Margarets War . . .

June 14, 2011 § 13 Comments

November 28th 1942

After ordering her usual small black coffee, Margaret sat alone at their usual table for the first time in her life. It had taken her two years to find the courage to come alone. It had been that long since her husband Ralph had mysteriously disappeared off the coast of Normandy in 1940.

Coffee rationing was imminent and Margaret was taking advantage of what was to be her last coffee for quite some time. Absorbing every memory and feeling, she hoped somehow, would bridge the void in her heart.

A single large tear rose from the corner of her eye. It was a tear of both joy and sorrow. Ralph had been a loving husband, she could never forget how wonderful he was. He was a caring, doting father. He is missed by all, but mostly by Margaret, his loving wife of  20 years.

The memories of a thousands happy conversations, soft tender touches and deep loving gazes into each others eyes, across their table, were still heavily prominent in her mind. As she gazed down at the dying swirls from the last stir of her spoon, she questioned everything the M.O.D had told her.

Nothing added up, she repeated in her mind, drowning out the bustle of other coffee shop residents. But there was nothing she could do. Colonel Tenet had warned her on the day of the hearing. The world was at war and her problems paled in significance, sorry but that the truth of the situation – he coldly added.

Margaret had fought the M.O.D for over a year to find out the truth of her husbands disappearance. Putting her new marriage, the bond with her children and her fading health at even greater risk. The situation had consumed her.

Margaret stood, shaking with bated breathe, infront of the M.O.D council as Tenet spoke. She had stayed strong throughout the whole affair and to hear Tenet’s words brought a darkness and loss over her. She fell forward onto her knees, no longer able to stand. She held her heavy head in her hands and cried uncontrollably. The situation had obviously taken its toll. She surrendered her faith, feeling lost, helpless and unsupported. None of the attendees moved to help, only watching blankly at the unfurling proceedings.

The echoes of silence were heavy in the brooding air. Margaret was left in a heap on the dusty wooden floor. Tenet respectively looked on and tried to empathise with the feelings, the pain and the anguish Margaret would be feeling. “What have I done?” he deliberated.

Tenet slowly rose from his seat. Quietly walked from the bench into the back room of the courtroom and closed the door behind him. “It’s done”. He cursively announced.

“Good . . . .  jolly good. So, she thinks I’m dead? Are you sure?” Agent Ralph Peters retorted. A single large tear rose from the corner of his eye. “So it’s over, she can move on, good . . . . jolly good”.

After the passing of some time, she summoned the strength to leave the courtroom. Slowly make her way down Whitehall towards Kings Cross Station. She boarded the 14:32pm to Pickering and headed home to pick up the pieces of her fractured life.

It seemed the longest train journey of her life. Margaret thought many times of getting off at any other station than her home one. But the thought of leaving her children, the children she had with Ralph, kept her going. She parted from the empty cold mists of Pickering station and made her way through the town to the corner of Willowgate and Burgate to their favourite coffee shop. Maybe it’s time to move on and put this behind me, she mused and paused before opening the coffee shop door breaking the wartime silence of the streets, allowing the stir of the shops occupants out into her new life.

After ordering her usual small black coffee . . . . . . .


This piece was inspired by prompt “She thinks I’m dead” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon xvi page. I have just started writing. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. I hope you enjoy!

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Another trip to the coffee shop . . . .

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have done it. I have sat near a teen mom with her baby on her lap. My arse has hardly touched the seat and I’m already regretting my table choice. I can smell baby puke. The cries of goo-ga-goo-ga are spoiling the ambience and disturbing my inner peace. I want to scream back in it’s face. Shut up you are in public you little oik! Adjust your volume and change your attitude or I’ll steal your dummy.

After ordering her usual small black coffee, Margaret sat alone at her usual table in the coffee shop for the first time in her life. It had taken her two years to find the courage to come alone. It had been that long since her husband Ralph had passed away. The memories of thousands of happy conversations, of soft tender touches and of deep loving gazes into each others eyes across the table were still heavily prominent in her mind. A single large tear rose from the corner of her right eye, it was a tear of both joy and sorrow. Ralph had been a loving husband, a wonderful father and a caring grandfather. He is missed by all, but mostly by Margaret, his loving wife of 60 years.

How can life become so broken? I have dropped the glass bowl which contained the fragile fragments of my fractured existence.

A young boy called Hanson, I know that’s his name because his mum keeps shouting at him to behave, has just arrived with his mum and sister. It could also be mum and grandma – you can never tell tell these days, parents are getting younger and younger. A man in a black baseball cap and a black megadeath tshirt, he doesn’t look the type to be a fan of the band, is sat with a young woman on the comfy sofas. He is pouring the liquid from the tea pot for her, while she sits in her grey granny cardigan and multicoloured old granny specks like the ones Dame Edna Everage would have worn. It seems strange attire for a young woman. Another young woman is sat in the furthest corner surrounded by food and she has a large bag on the chair at her side with the slogan “Team Jacob” emblazoned on the front in large gold and red letters, obviously she is advertising her allegiance to Jacob over Edward of twilight fame. She is stuffing her face with crisps and cake. She doesn’t look any older than 20 but has the appearance of a 20 stone woman, I can’t help but wonder why.

Most of the coffee shop occupants are reading. Some are reading newspapers supplied by the establishment. Some are reading books they may have purchased from the book store which is attached to the coffee shop. One woman, sat to my left, has tears in her eyes. I can see bold letters printed on the front of the document she is reading – “Last will and testament of ….. “, I can’t quite make out the name. Everything in me wants to go over to make sure she’s ok, but I can’t …….

Thomas was sat quietly in the cafe trying to read his book but the babies screams from over his left shoulder pierced every ounce of his concentration. He couldn’t work out how or why a couple, who had a combined age of 100, could ring a baby into a quiet peaceful, reflective place like a bookstore cafe to eat his dinner.

“You have certainly disturbed the peace”, the woman chelped.

“ooh, open wide, arrrrrr …..” added her incompetent partner. Who was trying his hardest, without much success, to get the freshly-made baby food into the little screamers mouth.

After another anger filled sip of coffee, Thomas placed his mug down on the receipts on the tray as the saucer had filled with coffee and every sip from the porcelain cup produced several drips that found their way onto the pristine pages of one of his favourite books, only exacerbating the situation.

People watching is one of Thomas’s favourite pastimes but people hearing is not. He detests sounds which disturb his inner tranquility. Bolders breaking the surface of a summers lake.

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