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.”

Innsbruck, 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...Read On


The Long Road Home. Chapter 19.

All she could see was her long, tousled and bloodied, blonde locks covering her pillow.

Vienna, December 24 th 1943   The Flight to Vienna was uneventful. Despite being wrapped tightly in blankets, the young woman was cold. Not freezing but, nevertheless, far from warm. It wasn't a long flight, little more than two hours but it seemed much longer. By the time they landed, she had almost forgotten what it was like to be warm. There were six stretcher patients...Read On


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


The Long Road Home. Chapter 17.

She wanted to cry but there were no tears, just an intense pounding in her temples.

Innsbruck, December 20 th 1943   The young woman opened her eyes. Where on earth was she? In the gloom, she could make out twisted and mangled pipes, many with steam hissing from the fractures. Loops of wires hung down from above and, worse still, the room seemed to be full of bricks and rubble. Great slabs of concrete also hung down with twisted and bent wires poking out...Read On


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


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


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


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


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


The Long Road Home. Chapter 11.

“Are we in trouble, Maria?” Katarina asked quietly...

Rome. November 28 th 1943   As the sun began to set, Katarina and Maria continued with the task of ensuring that the patients were ready for the big move the following day. According to their orders, ambulances would be provided at first light ready to begin the transfer to the railhead where two hospital trains would be waiting to take them on the long journey back to Germany....Read On


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


Escape to the West

“Hey!” a man’s voice shouting. “What are you doing there?”

Erika Hoffmann was afraid as she walked through the dark, rain-soaked streets of Eisenach, a small town just inside the border of East Germany. She should not have been out at this hour, ninety minutes after the curfew of ten o’clock which had been imposed in January. The Soviet rulers had been worried about people attempting to escape to the west and if she was caught by the Stasi who...Read On


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


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


The Long Road Home. Chapter 7.

“Look at you,” she said. “I am not used to seeing you so grubby."

Rome. September 4 th 1943   Maria stared in horror at the scene of devastation ahead but wasted no time in getting the ambulance to a safe place. Quickly, she jumped from the cab and ran around to the rear to check on her charges. To her distress, Anneliese was still not conscious. “Keep an eye on her,” she told the two airmen brusquely. “Make sure she keeps breathing and...Read On


The Long Road Home. Chapter 6.

“They have big stars under the wings with stripes either side. What else could they be?”

Rome. July 19 th 1943   The visit to the Vatican seemed to have a profound effect on Hanna. As soon as she passed through the great doors and entered the Basilica, she became calm and appeared to be at peace. Maria took the lead, Katarina not having been inside a church for many years. Taking her arm, she led Hanna to a row of pews immediately opposite the confessional boxes....Read On


The Long Road Home. Chapter 5.

“You taught me a lesson I will not forget, Matron. I am not a soldier, I am a doctor..."

Rome. May 19 th 1943   Maria had been right. The camp, a compound comprising of ten, makeshift wooden huts arranged in two rows, was situated adjacent to Ciampino aerodrome for the very purpose of repatriating the more seriously wounded. It transpired that their presence there was no accident. They had been sent there because of their experience in Libya and their training in...Read On


The Long Road Home. Chapter 4

They both laughed gently. It was good to hear someone had survived the escape from Tripoli unhurt.

Rome. January 19 h 1943 It was well after midnight when, with a short, sharp blast of the locomotive's whistle, the train signalled it was ready to leave. The carriage in which the two young sisters were sitting gave a sudden jolt and then, with another, began to move. Almost imperceptibly at first, it rolled slowly along the quayside before turning away from the water and...Read On


The Long Road Home. Chapter 3

The six, wing-mounted machine-guns barked for a brief moment...

Taranto. January 17 th , 1943   Maria stood on the quayside and watched the ship slowly disappearing into the distance, unaware of the approaching danger. Suddenly, her superior officer, Oberstabsarzt Bernhardt Ritter, grabbed her arm. “Come on,” he said as he pulled her urgently towards the small Kübelwagen standing silently behind them. “What?” she said, puzzled but then,...Read On


The Long Road Home Chapter 2.

Something large and heavy landed on her, knocking her to the deck...

The Mediterranean. January 17 th , 1943 As the setting sun began to dip below the horizon, SS Aegean Sea reduced her engine revolutions to slow. The frothing, white water that had hitherto washed along her flanks disappeared as her speed reduced to almost a standstill. Captain Konstantinos Theodopolis opened his bible and read.   “ The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I...Read On


The Long Road Home. Chapter 1.

The continuing story of two young sisters trying to survive the horrors of World war Two.

The Mediterranean. January 15 th , 1943 Matron Katarina Langsdorf leaned on the rail at the stern of the old tramp steamer, the coast of Libya having long been lost to her sight by distance and nightfall. Her eyes were moist and red from the tears she had finally allowed to flow, once her fury at being dragged aboard without her sister had subsided. Almost as soon as the ship...Read On


Time and Tide

“Hattie!” she shouted out with excitement. “You didn't!”

“Ronnie, I got them!” Harriet Mitchell bounded up the steps to her friend's front door waving a nondescript white envelope above her head. “They came this morning!” Veronica Pickles, 'Ronnie' to her friends stood in the open doorway of her Belgravia town house, a puzzled frown on her pretty, young face. “What came this morning, Hattie?” Harriet's face was flushed with excitement as...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 33.

For the first time, Oberstabsarzt Ritter raised his voice to them and they were stunned into silence

Tripoli. January 14 th 1943   Maria took over from Katarina as usual and whilst she did her ward rounds, left Rania to help Ilsa on her ward. After she had checked her last patient for the morning she headed back to her office where, on her desk she found a grey message form from the adjutants office. It was marked, 'Attention Matrons Kaufmann/Langsdorf'. It was a request from...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 32.

“And you, Untersturmführer, had better be damn sure that you have got your facts right..."

Tripoli. October 24 th , 1942   Katarina and Major Ritter waited patiently whilst Corporal Müller disappeared hurriedly through the door behind him. “Sir,” Katarina began, more thinking aloud than speaking to her superior officer directly. “Do you think that the men who attacked me could be saying that I broke into their house? They are lying if they did.” The Major...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 31

She could feel her consciousness ebbing away...

Tripoli. October 23 rd 1942   Maria waited patiently on the ward for her sister and Rania to return. Having no idea whatsoever about where the little girl lived she was not concerned about the time passing. Instead she assisted Anneliese and Hanna and as they worked they chatted about what had passed since their time after leaving Benghazi. Since they had returned from their...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 30

“Is everything all right, Ma'am?” he asked her. “It's not safe to be out at night alone.”

Tripoli. October 23 rd 1942   Maria awoke with a start. Something had disturbed her and she knew immediately what... Rain! The summer had been relentless and no rain had fallen for some four months but now, it was beating against her window and she felt a huge sense of relief flood through her. She checked her watch and saw that it was almost time to get up anyway so she pulled...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 29.

“What happened to you? Are you all right?”

