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The Home Guard Episode Two – Patrol

And here is episode two of The Home Guard Project. Have fun!

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Episode Two – Patrol

Date: March 18, 1941

Location: Cirencester

Smoke filled the air in the pub, creating a toxic haze that lingered like an ominous fate. There was a tinge of hatred in the air that was almost tangible, a series of eyes focusing on one stool at the bar.

Fazer sipped his half pint of ale, his mouth tingling from the bitterness of its hoppy body. He lifted the glass up in front of his face and gazed at the dim lights behind the bar through an amber film. It wasn’t that bad, but he yearned for something from back home in his hand. Now they were proper beers in his opinion.

He could feel the scorning looks from the other drinkers in the lounge burning into every part of his body. Anything more intense and he would have gone up in flames. He looked out the corner of his eye and down to his Bren gun which was leaning up against the bar. No matter what happened he would never use it against his allies.

‘Hey you…’ A tall blonde man tapped his on the shoulder.

Fazer rested his drink down on the counter and breathed out slowly. ‘Can I help you?’ he asked in a throaty, accented voice.

The guy sniffed heavily. ‘You a German, right?’

He knew exactly where this was going. He turned to look at the guy, who was dressed in a mottle-grey suit and wearing a light brown cap. He was sturdy and looked like he could handle himself alright. ‘I am from Germany, yes.’ He stared at the man, dead-eyed.

‘Why don’t you get out of here and go back home, eh?’ The man pointed to Fazer’s Home Guard uniform. ‘You shouldn’t be wearing that either.’

Fazer sighed wearily. ‘I don’t want an argument or a fight. Can you leave me alone? I want to finish my drink.’ He went back to concentrating on the bar.

‘Is this your gun? Nice model.’

Before he could react, the man had picked up his Bren gun from where it was leaning and was testing its weight. ‘That’s not yours.’

‘Terribly sorry,’ the man replied sarcastically. ‘I could give you the bullets back if you want them?’

Fazer glanced around the lounge and saw a mixture of faces, some expressing hostility and others horror. It was then that he saw a familiar figure approaching the well-suited man from behind like an ill wind.

‘Hey, you look at me, OK?’

‘OK.’ Fazer smiled, his eyes lightening.

The man froze as a gun was cocked and pressed against his temple.

A hot, heavy voice breathed menacingly into his ear. ‘Word of advice… you should take the safety off on the gun.’ Dad looked at his friend reassuringly. ‘I think you owe Fazer an apology, yes?’

The man stood silently, his hands beginning to shake.

Dad forced the gun harder against the man’s head and grabbed the Bren gun off him. ‘Sorry is the word you’re after.’ He laughed heartily.

‘S…sorry,’ the guy blurted out, his face nearly drowned by tears. He skittered away, encouraged by Dad’s boot.

‘Hey Fazer, you OK?’ asked Dad, holstering his pistol.

His friend snorted with amusement. ‘I am a lot better at handling myself than you think.’

‘That’s what my wife said last night, isn’t it?’

They both laughed, ignoring the uncertainty of the people around them.

‘We should get going,’ said Dad, patting Fazer on the shoulder. ‘We’ve got a job to do, mate.’

‘Yes. This beer is terrible.’

***

The roar of the motorcycles echoed down the dirt track road as Dad and Fazer cruised along their allocated patrol route; plumes of dust rolling up behind them, the sun beating down with a fierce gaze for springtime. Fresh budding trees blurred past their eyes before changing into the abandoned fields of local farmers and livestock owners. A few decaying corpses of cows and horses were dotted around, picked bare by scavengers.

‘Ah, it’s a goddamn wasteland,’ remarked Dad as he slowed his bike down to observe the area a bit more thoroughly. ‘This is not good.’

Fazer slowed down to a crawl and looked over his shoulder. ‘It is not good at all,’ he replied matter-of-factly. ‘Dad?’

‘Yes mate?’

‘Do you miss it? Holland, I mean.’

Dad rolled alongside Fazer and gauged his eyes, if not for a brief moment, and saw the deepness of his buried sorrows. ‘Of course I do, mate. I miss the lovely scenery, my family, and the great beers.’ He gave a warm smile. ‘You remember the bike rides we did up to the mountains occasionally?’

