting. The sky was devoid of clouds, and the stars twinkled and glimmered brightly in the dark, night sky. It would have been a beautiful scene was it not for the cold that seemed...Read On

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 22.

As it turned back towards them, Katarina saw the red and blue circles stand out on the wings

Ostrava, June 08 th 1944   Maria and Katarina had to wait a few more days before they heard anything at all about being discharged. They waited patiently and took the time to continue with the therapy but, more so, helped the other nurses with some of the more severely disabled patients. As April moved into June, they found themselves hearing little snippets of information...Read On

2

The Long Road Home. Chapter 24

"That poor girl was shot by her own bloody colleagues..."

Krakow, September 5th th 1944   Although Warsaw was the capital of Poland, Krakow was where the general government of Poland was located. Maria and Katarina had both noticed that the military presence was strong there. Soldiers were everywhere. In cars, trucks even on bicycles. There were often groups of soldiers marching through the streets. From their first day at the...Read On

5

The Long Road Home Chapter 9

“I have seen the letters after the address but I have not seen 'H'. Do you know what it denotes?"

Rome. November 03 rd , 1943   The revelation that Staff Sergeant Lawrence T. Bowman was Jewish was a shock to Katarina. To her, it mattered not a bit but, for some reason, she had never really thought about the religion of anyone outside of her own world. Americans, English, all those whom Germany was fighting were just people but, suddenly, this young man was in mortal danger....Read On

2

The Long Road Home. Chapter 23.

By the time the sun was setting, they had reached the outskirts of Katowice in Silesia.

Krakow, June 10 th 1944   The cobbled square was teeming with soldiers. It took Maria and Katarina a little while to locate someone who had even the slightest clue as to where they could eat. So far as refuelling the bus was concerned, that was not their problem. Eventually, they found the kitchen and waited patiently in-line with the others until they were able to obtain...Read On

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 30

“Shut your mouth!” he snarled. “Open it again and it'll be the last thing you do!”

Chemnitz, February 14 th, 1945   Maria lay on her back, the weight of her assailant pushing her against the stack of rolled canvases. From the vicious slap he had delivered, her cheek stung. A small drop of blood dripped from his lip and splashed onto her face. Why was he doing this? She had done nothing to him, not encouraged him nor upset him. One by one, he released...Read On

4

The Long Road Home. Chapter 10.

“This not joke, Larry. This is life or death, your life or death! If Mahler think you Jew...”

Rome. November 21 st , 1943   “Maria, I'm troubled.” The two sisters were sitting by the window in their room, watching the rivulets of rainwater cascading down the other side of the glass. Every now and then, a gust of wind would divert the flow, creating new tracks. Without taking her eyes from the fascinating scene, Maria asked why. “It has been a week now. Larry is...Read On

11
Editor's Pick

Ride Across The River

One man rights a wrong with a wrong - or does he?

Ride Across the River I heard her start to cry as soon as the door closed behind me. It didn’t make me feel any better. Maybe I didn’t know what all this was doing to her? What I did know was that whilst I was waiting in the middle of Tiger Bay for Eddie, Mary-Anne was crying behind the closed door. Nevertheless, she had to understand that this was the only way for me, I knew nothing...Read On

11
Editor's Pick

Confession

Sometimes it take cries in the night to interrupt a long held silence.

Nobody said it would be easy. She just didn’t expect it’d be this hard. The clock ticks the hours, the minutes, the seconds, and with each passing minute of daylight, she sighs deeply and braces for the screams. Her husband’s arrival carries with it simultaneous relief and anguish for she knows he, too, fears the minutes, the hours, the untold time that will pass tonight, and the...Read On

34
Recommended Read

The End

Tragedy can either draw people together, or push them apart...

~ The End ~ Becky Patterson sat in the dimly lit room, her head bowed slightly, staring blankly into space. She neither knew nor cared how long she’d been there. Finally she heard a light rap on the door, which opened before she could respond. “Excuse me, Ms. Patterson? Everything appears to be in order, and we need to — time is of the essence —” “Of course,” she said in a...Read On

13
Recommended Read

The Washing Machine Man

It's up to me to convince Dad to change...

"Me?" I asked my sister. "Why do I have to do it?" "I think he'll listen to you." "When has he ever listened to me?" I asked her. "And what about Mum?" "Mum's too upset, she can't think straight." "Oh, OK. I'll have a go but I can't promise anything." "I know," she said. "Just try, the nurses are getting fed up with him." "I'm not surprised." "Good luck, Steff." "Oh thanks," I told...Read On

4

The Long Road Home. Chapter 20.