Tripoli. May 26 th 1942   Several minutes had elapsed before the overwhelmed sisters were able to relax enough to relinquish their grip on each other. So emotional were they that they just sat and looked at each other, each gripping the other's hand so tightly it was as if they would never let go. With an atmosphere that was so highly charged, Anneliese and Hanna could do...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 28

"...and there fell from it three drops of blood on the snow."

Tripoli. February 04 th 1942   The news from Benghazi was a double edged sword for Katarina. On the one hand, Maria would at least be away from the fighting but on the other, she would be alone and unhappy. She couldn't imagine what it would be like to be caged in a foreign land so far from home. As for herself, the time resting had worked wonders. A good night's sleep had...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 27.

She lifted the bottle to her lips but it was dry. The last of the water was gone.

Tripoli. February 03 rd 1942   Maria stared in disbelief at the fuel gauge but it made no difference. She could stare at it all night but the fact of the matter was, the fuel tank was empty! Hanna and Anneliese came through the door, Hanna taking the empty seat to the left and Anneliese remaining in the doorway, leaning against the frame. Neither spoke. “The Benzine is...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 26

“That's it then,” she said, with a great sadness. “Captivity.”

Benghazi. January 30 th 1942   Maria sighed sadly as she took one last look at the bomb damaged port of Benghazi. The final First Aid Carrier was waiting at the end of the jetty for her and her colleagues, the last of the German prisoners, to board so they could leave for the Hospital Ship moored outside the harbour entrance. “Come on then, we 'aven't got all day!” The...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 25

He stopped when Katarina put her hand up. “I can't hear you,” she said...

Tripoli. February 03rd 1942   Since having heard the conversation about the counter-offensive, Katarina was once more hopeful that all was not lost. She hadn't heard a single word about Benghazi since Christmas eve, however, more than a month ago and as she considered all the possibilities, her heart once again became heavy with fear. Not even a year had passed since she and her...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 24,

...he just rolled his eyes towards Maria. “She did it....” he croaked.

Benghazi. January 29 th 1942   Maria stared at the men who had crashed onto her ward so abruptly. The officer she remembered from the incident in the desert but the others were not the ones who had assaulted her and her medic. “Was passiert?” she asked nervously and then remembered they probably didn't understand. The sergeant looked blankly at her but the officer answered...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 23

As she read the words her tears flowed steadily...

Tripoli. January 29 th , 1942   Katarina opened her eyes as the loud roar of the three Junker's engines suddenly diminished to a more subdued rumble. The pilot had pulled the throttle levers back onto their stops to allow the engines to idle as the camouflaged transport plane followed the glide path down towards the runway at Tripoli. Christmas day was dawning but, for the...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 22

“But Ma'am, the engine is going to seize it's too hot!”

Benghazi. December 24 th , 1941   Maria stared intently at the terrain unfolding before her whilst trying to avoid all the rocks and holes that made the track so uneven. She was acutely aware that she had three soldiers behind her who were probably in considerable pain and every bump would exacerbate that greatly. She glanced increasingly often at the fuel gauge, willing the...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 21

“Hum unhen khoj nahin chahie, sarjent?” one of the other soldiers said.

Benghazi. December 11 th , 1941   Try as she might, Maria found that sleep was almost impossible. There were no lights to keep her awake, and the sounds of the guards outside as they changed watch were barely audible. No, it was the situation that kept her awake. After a few hours she decided that a brief walk in the cold night air might help shake off the constant thoughts...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 20

“I was wondering if you would like to have dinner with me on the twenty-fourth?"

Athens. December 24 th , 1941   Life in Athens continued as normal once the furor of the attempted assassination of the SS officer had died down. News had reached Katarina that the SS had left no stone unturned in the search for the perpetrators and families had been arrested and taken away to be interrogated with many men being shot along the way.   About a week later, she...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 19

"There was one nurse in particular who we all admired and heard so much about"

  Benghazi   . December 08 th 1941   After the death of her friends, Maria threw everything she had into her work. She knew deep inside that she could not have done anything to prevent their demise. Two people had died that day and the more she thought about it only brought the conclusion that the outcome of anything she could have done differently would have been that two...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 18

“I don't think so,” she replied curtly. “I save lives, I don't take them!”

Athens. December 08 th 1941   After the traumatic journey from Trieste, Maria settled into a reasonably normal routine of taking care of running of the Polytechnic |Hospital. This hospital was a satellite facility to care of the initial influx of casualties after the invasion of Greece.   By the middle of July, all the patients had been either transferred to the main...Read On


Kindred Spirit, Distant Hearts. Chapter 17

“Ma'am, I'm sorry,” he wheezed breathlessly. “I found this under your bed.”

Benghazi. June 15 th , 1941   After Maria had left the Chief Medical Officer, she didn't return directly to her room. Instead, she set about finding all the nurses that were to accompany her to Benghazi so that she could give them as much notice as possible and to ensure that their wards were not left unstaffed when they left. That task alone took several hours. Some of them...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 16

The door flew open and they found themselves staring down the barrel of an MG-42 machine gun!

Athens. June 15 th , 1941   The sun was high in the sky, and the air that rushed around the open sides of the ambulance's hinged windscreen was warm. Katarina steadied herself by holding on to the wooden arm of the stretcher. It had been placed in the purpose-built rack in the rear section of the bus conversion where there was provision for four stretchers with casualties. In...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 15

“...and please, Lord,” she pleaded, “Don't keep us apart forever."

Tripoli. June 10 th, 1941   Maria emerged from sleep to find the sun shining through her window. At first, just for a moment, she wasn't sure of what day it was, but when she rolled over onto her back, she took a sharp intake of breath as the pain of even the slightest movement shot through her. And then she remembered. It was bearable, but as she resumed the effort of...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 14

She knelt beside him and placed her fingers against his bloodied neck. She found a pulse!

Levan, Albania. June 10 th , 1941   It had been a strange day. Late in the afternoon she had been summoned to the dispatch office and given further orders. To her dismay, she was told that the invasion of Greece had been a success and the Aquilea had been diverted there to recover casualties. The war in North Africa was also going well, and under the guidance of...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 13

Maria was thrown to the floor by the force of the blast...

Tripoli. June 8 th , 1941   A whole month had gone since Maria arrived in North Africa and the time was passing by almost unnoticed. The patients who came to her ward were mostly suffering from dysentery or minor wounds that would heal without the need for repatriation, so she barely had time to remember their names before they were gone. There were so many cases of dysentery...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 12

Katarina was losing her mind. For three days she had no-one to talk to and nothing to do.

Trieste. June 8 th , 1941   As promised, on the morning of her departure, Willi had arrived at the front of the building on the dot of nine. The black SS staff car shone like a mirror in the sunlight and Katarina watched from her window as the Mercedes came gently to a halt. Across the street, she had noticed a man in a doorway who was reading a newspaper. She knew who he was and...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 11

With great care and tenderness she wound the brilliant white bandage around his head.

Tripoli. May 27 th , 1941   Maria had slept very little since she had arrived in Libya, the heat did not suit her at all. The temperature through the night had barely dropped below seventeen degrees which was all that Munich attained during the day at this time of year. The daytime here though reached thirty degrees, a temperature she had rarely experienced and it was so dry, not...Read On


The Nurses and the Surgeon

Around three years ago, after writing several short stories of a nature unsuited to Stories Space and recieving many favourable comments, I wondered... Could I write a real story? One suitable for everyone. I decided to try and I am pleased to say that the result turned out better than I could imagine. It was the first thing I had attempted that exceeded 5000 words and, after I...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 10.