‘Brilliant times, Dad.’ Fazer chuckled. ‘Sit in a bar, have some jokes, play games, relax… it was great.’ He paused.

‘What about you?’ asked Dad. ‘You miss your home?’

‘I miss how Germany used to be. I couldn’t live there while the Nazis are still about – it’s the whole reason I left in the first place. Being a German fighting on the English side is hard to be honest.’

‘I can imagine.’

‘We need a good ride up into the mountains to take our minds off it.’

Dad looked off into the distance, a reflective look forming in his face. ‘We’ll do it again, Fazer… I promise you.’

‘If you don’t then I may have to kick you.’

Dad laughed but suddenly stopped. ‘Wait…’ He said sharply, his head angled to one side trying to focus on something in the distance. ‘You hear that?’

Fazer quietened and cupped a hand behind his ear. ‘Hear what?’

A burst of gunshots sounded in the distance, birds scattering through the horizon.

‘That,’ said Dad.

‘Sounds like some fun.’ He adjusted the strap that was holding his Bren gun onto his back. ‘Gives me a chance to test the new model.’

Dad stood up in his seat and peered into the expansive wasteland of fields. ‘That way.’ He pointed eagerly along the road. ‘Let’s get over to that hill further up the road.’

Both of their engines roared and they whizzed up the route, gaining on the hill in front of them with surprising speed and determination.

They eventually reached the brow of the hill which gave them an improved view.

Fazer raised a hand in front of him, indicating the source of the disturbance. ‘There,’ he said. ‘Someone running through that field; see in the distance behind him? Looks like a group of men are after him.’

With a rev of his engine, Dad took off down the road without a word. Fazer didn’t need any encouragement as he followed suit.

***

Grnahh was rapidly running out of breath, his sniper rifle growing heavier and heavier every advancing yard. He had been running north for the past 20 miles or so, trying his hardest to escape the grip of the Nazi hunting team. He remembered that there were about five or six of them, armed to the teeth and dressed plainly in case they crossed the border lines into British territory accidentally. Very smart.

He dared to look behind him. He could see the small outlines of his pursuers, making his stomach wrench and sicken. He swore harshly in French and concentrated on keep his legs upright as they were crying out to him for some R&R. How he was wishing to be in a café somewhere having a drink instead of this.

It took everything he had to clamber over the fence at the end of the field, his hand pressing firmly against the pouch on his belt. He glanced up desperately and could feel a jumping sensation in his chest – there was a road ahead and two men mounted on motorcycles. He slowed his pace, expecting his inevitable capture… that was until he recognised the sound of English being thrown in his direction, albeit in a slight accent. He swallowed his nerves and ploughed onwards toward the two men.

‘Come on, mate,’ called Dad as the soldier drew closer. ‘Fazer? Give him some covering fire. I bet those Nazis haven’t realised they’ve come onto our side.’

Fazer jumped from his bike and grabbed his gun, crouching down and pressing it into his shoulder. He waited for a few moments, the soldier’s pursuers getting closer.

Dad looked at the man as he reached them, his face a sea of sweat and dirt. He had to ask him what was going on.

Grnahh rambled on to them both in his own language.

Fazer, who was now lain down on his belly, looked to one side at them both. ‘English only please,’ he grumbled.

‘Oh… I do… I’m sorry.’ Grnahh nearly collapsed as he sat on the dirt track path. ‘I’m… tired. Those Germans have been chasing me for 20 miles. I…’ He gathered his breath. ‘I have important information about the next Nazi operation – the one they’re going to use to punch through the defensive line.’

Dad mulled over what the Frenchman had just told him, rolling his tongue around the inside of his cheek. ‘Do these guys know you’ve stolen those plans?’

Grnahh shook his head. ‘No. They found me in one of the communication offices just outside London. They know I’ve stolen something but don’t know what. I photographed the plans so they won’t be missing anything.’

