This piece was written for the Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘shelter’.
Note: No jokes this week.
As the rising wail of the air raid sirens echoed through the night, Maisie was well-prepared with blankets, a torch, and other essential supplies and thanked God once again that her children had been billeted in the countryside while her essential work in the War Office continued.
She walked as swiftly as is possible to the air raid shelter that was her nearest Tube station, which would protect her and hundreds of others from everything but a direct hit.
After the usual initial shuffling for a place, supervised by the air raid wardens, Maisie made up her bed, alternately dozing fitfully and chatting with those nearest her about their children, their men on the front line and ration books.
When the all-clear sounded, she ascended into the smoke-filled hazy morning light and picked her way home through the rubble and the firemen, desperately trying to save houses and rescue trapped people who hadn’t got out in time.
As she walked, she mentally totted up what ration coupons she had left, wondered if her husband, Tommy, was safe and started drafting in her head a letter to the children.
When she arrived at her home, it had no roof and one wall had started to crumble but so did her life when she realised looters, with no-one around to stop them, had already taken everything of value and, for the first time that night, she allowed herself to weep.