She jumped and cried out in surprise as she felt a hand grip her shoulder.

Berlin. May 27 th , 1941   Since returning to the Charité, Katarina had immersed herself totally in trying to run her ward as efficiently as she always had but things were very different now. Medical supplies were becoming scarce and interference from the authorities was increasing daily. It seemed to her that there was no room for the mentally ill or permanently disabled in the...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 9

“I am Corporal Giuseppe De Lorenzo, at your service, Signorina!”

         Tripoli. May 05 th 1941     The flight from Munich to Rome had been uneventful. By the time they had left the ground it was half past eleven and the whole journey had been under cover of darkness. Maria had slept only fitfully, dozing off only to wake a few minutes later by the droning of the engines and vibrations through the airframe. They had even encountered...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 8

Katarina had noticed that the hospital even smelled differently now, of death and decay.

Berlin. May 05t h 1941   The trauma of the past few days had been unbearable for Katarina. They had stayed in Munich for another two days with the whole of Friday spent with Maria's parents. Although the truth was now out she still could not think of them as anyone but Maria's parents. The only thing that she felt any differently about was the fact of Maria being her sister...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 7

“I'm sorry, Matron,” he said, unhappily curling his lip. “I'm afraid we have a problem..."

Munchen-Pasing. May 01 st, 1941   The drone of the three engines was too much for Maria to doze in her seat. It was set to be a long journey that had begun when a car had arrived to take her across the city to Riem where the new airport was situated, the same one at which she had landed when she returned from her ordeal in the Mediterranean. Although her transport had arrived...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 6

"...I have to go. I have to meet them, don't you understand?”

Berlin. May 01 st 1941   Despite the shocking revelations of recent days, nothing had changed significantly in her feelings but whilst she still loved her parents dearly Katarina now knew that she had to find out more about the family who had been totally unknown to her until just a few short months ago. Her constant companion, Maria had told her as much about her family as...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 5.

“I have done nothing wrong so why do I have to be afraid?”

Munchen-Pasing. April 29th, 1941   Monday morning dawned but no sun was visible. Although not cold, the sky was grey and threatened rain. It didn't matter to Maria, though. She had risen at six, as she always did and had prepared breakfast for her parents and wished her father goodbye as he left for work an hour later. Now, whilst her mother was dressing, she sat alone in the...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 4.

“So why do I feel so empty inside?”

Berlin. April 28th, 1941   Katarina was awakened suddenly by the incessant wailing of an Air Raid siren. The first bombing raid on Berlin had been the previous August, during the height of what later became known as the Battle of Britain. Until that day, Herr Hitler had refrained from bombing towns and cities and had concentrated his efforts on the destruction of Britain's airfields....Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts. Chapter 3

“I couldn't bear it, Maria. I couldn't bear to lose you as well, I just couldn't."

Munchen-Pasing. April 9th 1941   Maria's homecoming had been a very emotional affair. Although her mother and father had been informed that she had been found alive, that was all they knew. They didn't know where she was or when she would be coming home, indeed even if she was coming home. Her arrival on the doorstep was such a relief that even her father could not keep his tears...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant hearts. Chapter 2

“You look different,” he said. “You are no longer the young nurse I watched growing up"

Berlin. April 9th, 1941   “Maria, please. Don't let him hurt me, not again. No! No!” Katarina pressed herself against the wall, trying to disappear into it but the man, dressed all in black just kept coming. She couldn't see his face, it was hidden in the darkest of shadow but she knew he meant to hurt her and she was afraid. “Maria. Help me!” she cried out but she was alone in...Read On


Kindred Spirits, Distant Hearts

“Magda! Magda! Quickly, it's coming!”

Munchen-Pasing. April 9th, 1918: A Beginning   “Magda! Magda! Quickly, it's coming!” A young Anna Kaufmann called desperately for her closest friend and neighbour. In an advanced state of pregnancy, her contractions had become unbearable and frequent. “Quickly, Magda!” she gasped, panting heavily in an effort to delay the inevitable.   Magda Langsdorff ran quickly from the...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 42

“What have they done to you?” he whispered, his voice cracked with emotion.

Gibraltar, April 6h 1941.   Katarina and Maria remained at the hospital in Gibraltar for two weeks. Katarina's wound had healed quickly, at least enough for her to be released from medical care and return home. For Maria, it was the longest fortnight of her life. Never before had she been so idle. The hospital was very different from the sickbay on the Lakhota. It was far...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 41

She took up her friend's wrist and searched for a pulse. Oh my Lord, she couldn't find it!

H.M.S. Lakhota, March 23rd, 1941.   Long into the night, Maria sat beside Katarina, talking to her, checking her pulse and temperature, bathing her forehead with a cool damp cloth and generally praying and encouraging her to pull through. Occasionally she would check on the other patients, some of whom gave her words of support, and to others, she would offer a few words of her own,...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 40

“Nein, nein...” she repeated over and over as she cradled her closest friend in her arms.

H.M.S. Lakhota, March 22nd, 1941.   Maria screamed loudly, a long drawn out wail of a scream. “Nein, Nein...” she repeated over and over as she cradled her closest friend in her arms. Tears dripped from her eyes and splashed onto Katarina's motionless face, and she trembled uncontrollably. After the shortest hesitation, Simon drew Maria's hands away against her protest,...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 39

“You don't understand, I know but thank you. You are Angels.”

H.M.S. Lakhota, March 21st, 1941.   The one thing that gave everyone in the sickbay hope was the continuous thudding of the anti-aircraft guns, so long as they were firing, all was not lost. As Simon helped the two women to their feet, the door swung open, and two sailors carrying another on a stretcher entered the bay. “Over there!” Simon pointed to the padded steel examination...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 38

The red faced sailor quickly pulled up his pants and saluted.

H.M.S. Lakhota, March 8th, 1941.     The following morning, Maria and Katarina attended the sick parade as they had the day before but this one was a little different. Instead of having no patients, this time there were several, all complaining of minor ailments ranging from headaches to stiff backs and aching limbs!   At first, the surgeon was puzzled, but then he realised that...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 37

Suddenly, the injured sailor's eyes rolled upwards and he dropped back onto the table...

H.M.S. Lakhota, March 7th, 1941. Neither Maria nor Katarina had slept well. In their exhausted state they had fallen asleep almost immediately as they sat on the bunk but their fears and uncomfortable positions had meant that they awoke after just a couple of hours. They had climbed into their individual bunks and drifted back to sleep but the noises on the ship and everything that...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 36

“I don't like the way they look at us,” she said

H.M.S. Lakhota, March 6th, 1941. The ship they were now on, judging from the size of the sick bay, was quite a significant warship and, although they were left pretty much alone there were, on occasion, sailors coming in and out. Maria and Katarina did feel that they were being watched and, they thought, distrusted. That made them a little unhappy as they had only ever wanted to...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 35

“So this is heaven," she thought. “Then the priests were right, there is life after death."