Fazer suddenly let loose a hail of gunfire as the Axis team were only a hundred yards away, all five of them quickly hitting the floor or taking cover behind carcasses. ‘We might run out of ammo before we kill them all,’ Fazer grunted as he reloaded.

‘Hey… what’s your name?’ Dad asked.

‘Grnahh.’

‘Take my gun and help Fazer hold them off.’ Dad handed him his own Bren gun and a pouch of clips along with it.

‘I ran out of rifle ammo miles back so this is no use to me now.’ Grnahh tossed the rifle onto the floor and checked Dad’s gun.

‘Fazer? Grnahh? Hold them off for a few minutes while I go for some backup. There’s a checkpoint a couple of miles down the road – they should have some spare guys there.’

‘They better do,’ Fazer croaked as he squeezed the trigger for another storm.

Dad started his bike up and sped off like a bat out of hell.

Grnahh setup a few metres away from Fazer and started shooting. ‘I am so used to using rifles and not these things,’ he bawled above the rhythm of the gun’s cries.

Fazer reloaded again, satisfied that he had killed one of the team. ‘Four left.’

‘I cannot shoot to save my life,’ Grnahh grunted breathlessly, his arms shaking as he held the gun off the ground. ‘I’m… so… tired.’

‘Keep awake for God’s sake.’ Fazer looked over at him and swore. Grnahh had blacked out, most likely from exhaustion. ‘Shit.’ Fazer crawled over like a snake on the hunt and grabbed the pouch of ammo. ‘Damn it,’ he growled as he got back to his position.

He gritted his teeth, his view of the team lost. They had taken the opportunity to move when he had stopped firing. Where the hell had they gone? Fazer guessed a flanking maneuver was on the cards. He lifted himself up to a crouch and stayed by Grnahh’s unconscious body. ‘Wake up, please, wake up.’ All he needed was a few minutes to hold them off until Dad returned.

A few minutes passed.

A movement to his right caught his attentions. He fired his Bren gun, unloading an entire clip until he heard a scream. He stood up after the few seconds he took to slot a new clip into the top of the gun.

Damn it. It was only one of the team he had killed… the other three Nazis had gone the other way around.

Fazer gulped, trickles of tension running down his forehead.

A shot rang out and he yelped, his leg taken out from underneath him before he could turn. His body slumped to the floor; gun clattering to one side, his hand grabbing his bleeding thigh. The pain seared up through his body, burning with hell’s own fiery rage. His eyes went fuzzy from the shock and he gasped as the pain grew worse. He fought back tears.

‘We got him. The spy is out cold here.’

Fazer lifted his head as he heard the words spoken in his own tongue. ‘You will be sorry,’ he sneered loudly in German.

A shadow quickly overpowered his view. ‘You speak German?’ asked the Nazi.

‘You are a disgrace,’ Fazer spat.

‘And why is that?’

‘You serve that psychotic maniac! Look what he has done to our country’s honour.’

‘Oh so you are German.’ The Nazi crouched down, looking at the wound in Fazer’s leg. ‘You are on the wrong side, my friend. You disgust me. We are on the winning side.’

Fazer saw his other two team mates walking up behind him, keeping a distance of a few metres. ‘You… you are on the side of someone who cannot win. Hitler cannot take over the world – he is mad.’

The Nazi stood back up and called back to one of his team. ‘Have you found the stolen articles on the spy?’

‘A roll of film, sir. He must have photographed something.’

‘Do you know what the best thing about the British is?’ asked Fazer, his voice softening.

‘Do tell me before I kill you.’

Fazer glanced down the road and sighed. ‘They do not give in and follow a dictator.’ He laughed. ‘Welcome… to your fate.’

A gunshot rang out from the distance. One of the Nazi team went down. Another shot. The other collapsed in a sea of gasps as his throat was blown out.

The Nazi standing over Fazer turned around without hesitation and shot off a few rounds from his rifle. He darted over to his fallen comrade and grabbed the film from his dead fingers without a care for his demise.

Dad raced on in front of the armoured patrol car, his bike raging onwards like a bull. He felt a sharp pang of anger as he saw his friend on the floor, writhing in agony. ‘Damn you, you Nazi scum!’ he screamed as he angled his bike, aiming for the fleeing German.