"If the same happened to you then you have to believe me, it's better that you do not know.”

Vienna, January 1 st 1944   The scene before him was enough to bring a lump to the throat of even the most highly experienced Medical Officer and Oberstarzt Ritter was not ashamed to let Nurse Winter see the tear fall from his cheek. He quickly wiped it away with his handkerchief as he turned to her. “These two are very special. Make sure that they get the best care possible...Read On

44

Even The Clocks Stopped

Honoring a promise is harder than we realise, but it is a necessary tool in the healing process.

The rickety old porch swing creaks under my weight as I rock myself gently to and fro. The sound comforts me as it rips harshly into the painful silence of the night. A nerve-numbing tingle spreading through me from the hard wooden slats reminds me of just how long the drive up here was. I shift uneasily, my hand wrapped protectively around the brass key that will unlock the door to a place...Read On

5

The Long Road Home. Chapter 15.

“At least it has stopped snowing,” Maria said. “Quite a pleasant morning really.”

Innsbruck, December 19 th 1943   Katarina and Maria sat silently facing the warm, crackling fire which was burning brightly in the fireplace of the guardroom. For a while, at least, they were warm but very weary. On the wall above the fireplace was a large clock. Maria looked up at it and sighed gently. Every swing of the pendulum and every tick and tock of the escape...Read On

5

The Long Road Home. Chapter 12

“Il Treno,” she said, using up most of her knowledge of Italian. “Where is it?”

Brenner. December 15 th 1943   For the first time in many months, Katarina and Maria found that they had a little time to relax. The Army began to dismantle the compound, beginning with the damaged huts at the far end. The first two huts remained in use. One for accommodation and storage, the other for minor injuries and ailments. As the time to depart approached, the two...Read On

15
Editor's Pick

Grand Canyon Homecoming

As I looked out at the views that we passed, something looked vaguely familiar. . .

Vacations were far and few between for this family, so when Daddy had a chance to take one, he jumped at it. I cannot remember the last time we took one. But then again, I am only eleven. I was sitting in the back seat of our old beat up jet black Volvo Station Wagon with my little brother. He was licking his cherry lollipop and his lips were red because he played with it more than sucked it....Read On

11
Editor's Pick

True Inheritance

A tale of family, and of finding one's Truth.

I can't let myself think about him. The sun is shining down on my pale back for the first time in days. A black butterfly with white spots is dancing around in the light breeze delighting in the day and inviting me to join in. But he comes to me unbidden. His face. His walk. His presence. His. Him. Breath in. Breath out. He is my past. Any chance of a future with him is gone. Chloe...Read On

14

Before My Eyes

My first story.

My eyelids are sealed shut with a dried mix of sand and saltwater, courtesy of the scalding sun. It’s so quiet, save for the waves surging over the packed sand, and the occasional frenzy of caws and flapping wings as the native birds duel over who consumes the next meal. It’s the strange silence that causes me to finally overcome my exhaustion and attempt to open my eyes-I’m a city girl who...Read On

22
Editor's Pick

After the Revenge

After violently avenging the murder of his family, a man questions his own morality.

The question was whether I should kill him very slowly or just slowly. He was sitting on the ground badly injured after his fall. His back was propped up against the base of a large rock. I kept my revolver aimed at his chest. I was standing about ten feet away. “Ya gotta be hubbie, right?” he asked. “Cause ya sure don’t look like no cop or ranger.” “Yes,” I responded. “I’m the husband.” ...Read On

4

The Long Road Home. Chapter 16.

“Scheißer, there's a bomb!”

Innsbruck, December 19 th 1943   Apart from the thin shaft of light, Maria lay in almost complete darkness. Suddenly she began to feel afraid. Alone and afraid. What if no-one found her? Once more she tried to pull herself free from the heaviness which held her but it was no good, she didn't have the strength. Whatever was holding her was across her stomach. It wasn't so much...Read On

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 18.

The young woman tried so hard to see through the black fog that was her memory...

Innsbruck, December 21 st 1943   The hours passed by so slowly as the young woman struggled to get her memory to return. Nurse Kissling had been called to an emergency before she had a chance to tell her anything about her 'companion' as she had referred to the other Matron. Most of the time she spent dozing but during those moments she was disturbed by vivid...Read On