Mediterranean, March 6th, 1941. The next time Maria opened her eyes, everything was white and so bright. “So this is heaven," she thought. “Then the priests were right, there is life after death." The face looking down at her, smiling and beautiful, piercing blue eyes glistening with moisture, blonde hair tied back in a plait must have been an angel too. “Katarina, you are with...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 34

In the darkness, Maria had bumped into something floating, large and solid with a rope attached...

Mediterranean, March 1st, 1941. The little grey life raft bobbed up and down on the gentle swell. A tiny speck on the surface of the huge, blue ocean. Maria looked down at the recumbent form beside her. Despite all the horrors that she had seen and experienced throughout her young life she was in no doubt whatsoever that God existed and that he was watching over them both. It...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 33

“No, Hugo,” she said gently. “My father is most certainly not a Nazi.”

Meer Koenigin, February 28 th, 1941. At the end of the afternoon, Maria sat in their cabin reading. It was after five, and she wondered what was taking her friend so long with the final tour. “Oh, silly!” she thought. “Of course. She will be with Hugo.” Maria smiled to herself. Katarina made friends easily, so she was not surprised that the doctor would like her and she felt that...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 32

“Ah, KapitanLeutnant!” she exclaimed, “I didn't expect to find you here!”

Taranto, February 27th, 1941. The Nurses were left alone for the next couple of hours and remained together on the mess deck. For both Katarina and Maria, the dull rumble of the machinery seemed to make the ship feel alive. Neither of them had been to sea before, and the nearest that Maria had been to a ship was on a small pleasure boat once when she visited the Furstensee with...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 31

She waved to it as though waving goodbye to her homeland.

Italy, February 25th 1941. Neither Katarina nor Maria slept well as the train lurched along through the mountains. They would just be drifting off when the wheels would squeal in protest around the tight curves and bring them instantly back to wakefulness. They had no idea where they were when the sun rose on yet another cloudy day, Outside there was snow, and the clouds looked...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 30

Maria and Katrina stared at each other in surprise. Now they were army officers?

Karlsruhe. February 24th 1941. The six weeks since their arrival at Karlsruhe had passed very quickly. All the nurses had learned the rudiments of driving in the most difficult conditions. There had been a few minor accidents due to the snow but no damage or injuries had occurred and the instructors were generally pleased with all of them. The training for the field work had...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 29

“Don't worry,” he said, grinning as she rubbed her knee, “You stalled..."

Karlsruhe. January 15th, 1941. Maria watched as Katarina left the garage, making sure she was wrapped warmly with cape and gloves and even a woolen scarf which was not strictly regulation, but it was so cold that she couldn't imagine that anyone would be too concerned about it. Although she couldn't hear anything outside, she could see her friend climb easily into the truck and...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter28

“Don't worry,” Maria said, smiling even more to try and ease his mind. “We won't bite.”

Karlsruhe. January 13th 1941. The time with their families had passed by all too quickly and now, Katarina and Maria were reunited once more. They had travelled the previous day and had met as planned for dinner. It turned out that the facility was not, as they had both imagined, a hospital but a large military training camp outside the city. On their arrival at the station they...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 27

“I didn't want to worry you by coming in unexpectedly and I do know you have a Luger!”

Berlin. January 1st, 1941. Katarina was looking forward very much to seeing her parents again, and it seemed so long ago since she had left home. There was something, though which had taken the shine away slightly and she sat quietly looking out of the window. Outside the light had long since faded and all she could see was the reflection of the interior of the carriage and its...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 26

“Who is there?” the uncertain voice of her mother called out...

Munich-Pasing. January 1st, 1941. It was very late when Maria finally arrived into Munich's main station. Nothing had changed, there were huge Swastika pennants hanging from the walls and even at such a late hour it was still quite busy but she felt she was home, back in the familiar surrounds that she had grown up in. The train had arrived at a platform quite close to the entrance...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 25

“I found him here, alone,” Maria said, “I thought you would like to see him again.”

Amiens. December 29th 1940 Whilst this night night had been so traumatic and highly emotional for her friend on Ward Seven, Katarina had also been kept busy. She had not had the Gestapo or the SS to contend with but she had, nevertheless been kept hard at it. Some of her lesser wounded patients had been moved to smaller hospitals in the area and their beds made available to...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 24

“You are very young,” he whispered, “And yet so wise.”

Amiens. December 29th 1940     Sunday and the last night shift of the week.   Katarina and Maria both had two days of rest afterwards and then a new day shift would begin.   They had decided that they could celebrate the start of the new year and the passing of the old the following Tuesday by having dinner together but, as they had to start working early on Wednesday they would...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 23

“Geheime Staatspolizei,” he snarled, his eyes still holding her...

Amiens. December 24th, 1940 Katarina prepared herself for another long night. She had slept most of the day as it was the second night shift of the week and she had been exhausted after the first one. As had become usual, she had dinner with her friend. Meeting and befriending Maria had made life so much bearable for her and, she hoped, for Maria too. She worried for...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 22

“I didn't, I didn't... They hate me and I did nothing... why do they hate me?"

Amiens. December 24 th 1940 Christmas eve, the first that Maria had spent away from home and she felt it acutely. She had received a parcel from her mother and father containing a card and some Lebkuchen and Stollen which her mother had made and one or two little tree ornaments 'to help you feel more at home' as they had said in the accompanying letter. There was also an old...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 21

“Nein, nicht schiessen!” Maria croaked her throat suddenly dry...

Amiens. September 15 th 1940 Katarina awoke early as she always did. She had arranged to meet Maria at seven and they would have breakfast together. They were a little later today as this was a rare Sunday that they both had a day off and had planned to to go to the park and perhaps have dinner in town after a little exploring. Something neither of them had hitherto been able to...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 20

She raised an eyebrow and her eyes twinkled in the morning light.

Amiens. June 12th, 1940 After her first day being such a rush and the unexpected promotion, Maria had fallen asleep as soon as her head touched her pillow. It had been her intention to read for a while, but she hadn't even opened her book. Now she was wide awake and felt thoroughly refreshed and ready for the new day. As she brushed her hair and plaited it, she thought about...Read On


The Nurses Chapter 19

“Whoever captures your heart will be an exceptionally lucky man.”

Amiens. June 12 th 1940 The day had begun well with Katarina working simply with her girls and fussing around them like some sort of mother hen. In the far distance, from the West, an occasional rumble broke the relative silence on Ward Three. She wondered what it was as there was no sign of a storm but she didn't dwell on it, because of greater interest to her was this nurse she...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter18

“Then you have a doppelgänger, Matron, you must have.”

Amiens. June 11 th 1940 Maria woke at Six. As the DMO had promised, she had been given instructions to report for her induction course at Eight, so she had two hours to prepare herself and take some breakfast. She had not had to share a bathroom before, and she was very self-conscious, washing herself under her night dress. She was pleased to note, however, that the other nurses...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 17

A new start, a new challenge.