It was a rough ride down the grassy slope. The Nazi turned to fire his gun.

The bullet missed Dad as he flew through the air, his bike toppling over. He landed on his enemy like a ferocious lion, wrestling the gun out of his hands and discarding it.

‘Bastard,’ he cried as he thumped the man in the face with such a force that it broke his nose. He pummelled him relentlessly, the Nazi not being given a chance until his life was beaten out of his body.

‘Dad? Dad!’ Bjorn ran down the hillside, dropping his sniper rifle, and pulled Dad out of his white rage. ‘He’s dead already.’

‘What about Fazer? Is he OK?’ Dad asked frantically, his voice breaking as he calmed himself down.

Bjorn looked up at one of his men, who nodded back at him. ‘He’s fine by the looks of it,’ he explained soothingly. ‘So is that Frenchman you told us about.’

‘Thank God for that.’ Dad looked at the badly bloodied corpse in front of him and noticed something clutched in the man’s hands. He prized it out and looked it over. ‘It’s the roll of film that Grnahh mentioned.’ He looked at Bjorn. ‘Good thing we got here when we did, eh Bjorn?’

‘Yeah, sure is.’

They made their way up the hillside and back to the road, the air stinking of petrol fumes and gunpowder.

Dad kneeled at Fazer’s side. ‘What are you doing on the floor, Fazer?’ he joked.

‘Well I am wondering what took you so long.’

Dad hung his head. ‘Yeah, sorry about that, mate.’

Fazer laughed. ‘You arrived just in time. One more minute and I would have been dead.’

‘Well that’s OK then. Come on, we need to get you into the car and get you to a medic.’ He took his friend’s hand and lifted him up, wrapping his arm around his waist for support. ‘Have you put weight on?’ Dad chuckled.

‘Yes I have, but you’ll carry me to safety anyway.’

‘That’s because you’re my friend, Fazer. We don’t do those bike rides for nothing, you know?’

‘You’re like a brother to me, Dad.’

Bjorn stood next to the car and watched Dad carrying Fazer toward him. ‘Look out men, there’s some male bonding going on.’ He smirked and ran his fingers through his hair.

Dad looked up at him. ‘We’re all brothers, Bjorn,’ he announced.

Fazer smiled to himself, eventually laughing.

**********

Thanks for reading. Episode three will be here next week! :-D

Andy Wood:

Fantastically powerful flash fiction by my good friend, Lisa Stull. Really dark and thought provoking :-)

Originally posted on Lisa M. Gott:

The door barely closes behind me before the tears fall straight down to the floor. And I slide down into the puddle of my sorrow. And I sit there heaving and clutching at the part of my chest where my heart used to be. The swirling despair and utter disappointment of all that could be and never was has nibbled it all away.

Somehow I pull myself up and I shuffle around the house. Pretending to care about feeding the fish. Pretending to care about the bills that are stacked up on the counter. Pretending not to notice the picture frame. The frame that could have been filled with memories and dreams. But instead it is, just like me – empty.

Nothing happened differently today. And that’s the problem. Nothing changes. I hope. I try. I believe. And still, it is just me. In this house. With the fish. The…

View original 406 more words

The Home Guard Episode One – Rescue

Here it is! Episode One of The Home Guard project. Enjoy!

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Episode One – Rescue

Date: March 16, 1941.

Location: Somewhere outside Cambridge.

The night air was cool underneath the blanket of stars, owls hooting one another from a nearby wood as they scavenged for their dinner of mice and shrews. Amongst the patchy woodlands and calm, rolling fields there was something unnatural creeping through; the stench of death and misery dripping off it like a waterfall.

The German transport truck rolled over the bumpy ground with an eerie cadence from its engine. A standard escort of two motorcycles and half a dozen light infantry accompanied it as it journeyed south with its cargo. The darkness was pierced only by the headlights and the moon, leaving the rest of the surroundings as dark as the underworld.

‘Bill? Bill!’ Drex peered through the night, his voice a razor sharp whisper.

