It seems a long time with nothing much happening that we, the Electric Eclectic authors and friends, brought you an anthology full of stories about VE day. We planned a big launch to coincide with all the celebrations that were going to happen as it had been 75 years of Victory in Europe.
Sadly, along with everything else in 2020, the pandemic hit, and everything was cancelled. The book was released without ceremony and sold a handful of copies. However, one year has now past and we want to bring it to our readers attention again.
The book contains six poignant stories and is 109 pages long. Predominately Electric Eclectic authors, we invited two special friends to join us. Julia Blake and Jane Risdon are wonderful story tellers, and I urge you to check them out on Amazon.
The Dome of St Pauls by Karen J Mossman
“They called his regiment back to rest but, before they could, they received word a Canadian division were blocked in, and under attack from a German tank regiment. They went to help and leap frogged each other as they dodged bullets. With guns blazing, they blasted a hole in the ring of Panzer tanks. The Germans soon fled. As a result, the Canadian government awarded them the Maple Leaf battle honour, which they wore on their uniforms with pride. “
99th Squadron by Audrina Lane
‘The sun was beating down on my face, the heat reflecting up from the light sand of the beach. The bombing raids on England had been devastating at times with the coastline and the major cities of London, Birmingham and Coventry also facing a daily and nightly barrage. I wondered if we would win this fight, as I twisted the spanner and tightened the bolts that had shaken loose on the fuselage. The pilot was lounging in the shade, what little there was on the beach. The conditions were vastly different with the main part of our work taking place early in the morning or later in the evening. This was the furthest I had ever been from home and I often thought about my life back there. Ena, the girl I had met back in the early days when I’d first signed up. We had been married and I knew that when or if I returned my legacy was assured. My wife had been pregnant when I’d flown away to what had seemed to me to be the other end of the world.‘
We’ll Meet Again by Jane Risdon
‘Stanley Potter’s Band played Vera Lynn’s, ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ as Mavis and her best friend Agnes sipped their tea from canteen style white china cups, their eyes watching the latest arrivals from the camp. Both girls were wearing their Sunday best and wore their hair in the latest style which they’d created for each other on Friday night whilst they listened to the BBC Forces programme.
‘Mavis, did you see the tall bloke who looks like Michael Rennie, the one near the exit?’ Agnes nudged Mavis in the ribs and nodded towards the double exit doors.
‘What? Oh yes, he does look like him. Uncanny,’ her friend replied, but it soon became apparent that Mavis was staring at another bloke who’d just come in on his own.
The soldier was tall, dressed as the others were, in uniform, but for some reason he carried himself differently and stood out from the others. Agnes was impressed but she wasn’t attracted to him like she was the Rennie look alike. Mavis noticed he didn’t appear to be with anyone else, male, or female, which pleased her for some reason.
‘Yours is a bit of all right Mavis but mine’s a cracker. See you later.’ And Agnes walked over to the man of her dreams and brazenly asked him for a dance.’
Rosemary for Remberance by Julia Blake
And it was fun. To begin with. The streets were heaving with people, so many people, all determined to celebrate this most wonderful occasion. The war was over. All those long bitter years they’d suffered through had finally ended. Barely twelve years old when it all began, Rosemary could hardly remember what it had been like before. When her parents reminisced about having plenty of food and being able to walk the streets at night with no fear of bombs dropping, she’d felt it was another world they were describing. A magical land of safety and plenty.
Andrew and his friends had acquired beer from somewhere and were openly swigging it on the streets, and nobody cared. Looking around, Rosemary saw food and drink being shared amongst friends and strangers alike. One young airman offered her a swig of his beer and she took it, not liking the sour gassy taste, but desperately wanting to be part of it all. It settled in her empty stomach, spreading a warm glow throughout her body, and she laughed with the others.
All shapes and sizes of vessels left the English ports. Any seaworthy boat went to rescue those from the French shores and the horror of the massacre on Dunkirk. The boats approached the French shoreline, horror on the faces of the captains and seamen, as they watched the slaughter continue. The boats powered ahead to rescue as many men as they could, praying for the souls of those they couldn’t. Close enough now, men were running towards them, guns were firing at them, some toppling dead in the water having been shot before they could get to the boats. Big black bursts of smoke overhead, where Spitfires and Messerschmitt’s fought aggressively in a massive dogfight. The Spitfires in protection mode, the Messerschmitt’s doing what damage they could. British, American and Canadian men fell in their thousands.
Patrica, Annie and Jean by Paul White
‘The wall was too far from the air raid shelter and much too far from home; where dear Daddy dug the garden and installed an Anderson Shelter with steps down and a canopy over. He made a sound wooden floor and a raised platform where he placed a mattress to make sure it did not get damp. We had a radio on the shelf. Electric light, camping stove, windproof matchsticks, kettle and tin mugs, along with all things for making tea and cocoa. It was very cosy. Even the cat would go down there. I knew my mother would be scurrying to the shelter now, pulling my brother, Peter, along with her. She would worry about my own whereabouts. Most nights we slept in the shelter, although my diary records on 6th November 1940 I slept in my own bed. I still have no idea why.‘
What the reviewers are saying:
‘This is a wonderful, yet very moving collection of short stories. I have to admit I had more than a couple of tears in my eyes whilst reading them.‘‘The stories will make you laugh and cry and they’ll be with you for a long time to come. Congrats to all concerned and to Paul White for putting it all together.‘
‘I’m sure it’s going to be one of those ‘can’t put it down’ reads. We owe it to those who gave their lives & those who lived with the memories.‘
‘Really good short stories, all made you think and made you realise just how lucky we all are not to have had to live through a world war. A lot of the stories made me cry and some made me smile. A really good mix.‘
Look out for articles over the next few days from Karen J Mossman, Audrina Lane, and Jane Risdon who talk about their stories.