Katarina looked at the clock on the wall at the end of the ward, almost eleven.     She had settled already into the day to day life of the ward, which was not so different to the Charité back home, except that all the patients were military men.   She found that a lot of her day was spent helping the other, less experienced nurses to learn about looking after patients and the day to...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 16

Maria completes the final part of her journey but it is long and exhausting.

Cologne. June 9 th 1940     Maria slept barely at all. The huge sofa was soft and quite comfortable, but she could not relax.   She had never slept away from the security of her own home except, occasionally, at the hospital but never outside her own world.   Now, she was in a city she had never visited and sleeping in an office rather than a bedroom. She was sure she was safe...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 15

A safe arrival but a disturbed, sleepless night for Katarina.

Amiens.June 9 th 1940     After the nightmare of the previous day's flight, Katarina was glad of having a day to get to know her surroundings.   She had been taken to the hospital from the airfield by a Luftwaffe truck, the same one that carried the body of the unfortunate pilot to the hospital mortuary.   On the rather uncomfortable journey, the driver had told her that...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 14.

Maria sets out on the longest journey of her young life.

Munchen-Pasing. June 8 th 1940     Maria's travel papers had been delivered in person just two days after the surgeon had told her she would be leaving and she was relieved to find that she had a little longer than she thought.   The past few days had been somewhat sombre. Her father, Herman, still had to work as usual but she at least had some time with her mother, helping her...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 13.

Katarina leaves for the airport. The beginning of her new life.

Berlin. June 8th, 1940     “This is all you are taking?”   Magda Langsdorf stood beside her daughter, looking into the open suitcase she had placed on the bed.    "Yes, Mama, I am afraid so.”   Katarina smiled. She had thought carefully about what to take and when the time had come to leave, she had decided that it was better to carry as little as she could so she had...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 12

Maria protects her patients and falls foul of the authorities.

Munchen.Pasing. June 3 rd 1940     It had been a long day for Maria, a day where she had been kept busy from the moment she had set foot on the ward at six that morning.   Throughout the day she had been hearing sketchy reports that the Luftwaffe had bombed Paris. She was immensely saddened as, although she had never been outside her homeland of Bavaria, Paris was known to be...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 11

An unwelcome visit brings trouble to Katarina.

Berlin Monday 3rd June 1940     Katarina was in her room, going through the items she was planning to take with her.   In truth, there was not very much she could take. Her uniforms would take up most of the space and, as it was essentially a military attachment, she would require little in the way of personal clothing, mainly underwear really.   Looking at the clothes...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 10

A day of rest for Maria but her mother is troubled.

Munchen-Pasing. June 1st, 1940     Maria looked out of the window at the small garden below. The flowers her mother had planted in the spring were so pretty and bright, a small oasis of colour to brighten up an otherwise drab world.   She didn't have to work today and looked forward to enjoying the warm summer sunshine.   It was still early, six O'clock, but the sun had...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 9

Katarina gets a shock as war draws inexorably closer.

Berlin. June 1st, 1940     Saturday. A beautiful summer day. Warm and sunny. On her ward, Katarina was too hot. All the windows were open but there was not a breath of air for them to make the slightest of difference.   So far it had been a busy day. All the beds were occupied and, as usual, she didn't have enough nurses to help her so she was constantly moving from patient...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 8

Maria attends midnight mass with her parents

Munchen.Pasing. December 24th, 1939     It had been a long day for Maria. Her shift was about to finish and she was ready for home. She was pleased, though, for tomorrow her shift was to change to the night shift. She had offered to work so that someone who had children could spend Christmas day with them and also, she could attend midnight mass at her local church, as she liked...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 7.

Christmas eve and another night shift makes Katarina think about mortality.

Berlin December 24th, 1939     Christmas Eve. Katarina was at home with her parents. It was Sunday, but as was often the case she would be working. She never minded working at Christmas. She would see her parents for a few hours, and they would celebrate Christ's birth, as did many others but she found she got as much pleasure from trying to brighten the lives of those who...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 6

Britain declares war as Maria fights a battle of her own

Munchen.Pasing. September 3rd, 1939     "What a beautiful day!" Maria thought as she drew back the heavy curtains to allow the sun to stream through the window.   Although only seven thirty, she could feel it's warmth on her face as she closed her eyes against the brightness.   For once, this was a Sunday she didn't have to work. A rare day off from the hard work at the hospital. ...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 5

The casualty, a young SS soldier but to Katarina, just another patient.

Berlin. September 3rd, 1939         Katarina went to work at the Charité as normal. It was a beautiful morning. The sky was clear and the sun was beginning to climb in the sky. Germany had become more like an occupied country itself, these days. There were uniforms everywhere. Many were the brown of the SA but becoming more and more prevalent was the oppressive black of the SS....Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 4

Maria takes the tram home from a long night shift.

Munchen.Pasing. April 9th, 1939.     Maria Kaufmann awoke in the light-filled room. She looked at the clock on her bedside table.   Half past twelve. Five and a half hours since she climbed wearily into bed after getting home after a long night's work at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Hospital.   She had finished her shift at six and taken the bus and tram home. It was...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 3

Six yars on and how times are changing

Berlin. April 9th, 1939     Katarina yawned and stretched out her arms. Although today was Sunday, she had to work at the hospital. She checked the clock beside her bed. Five O' Clock.   Her shift began at seven so she threw back the covers and sat up, turned to the side and grabbed her robe from the end of the bed before standing and slipping her arms into the sleeves and...Read On


The Nurses. Chapter 2

A new dawn for Maria

Munchen-Pasing. April 9th, 1933: A New Beginning     In the quiet Munich suburb of Pasing, a new day was dawning. As was usual, Maria Kaufmann was rising along with the sun.   She went to the window and, in the half-light, drew back the curtains and took a deep breath.   The light was slowly increasing, but the clear sky was still a deep blue.   She smiled as she surveyed the...Read On


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 Little Latch Girl

A modern retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Little Match Girl'.

“Go on, get aht! Me and and yer ma ‘ave some business to attend to!” The little girl looked at her ‘ma’ slouched across the worn and torn sofa, the strap still tight around her upper arm and the syringe, with its old blunt needle, lying on the carpet below her outstretched hand. “I told yer, get lost and don’t come back until yer got summink fer the table, bloody kid!” The empty...Read On



The Warrior Princess. Chapter 8.

“I was there when you confided in your horse. I heard everything you said..."

I awoke with a start. The trumpets were still sounding! Astrid, too, was awake and sitting upright. What was going on? Was that an alarm, were we being attacked? I leapt immediately from my bed and donned my cloak. Grabbing my bow and quiver I ran out of the chamber and into the courtyard. The trumpets were blowing loudly and urgently and men were lining the city walls. I ran up the steps...Read On


The Warrior Princess. Chapter 7.

“I am sorry to say, My Lady,” she paused, “Your brother has gone..."

“Anna.” I heard the distant voice say my name but I was too grief-stricken to answer. I felt someone stroke my hair and the voice repeated my name. “Anna.” I lifted my head and my heart leapt with joy! “Astrid! My darling! I thought...” She smiled weakly and squeezed my hand, closing her eyes once again. “So cold,” she whispered. “You have lost much blood, my love,” I spoke...Read On


The Warrior Princess. Chapter 6.