From within the treeline came a shuffle followed by a hushed, deep voice. ‘What’s up, mate?’ Bill flicked open his pocket watch and attempted to read the time in the strained moonlight. ‘Should’ve expected as much,’ he cursed.

Drex ground his teeth anxiously. ‘You sure this is gonna work?’

With a sigh Bill rolled his eyes, taking satisfaction that his friend could not see the annoyance in his face. ‘There’s only one way to find out. Look… we’re to camp here until the convoy passes then we ambush. A nice little tactic, wouldn’t you say?’

‘Hmm… suppose so.’ Drex sat up from his place on the floor and dusted the front of his tunic down. ‘Bloody dirt,’ he grunted.

Bill patted his hand over the ground next to him, attempting to locate the binoculars. He grabbed them and brought them up to his face, angling them toward a distant bundle of encroaching lights. ‘Well hello there boys,’ he cooed before chuckling to himself menacingly.

‘I think you enjoy this too much y’know, Bill.’ stated Drex with a slight apprehension. ‘How they looking?’

‘Erm… two motorcycles leading the way in front of the truck; four guards trailing behind and to the sides. I expect there might be another couple in the back with the prisoners. Should be an easy run I think.’

Drex huffed. ‘I salute your optimism.’

They both waited for the Germans to edge closer and closer until they were only a few hundred yards away, about to enter the grassy path between the copses of trees.

‘Wait a minute,’ Drex blurted out suddenly, laying a hand on Bill’s shoulder. ‘What if we hit our guys? Santa’ll be firing blind, basically.’

Bill raised a knowing finger at Drex and smiled broadly. ‘Hence why I’ve gone and gotten a flare gun to fire at them. Every little flaw is covered, don’t you worry.’

Drex nodded firmly and hoisted his anti-tank rifle up from the floor and rested it into his shoulder. ‘I hope I can bloody well fire this thing properly.’

‘We’ve all been given training by the army boys, albeit a crash course, but we’re just as deadly to the Germans as anyone else.’

‘Have you been drinking?’

‘Hmmm… maybe a tiny little drop earlier.’ Bill glanced at Drex’s sceptical face that was now outlined in the moonlight. ‘Hey what do you expect? I just happened to stumble across a rather rare case of single malt in that house we passed by yesterday.’

‘That wasn’t yours.’

‘Can’t let it go to waste.’

‘How much you had exactly?’

Bill mulled it over. ‘Maybe… half a bottle?’

There was no point in arguing about it, Drex knew that much. ‘Oh bloody hell,’ he grumbled, rubbing his face. ‘Well this ought to make things fun.’

Bill slung his Thompson over his shoulder and moved as fast as he could while still crouching, his breath rhythmic and well-paced for a man with a stomach full of whisky. The few months he and the rest of the Home Guard had spent training physically had paid off.

Drex observed him moving deeper into the darkness of the tree trunk shroud. He sighed before adjusting his helmet and looking across the way. He cupped his hands over his mouth and attempted an owl call. He grimaced at the poor quality of it, but then laughed as a sharp whistle was sent back to him. ‘A lovely whistle there, Santa. Sounded just like an owl’

There was a pause in the air, waiting for the executioner’s axe to fall.

Santa gazed at the approaching headlights like a child mesmerised by Christmas lights. He adjusted the sight on his Lewis gun and eased his body into an effective position. ‘Come on then you filthy foreigners. Come and walk into my bullets.’ He let a small smile etch onto his face as he controlled his breathing.

Back in the gloom of the woods, Bill removed the flare gun from his belt and crept sideways as the motorcycles travelled past, closely followed by the truck and troops. He could feel a lump in his throat and cold sweat start to run down his back.

This was it.

Bill looped his finger around the trigger and aimed at the enemy. ‘One, two…’ He paused as he scrunched up his face. ‘Three.’

The flare gun fizzled as it was fired, a dazzling white jet of light hurtling toward the German escort. He laughed quite loudly as the entire scene was lit up. ‘Fantastic! Now that’s how you…’ He swore as he watched the infantry pointing their rifles and submachine guns in his direction. ‘Shit!’ He dived to his left as a hail of bullets ripped through the woodland. He could hear the motorcycles revving up along with the truck. He assumed they were going to try and escape. ‘Come on Drex.’

A deafening explosion reverberated through the night air as the anti-tank rifle hit its mark. The distant sound of swearing followed it.

Santa unleashed hell. The second cyclist flew from his saddle as the bullets slammed into his side. The bike rolled off to one side, out of control, while the other lay in a sea of flaming doom.

The truck skidded to one side and stopped as it collided with the fiery wreckage. The driver hopped out with his pistol only to meet a wave of bullets that turned his body into Swiss cheese.

‘Filthy foreigners!’ cried Santa from his machinegun.

Bill moved up from his belly, a feeling of dread rising into his throat. He sucked it up and raised his head, gun poised in his hands. He hoped that the Germans were distracted by Santa’s deadly stream of fire. He squeezed the trigger as he saw two of them backing into the trees for cover. They both went down with screams of agony as his Thompson answered their fears.

Where were the other two guards?

He pushed his doubts down and moved forward, reloading his weapon. His legs hesitantly took him towards the truck where he noticed the other two guards dead on the floor, riddled with holes.

Bill breathed a sigh of relief… that was until a German soldier jumped out of the back of the truck, quickly bringing his submachine gun up. He babbled in German, saying what Bill assumed to be something about dropping his gun and surrendering. Bill edged backward, the guard moving toward him.

Suddenly the German soldier careened to one side, half of his head having been blown off by something powerful.

Bill glanced to his left.

Drex laughed as he eased his anti-tank rifle onto his shoulder. ‘Now that’s what you call a headshot.’

There was a ruckus from the back of the truck, sounds of a fist fight ensuing. A thick, regional accent mumbled something angrily.

Bill and Drex watched as another German guard was tossed out onto the floor, his face bloodied and swollen from whatever encounter he had just seen. Two men dressed in Home Guard uniforms hopped down, one brandishing a pistol.

‘Try that again you Nazi bastard,’ the unarmed one said in a Black Country accent.

‘Sammo!’ Bill cheered.

‘About time you showed up,’ Sammo snapped

‘You can’t seriously be angry?’

‘What if you’d killed us by accident?’

‘Don’t worry, we had Santa on the machine gun… he had it covered.’

Sammo sighed heavily, annoyance still rising in his voice. ‘You nearly had Thule’s head off at one point.’

Thule laughed. ‘I’ve got a bit of a headache so it would’ve helped. No head, no headache.’

Drex walked up to the front of the truck and peered inside. ‘D’you think we could salvage this to take us back up north?’

‘Sounds good to me,’ replied Bill, still having a stand-off against Sammo.

‘I’ll leave you three love birds to get reacquainted while I go get Santa,’ Drex remarked before jogging off.

‘My back is killing me,’ Sammo eventually said, breaking the silence.

‘You’re both rescued now so less bickering, please.’ Bill looked around for any more activity.

‘What am I doing with him?’ asked Thule, the pistol shaking in his hand. Whether or not it was from rage or fear was only for him to know.

‘Take him with us as a prisoner, of course.’ Sammo ran his tongue over his lips, moistening the dried cracks in them, trying to calm down.

Thule nearly choked. ‘Are you serious? We can’t let another one live.’

‘Geneva Convention, mate.’ Sammo grabbed the gun from his hand. ‘Just calm down.’

‘Look, we need to get you guys away from here,’ Bill pleaded. ‘Let’s get you back into the truck.’

Sammo squared off against Bill, his eyes blazing. ‘Again… my back is killing me. I’m driving.’

‘OK, fine I’ll go in the back then.’

The sound of footsteps stopped their heated conversation. Drex returned with Santa in tow, his Lewis gun resting firmly in his hands.

Santa looked down at the captured guard. ‘Oh… you mean to say I missed one?’

Bill patted him on the shoulder. ‘Sorry mate but he’s our prisoner.’

‘Are you sure about that? I mean… he looks beaten up already. Could I have his kneecaps as a trophy?’

Drex laughed hard.

They all did.

‘OK lads,’ Sammo interrupted. ‘I’m driving.’

‘I’m up front,’ Drex butted in before anyone else, turning and racing to the passenger side seat.