“Princess Anna!” she cried, “it is you!”

Rather than gallop out of the end of the tunnel and risk death after startling my people I halted and dismounted, leading Fleet-Foot slowly through the archway and out into the main cavern, As I looked around a lump formed in my throat and tears welled in my eyes, I had only been away for a few days and now the scene before me broke my heart. The store cavern was full of sick and dying...Read On


The Warrior Princess. Chapter 5.

"The two unsuspecting hunters appeared just in front of me, so close I could hear them breathing."

The company rode steadily through the dark hours, pausing only briefly for sustenance and comfort. We were not troubled that night and we made good progress and as the darkness gave way to light on the third daybreak since setting out, the mood was good and camp was made before the sun appeared over the horizon. As I prepared for rest I noticed that the Eagles were high in the sky,...Read On


The Warrior Princess Chapter 4.

"I do not think we are alone. I don't think our movements have passed unnoticed..."

I placed my left foot into the stirrup then, taking hold of Fleet-Foot's snow white mane and with my other hand on the saddle, bent my knee and pushed up, swinging my leg easily over his back, the loose material of my dress spreading out over the saddle. I took a moment to settle myself and adjust my cloak over my horse's back, then looked across at Astrid. She was already mounted and...Read On


The Warrior Princess. Chapter 3

I slowly raised my arm and touched the great beast with my fingertips.

There was no point in trying to sleep. I had rested well the night before and my nerves were on edge anyway, thinking about what lay ahead. About me, I could hear the sounds of preparation for battle and wondered what the next few days would bring and, turning my head to the side, I looked across to Astrid who was lying on her back, the sword belt around her waist and the gleaming hilt,...Read On


The Warrior Princess. Chapter 2

"Take her alive! He wants her alive!"

As I lay on the thick straw mattress, sleep would not come. I listened to the sounds about me, the creaking of the timbers of the great hall, the faint sounds, beyond our chamber, of the soldiers sleeping and guards moving about as they changed watch. I could hear sounds in the forest outside, birds fluttering between the trees and animals scurrying through the undergrowth but mostly I...Read On

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The warrior Princess

“You don't scare us,” the first man sneered. “We are Samerron's men..."

It was cold, so cold, as the sun began to rise in the east, casting the first rays of warmth across the rolling hills. The mist was lying in the valleys and as I rode slowly along the twisting, rutted road weird shapes seemed to appear suddenly then disappear just as quickly, as the thin mist twisted the beams of light into contorted shadows. In the far distance I could see the dark green...Read On

Flash Fiction(6)

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Remembrance Challenge: Remembrance

No-one noticed the lone, white-haired gentleman sitting on a nearby bench with sadness in his eyes.

Sunday morning, cold, damp and miserable. The dark rain-clouds which had, less than an hour previously, let fall a deluge of freezing rain upon the fields and hills surrounding the small Pennine village, were beginning to break. Their stark edges becoming wisps of pale grey. For the men and women who had gathered around the well-kept war memorial, the weather was a mere inconvenience....Read On



Outside, a thick fog had rolled in from the sea...

“No! Get off me!” Bessie screamed as she ducked and wriggled her way free of her abusive husband's clutches. The bar-room was in an uproar, a myriad of drunken sailors guffawed as Tobias Nelson dragged his wife from the room. “If I've told yer once, I've told yer a thousand times about spillin' good beer when yer clearin' the damned tables!” Bessie Nelson's eyes flashed wildly in the...Read On



A strange thing happened the other day...

A strange thing happened the other day. I'm not sure whether the time had anything to do with it because it was only four-twenty in the afternoon and the rush hour hadn't yet got under way. Anyway, as I unwrapped my Penguin bar I saw a man sitting on the pavement outside a record shop. I remember distinctly the neon 'open' sign in the window above him flashing erratically on and off in...Read On


The Storm

I wrote this story for a competition in the RNLI magazine 'Lifeboat'... It didn't win.

The rain lashed noisily against the windows and drummed upon the flat roof of the dormer. She pulled the blankets up over her head and tried to shut out the incessant din but it was no use. The howling wind whistled around the eaves reaching a thundering crescendo before dying away, only to return with equal ferocity moments later.   Outside she could hear the distant roar of the sea,...Read On


The Tunnel

It must be quite a long tunnel, he decided as he couldn't see the end, just a blackness

Archibald Horsley was a quiet, unassuming fellow, in fact, he was very shy. Everyone who knew him liked him, but he didn't have any actual friends. At thirty years old, he was unmarried with no children. It wasn't that he had no interest in women, he did, but he just hadn't met any He wasn't tall, but then, he wasn't short either. He wasn't fat, nor was he thin. Neither smart nor untidy. ...Read On

Editor's Pick

The Gathering

Queen Ariane feels it in her heart but knows not why.

Inspired by the work of Anne Stokes, 'Solstice Gathering' Ariane stood atop the castle battlements and looked out across the heavily wooded landscape that stretched far into the distance as far as she could see. It was the twenty-first day of December in the year of our Lord fourteen hundred and twenty-three. All along the castle walls, torches flared, casting an eerie flickering...Read On



Silent Movie

Please don't do this, I was thinking but he did.

I had plans for my time in lock-down, today. First, breakfast and then the usual ablutions. After some dusting and cleaning, I had decided to sit down and get to grips with some writing but, the best-laid plans and all that...   I was in no hurry. I didn't get up early and ambled slowly through the preparation of the first planned task.   My house is situated at the top of a hillside above...Read On


Moon Challenge: Ticket to the Moon

“I always wanted to go there,” he continued. “Sadly, now it is possible, I am too old.”

It had been hot, stifling hot and, having been stuck in her sweltering, non-air-conditioned office all day Carrie-Ann was glad to be out in the fresh evening air. It was the middle of June and England was baking in a record-breaking heatwave. Even with all the windows opened wide and a fan on every desk, the air that was circulating was still too warm. For once, the management had seen...Read On

Micro Fiction(35)


The Watcher

...when I awoke he would be there, watching me through my bedroom window.



Challenge: Linda Ronstadt. - Annamayzing

“They're going to hate me!”




5 of 5 These aged walls no longer hold me...




4 of 5 So, Doctor, what can you tell me?




3 of 5 Have you noticed anything odd about this wall?




2 of 5 Let me out! Let me out...




1 of 5. I see them, they don't see me...



Icy Reception

A tale from long ago.




Laugh? I almost broke a rib!


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Was it just lurking, waiting to take me by surprise?




When she awoke she was alone.




The wires screeched in protest as the strain on them pushed them towards their limit

The wires screeched in protest as the strain pushed them towards their limit. There was nothing she could do but cover her ears and wait as the unbearable cacophony built to a terrifying crescendo and then... it happened! The strain on the wires became too much and with a fearsome twang the first one failed and whipped back, released from its torment. She waited, the silence deafening,...Read On


No Knickers!

It didn't make sense.

My head felt as heavy as an iron wrecking ball. The pounding was so loud that I could hardly hear the voices... Voices? I kept my eyes closed and tried to make sense of the babble. There was something about trending, about 'Tats,' something about my son and, even worse, about 'no knickers'! It didn't make sense. I've no children; I don't have any tattoos and what exactly is 'trending'? ...Read On



Oh for Pity's sake, what now!