Thule lifted the prisoner up and signalled for him to get in the back of the truck. They both climbed up, Thule throwing at smile at Bill as if to say thank you.

‘After you, Santa,’ said Bill.

‘Oh thank you, Bill. I want to keep an eye on this… this filthy Nazi foreigner prisoner.’ Santa eased his way up.

‘Everyone’s a filthy foreigner to you, Santa,’ Thule said from inside.

‘Bill?’

He looked up at Sammo who was now holding out his hand.

‘Thanks for saving us.’

Bill took his hand firmly and smiled. ‘It’s what friends do – look out for one another.’

**********

Thanks for dropping by and reading it :-)

The Home Guard Side Project

Hello all.

I am embarking on a writing project for the benefit of an online gaming clan called “The Home Guard”. The series will be set in an alternate timeline of World War II whereby the Germans successfully invaded Britain. The names of the characters are the names used by the gamers so they’re not your stereotypical Tom, Dick and Harry! :-)

Here is the prologue:

Prologue

It is springtime in the year 1941. The success of the Axis air force in “The Battle of Britain” over the RAF paved the way for Hitler’s “Operation Sea Lion”. In September 1940 the German forces, having won air superiority over the English Channel, parachuted over 12,000 troops into southern England to gain a foothold. Coastal defences were either taken or destroyed, members of the Home Guard, Territorial Army and the regular army captured, killed or pushed back, and Winston Churchill died after a direct hit on the war rooms.

Following their initial invasion force, a compliment of 2,000 panzers and a further 25,000 troops were brought in across the channel to help further the triumph of the Nazi jack boot as it made its way up Britain, turning the green and pleasant lands into smoky, ruined acres of rubble cities and muddy, sodden ground.

The remaining commanders of the Armed Forces created the “Commonwealth Line”, which people nicknamed “The Stiff Upper Lip”, that was a proposed line of defence running from Bristol in the west, over to Great Yarmouth in the east. This barrier would be held by anyone and everyone – armed forces, volunteers, and even willing young men stepped forward. The Commonwealth Line was not a line of weapons, artillery and tactics – it was a line of hope, strength and freedom.

To any of the HG guys reading this – thank you for dropping by and I’ll keep you all posted!

Massive Milestone

I have finally crept my way up to and past 100,000 words on my novel! Dead pleased that I have managed this much. It’s taken me a long time but only another 20,000 to go roughly.

I am a happy Andy! :-D

Blog Mini Series Story #2

Story number two of the mini series. Enjoy!

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Part Two

My name is Martha Pellino.

Shit, shit, shit! This was not good; not at all. That bullet was meant for me, no one else but me. Thank God I was wearing trousers and not a skirt – it made running a lot easier. I know I’ve done bad things; a lot of bad things, but at the end of the day it’s business and nothing more. A few people get killed in the process. So what? There are seven billion people in the world… what are a few insignificant shit heads in the grand scheme of things? They were creeping into my turf half of them were, and the others just… well that’s another story I don’t have the time to think about at the bloody moment.

I was being shot at – a very real risk for a lady in my position of power and influence. I had these bodyguards for a reason, two of them, and they were being paid enough money to at least sacrifice themselves to save me. I was guided along by my most trusted guard: Daniel. He had put himself in front of the firing squad for me many times before; I felt safe, regardless of the dangers that were present around me. I gripped his forearm as I ducked through a doorway, the lights in the adjoining office flickering before shutting off completely. The darkness fell upon us just like death itself. The warping bass beat from the club had died also – I knew that this wasn’t just a lone shooter… they had an accomplice or two. I know how these things work – a single shooter tended to be just one man out for revenge, but more than one told me that there was some professionalism about this.

‘Where the fuck are you taking me?’ I snarled at Daniel, flinging my jacket from my body – this thing was warm.

Without the light I couldn’t see what he was looking at or what was about to happen. ‘Stay down, Martha,’ he said forcefully in that deep, Russian voice of his. There was something about Russian men that reassured me; God knows why. ‘We’ve got to get you to the back.’

I sighed heavily and glanced around, straining my eyes to see something at least in the black veil across my vision. ‘Who the fuck is after me now?’ I felt like a hunted animal in the wild, but I was outrunning the hunter at the moment.

Daniel grabbed my arm and hoisted me up to a run, guiding me through a side door that led into another room, which I took to be some sort of utility room. ‘There’s a small service door we can get through,’ he stated deeply. He grumbled something to my other bodyguard, Nico, who opened the door carefully, his handgun edging out.

I took a deep breath, anticipating a shot of some kind. Relieved, I jogged through the door as Nico told us both to move. There was a stairwell, as cold as the Arctic, that was pulsating with red emergency lights.  ‘Where to?’ I asked Daniel, trying to keep the calm in my voice.

Daniel looked up the stairwell and then down. ‘We need to go to the ground floor… and quickly.’

We started to make our way down, Nico taking point. It had only been a few steps before sub-machine-gun bullets ricocheted off the walls. I fell back onto the steps and scrabbled higher. My eyes grew wide with horror as Nico yelped, a series of bullets slamming into his leg with surprising force.

‘Daniel, take her upstairs… whoever this bastard is I’ll hold him off.’ He looked at me with those dark eyes of his, resolve resting within them. ‘Keep on living, Martha.’

I held his hand briefly before Daniel pulled me higher up the stairwell. ‘Thank you, Nico.’

I couldn’t believe it – I cried; even if it was only a couple of tears, I cried. Bullets rang out from the assailant’s machine gun, swiftly followed by Nico’s pistol booming back.

‘Shit, fuck… damn it!’ I cried angrily as Daniel lead the way. ‘Not now… not like this!’

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Thanks for reading :)

Flash Fiction #12

Flash Fiction number 12 is here!

The Eternal Circle

One thing leads to another; around and around within my mind. Do I do this? Do I do that? Do I know what I’m doing at all? Where is the answer? I pick up a half full glass of cheap whisky and gulp it down in one go, shaking my head from its potency. I stare at the screen; watch the words cross my view from left to right, and reach out for them. But I hit a wall, something dark and beyond my sight. The chair leans back and my feet arch upwards and rest on the desk, kicking the keyboard to one side. I watch it fall off the desk without a care in the world to try and catch it; to stop it falling to its doom. I grab the bottle of liqueur and bypass the glass completely, precious fire water drowning my shirt. I stare at the light brown patch among the white blanket, its edges creeping further and further across me like a viral infection; intoxicating and corrosive

The bottle is empty now. I hear it smash onto the floor into millions of shards of razor sharp torment, satisfied with my outlet. Frustration looms up again in my chest as I lean back even further, eyes fixated on the ceiling fan as it whirls around rhythmically like a sorcerer’s pin wheel. I am… mesmerised by it. I can escape this, if only for a short while. Do I dare boot up a computer game? What the hell… won’t hurt.

No, no, no. I shouldn’t be doing this.

Go ahead and cry you useless pile of dirt. Look at you sitting there on that padded chair, playing games when you should be writing a best seller… what the hell is wrong with you, eh? Why can’t you just get on with it? You need to have concentration and determination. Going out once a week somewhere to sit down and write isn’t enough you moron. Even doing short pieces for a blog or something would be better than stinking in that pit of a room of yours.

Wake up and smell the morning air once in a while; try your hardest to gear yourself up, maybe using the positive thinking.

What’s the point? I tell myself all this crap over and over again and I just go back to the ‘cannot be bothered’ routine; sink into another depression, and then get nothing done. I say I’m a writer but I’m just a child, scared and wary of the big wide world.

Stop going on like this…

Maybe it’s better if I give up and save the bother.

Fearing the rejection? Afraid of not being good enough? Or is it just that little demon that you’ve carried around with you that does nothing but laugh at your own timidness. Here’s a wake up call for you, Mr Writer; you won’t get anywhere if you just give up. Fearing the rejection and failure all the way through your life will just grind you down into nothing but a sad little person who will never know success. You cannot go through like like this. Without trying in the first place, how do you know whether or not you’ll succeed?

Why aren’t you around all the time?

What is it about you that stops me?

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