PING!   I took the coffee from the microwave but it was still cold, I had forgotten to press the button. I put the cup back inside and pressed it. Funny though, I definitely heard a really annoying 'Ping.' I sat down again and waited. There it was again, that really annoying 'Ping' and yet the microwave was still humming. Damn it; it must be the doorbell. Well, whoever it is...Read On


At home early.

I knew something had happened last night, something bad but I couldn't remember.

I sat at the kitchen table with my head in my hands. The pain was unbearable, the throbbing in my temples and the hissing in my ears. I knew something had happened last night, something bad but I couldn't remember what. I remembered the party, I even remembered leaving and heading for the bus stop but after that... nothing. The sound I heard next echoed through my aching head like a stab...Read On


Home late!

I knew he would be angry that I was so late...

I knew that if I disturbed him he would be angry that I was so late. If I took my clothes off before I went up then I could just slip into bed beside him and he would be none the wiser so, before I climbed the stairs, I removed my clothes as quietly as I could, piece by piece and placed them carefully over my arm, carrying my shoes.. Completely naked I climbed the stairs on tiptoe, not...Read On



Her fingers hurt with cold...

She clawed at the ice but it was no good, she couldn't get a grip. Her fingers hurt with cold, the flesh already turning white at the tips. Suddenly, a piece broke away, and she fell backward! Taking a deep breath, she got to her knees and once again began pulling at the solid, unmoving ice. It was no good, she couldn't do it, but she couldn't give up, not now. She looked around,...Read On


Should I Listen

"Go on, do it!"



Rumbling in the night

"Oh please God, make it stop!” she whimpered.

She first noticed it when she awoke in the dead of night. A rasping sound which was growing louder as she listened. She nudged her husband beside her, but he didn't stir. Louder still and rumbling, increasing in volume until she could bear it no longer. She nudged him again, harder this time but still nothing. She covered her ears and pulled the pillow over her head. “Oh please God,...Read On


The Tap

I was in a hotel in New York recently...

I was in a hotel in New York recently. Nothing fantastic but clean and comfortable. I had a good nights sleep, and when I got up, I couldn't get the shower to work. It was one of those with two taps, hot and cold but the hot one wouldn't turn. I phoned down to the front desk and when the nice man answered I told him the tap was stuck. “Tap?” he said. “Yes, I replied, “The hot tap...Read On


"God Speed"

Her knight in shining armour...

Below them sits the Gryphon, silent, unmoving whilst his one true love leans over, tying her scarf around his arm, a token of her love to remind him that through the trials of war, he is ever in her heart and her spirit rides with him. Her knight in shining armour on his fine white steed gazes into her eyes, for with her by his side he will fear nothing. The fine gold threads, like...Read On


The Accolade

I stand and stare, studying her sheer beauty...

I stand and stare, studying her sheer beauty, her sweet face concentrating and full of love framed by the golden strands of long red hair that flow far down her back. Her white dress, inlaid with golden threads and adorned with a gold belt, covers her feet and trails over the stone steps behind her and, atop her head, the circlet of gold that signifies her status. In her outstretched...Read On


Why did you do it?

I would never have done such a thing to you!

Why did you do that to me? I would never have done such a thing to you! It was cruel and uncalled for. What did I do that caused you to treat me in such a way? Did I make you angry somehow, say something to upset you? If I did, I am sorry but I don't know what it was. Even so, there was no need to do that. You have known about this for weeks but you said nothing,...Read On


Flight of Fear

We were going to hit it, I knew that...

It had been a good flight, only ninety minutes but smooth. Suddenly, I saw it, through the clouds, getting closer! We were going to hit it, I knew that and braced myself, knuckles white as I gripped the armrests! I couldn't take my eyes off it as it got nearer and nearer until, thump! We hit it! The engines screamed loudly in protest and I was thrown forwards against my seat belt...Read On


What's this 'ere?

“Oi, 'arry, come over 'ere, quick!”

“Oi, 'arry, come over 'ere, quick!” “What's up, Sid?” “What's that there?” “What, this 'ere?” “Yeah, that there.” “Blimey mate, I dunno but I'll tell yer what it looks like...” “What's that then, 'arry?” “This 'ere looks like an ear...” “That there looks like an ear? Hmm, I suppose it does.” “Is there another one 'ere, Sid?” “Nah, mate, just that one there.” “Let's 'ave...Read On



I am so angry with myself for what I did,

I don't know why I did it, a moment of madness I suppose. You were just laying there, innocent, untouched and I just couldn't help myself. I had to have you! I never thought of the consequences, what would happen if I dared to touch you... No, I was out of control and now you are gone. I am so angry with myself for what I did, for my weakness and now I have to suffer the consequences of...Read On


Fear and Loathing...

...footsteps approached, her heart all but stopping as the the knob began to turn.

She sat in the dark and quiet room, lit periodically with the flash of lightning, followed soon after by the crash of thunder and stared at the door as the sound of footsteps approached, her heart all but stopping as the knob began to turn. She couldn't bear it and she trembled uncontrollably, afraid of who or even what might be trying to enter. The door creaked open and she screamed...Read On



“Got to make it...” he thought, trying to see through reddened eyes.

The water splashed over his head as he pushed himself desperately forwards, trying to stay afloat, keep his head up and not swallow too much. “Got to make it...” he thought, trying to see through reddened eyes, “Got to... to keep... going.” He pushed with as much effort as his tired legs could manage, “Mustn't... give... up...” He was tiring now, struggling, praying to find something,...Read On



Soaked and exhausted she sees a light...

The wind howled mercilessly as it forced the cold rain under her hood and soaked her to her skin. Through the trees she saw a light and found the refuge she needed. “Come in, come in. You poor soul.” The old woman sat her beside the fire and brought her a bowl of steaming home made soup and a chunk of fresh crusty bread. Soon the heat radiated throughout her body. The old woman...Read On


Easter Delight

“No! I am not putting that thing in my mouth!"

“I have something for you, Emma,” he said, holding it out towards her. “I don't think so, Jack!” she replied curtly. “Oh, come on now, don't be like that, here, take it.” “No! I am not putting that thing in my mouth! Not now, not ever!” “Go on, Emma, give it a lick. It's only small...” “You are not putting that in my mouth! If you try, I shall scream!” “Oh but...” “Damn it,...Read On


Apples and Pears

Some may need the help of a dictionary...

So, I was on me way 'ome from work, see. Me Plates were killin' me as I 'ad new Daisy's. Suddenly the old bulb popped up above me 'ead. I'll nip into the Rub! A pint of Red Barrel was just what I needed. Only one problem, the Trouble an' strife! Well, one became two an' two became three and by the time I got 'ome I was so Brahms I could 'ardly stand! Climbin' the Apples was out...Read On



I tried my hand at Micro-Fiction.

I tried my hand at Micro-Fiction. Can't be too hard, I thought, but it seems I was wrong. I wrote a short piece that I imagined would be thought provoking and fun, and I was right but what happened next left me flabbergasted, in fact, my Flabber has never been so Gasted! What flummoxed me was the way it was taken so seriously. I can honestly say, I was Gobsmacked! What a kerfuffle...Read On


3. Magnificent!

“I told you Billy. Didn't I tell you? They had to know.”

“The sky, Bob, it's glowing!” “Yep, it sure is, Martha.” “I told you Billy. Didn't I tell you? They had to know.” “I guess you did, Jimmy but what is it? Why is the sky all orange?” “I don't get it Martha. I just don't get it...” “Me neither, Bob. Maybe they are teaching us a lesson.” “But we surrendered, Martha. Charlottesville surrendered. They didn't need to burn the...Read On


2. Astounding...

“Billy? What in tarnation are you doin' out of your bed at this time of night?”

“Pa, Pa, come on, you gotta see this!” “Billy? What in tarnation are you doin' out of your bed at this time of night?” “Pa, never mind, come on, it's awesome...” “Martha! Did you know the boy was outside?” “No, Bob, I surely didn't!” “Oh, come on, come on, you gotta see it!” “This better be good boy 'cos you is in a heap of trouble...” “Yes Pa, but look, see?” “Oh my Lord,...Read On


1, Awesome

"Holy... What is it, Jimmy?"

“Oh Wow! Look at that, Billy!” “Holy... What is it, Jimmy?” The two boys stared up into the night sky. “It's fantastic, we gotta tell someone!” “Tell who, Jimmy? If we tell our folks they will know we were here.” “We gotta tell someone, Billy. We can't just ignore it...” “But no-one will believe us, Jimmy, they'll say we made it up and we'll be grounded!” “I know but...Read On



Back to school Challenge: Class Distinction.

“Four inches, Morrison! You know the rule, what should it be?”

“Morrison!” “Yes, Sister?” “Your skirt is too short. Kneel on the desk!” Sister Bernadette, The Carmelite Nun who was head of discipline and religious studies for the girls of St. Mary Magdalene Roman Catholic High School, tapped the desk in front of me with her wooden ruler. Obediently, I climbed onto my chair and knelt upon the flat wooden surface of the desk as commanded. Without...Read On



silent but for my breath and the sound of my heart beating




...through the trees, a lone Heron, standing absolutely still on the opposite bank just yards away.

Today I took a long stroll, well, longish. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the sun shone brightly and hot as I walked through the trees. It was the Fifth day of September, Two Thousand and Eighteen and the forest was quiet and peaceful. Suddenly, I stopped. There, on the lake, just through the trees, a lone Heron, standing absolutely still on the opposite bank just yards away. I...Read On



The Red Dress

One woman, in particular, stood out from the crowd.

Back in the spring, my husband and I went to visit a 1940s Weekend. There were many people there dressed in the fashions and uniforms of those days. There were vehicles and stalls and it really was a wonderful weekend. An escape from the humdrum repetitiveness of my daily life. As I walked, arm in arm with my husband, Philip, I took in the sights, sounds and even tastes of the Forties....Read On



Love & Affection Challenge: Ruby

You could give me roses, the most beautiful of flowers...




An odd rhyme.



The Room.

My heart began pounding I got short of breath...

There's a house, in the south, with a room I once dreaded. No-one was murdered there, no-one beheaded. I loved the house, the home of my cousins, But I hated that room, and for that, there's no reason.   On a bend on the stairs, was a step to a door. I would hurry past, though I knew not what for. No reason to worry, there was nothing to fear and yet, when I passed, I could not...Read On


My Princess

Why do you look so sad, as you stare out from the screen?




I wrote this for a forum response. Hope you like it.




"...Behind the curtains where she wouldn't be seen."

From as far back as she can remember, Her favourite place was behind the curtains, Watching the traffic through the window. Though, what drew her there she cannot be certain. But year after year she would go there. Because she loved that room and she loved the house. Even now her thoughts return there often, To the place where she stood as quiet as a mouse. At Christmas time...Read On



A beautiful winter morning...

The sky, black as ink, silver dots, Impenetrable darkness it seems. But fading now to a deep velvet blue, and the stars fade away like my dreams. A thin pale line, growing brighter, The horizon with thin orange hue, The blue of the sky ever lighter, and the world starts to come into view. A brand new day is awakening, The shadows are long on the ground, The still...Read On


Famous! And yet...

Thousands waiting... for ME!

Today, like many others, I am expected. Not just by one but by many. In towns and cities across the land, They wait for me and pay a pretty penny. They know what time to expect me, If I am late they get mad, check the time, They don't want to wait and when I arrive, They are pleased and surge forwards in lines. North of the border, across the Tyne, Out to the east...Read On

Recommended Read


A wish for Christmas

High in the sky, the stars shine so bright. Which one did they follow on that wonderful night? The three wise men who, from the orient came, To find a child, though they knew not his name. Whether we believe in the saviour or not There is no doubt that the world changed a lot. And through wars and conflicts that are so reviled There can also be peace because of this child. In...Read On


My Dad

My Dad loved football... NOT!

My father once played football. He played for a local side. He wasn’t very good at it, But it kept him occupied. He played right up there, at the front, Striker, I think he said. He soon scored his first great goal, Right in off his head! Sadly it was an own goal, The Captain he was mad He sent him back to play midfield Which wasn’t all that bad. But my dad couldn’t...Read On


Why must I kill you?

Why me?

I see you there, alone and still and I know it's you I'm going to kill. You look at me and see me near, I shout at you but you don't hear. It's not my wish, to make you die, It's up to you, and you know why! You've made your choice, so die you must and I will kill you, without a fuss. To save yourself, you still have time, don't make me kill, just change your mind. Turn around,...Read On


What am I?

Can you guess?

I am worth very much, and you cannot buy me. Yet I am yours, if you like, completely free. I am here for you, when you are sad and I do not judge even, when you do things that are bad I lift you up high, when you're feeling so low, supporting you, protecting you from foes. I soothe your fears and ease your pain, I listen to your worries, again and again. I am there when you...Read On


One small step.

Should I end it all?

I stand upon the cliff edge, looking out, alone. Above the sky is laden, grey and dark, forlorn. Just one step that's all I need, just one to end it all, One small step to end my life, one step for me to fall. But is this what I really want, to cut my life so short. Have I nothing left at all, nothing, zero, nought? Who will miss me when I’m gone, those I leave behind? Will they care...Read On


Homeward Bound

A sad return from a happy place

Dramatic skies, dark grey on blue, Beams of light where the sun shines through. Tarmac black and shining wet, Engines quiet, not turning yet. Climb the steps and find a seat, Stewardesses, prim and neat. Seat belt on, engines whine, Spooling up, it's nearly time. Slowly back, out from the gate, Moving now, no time to wait. Engines louder, moves away, From...Read On



Behind her, footsteps follow, or is it just a trick!

She steps down from the bus, the city dark and cold, Soft rain falling, wets the ground, the silence taking hold. She pulls her scarf around her neck, umbrella overhead  and walks off down the alley, looking forward to her bed. Behind her, footsteps follow or is it just a trick, Echoes from the walls, rebounding from the bricks. Her feet move faster, stepping out, but still she...Read On