Me, Evacuee (Historical Fiction Competition)

It is September 1st 1939 and World War Two has begun.
Jimmie is only ten years old and yet he is thrown into an unexpected situation which forces him to grow up much faster than he should. There is a call for children living in the cities to evacuate to the countryside and soon Jimmie finds himself all alone on a train to Devon and to an unknown world that is very unlike his own. However, when all seems on the upturn everything gets worse, as his father is sent to the battlefield, leaving his elder sister, his mother and her expected baby to abandon their home in Coventry and move to Cornwall. Jimmie finds it hard to keep track of his family's safety and under these hard circumstances he grabs onto the only links he has with home, while making friends with the unlikeliest of people.
Evacuation isn't as Jimmie expected. Will he make it through? Will his friends and family?


10. A Warm Welcome

A Warm Welcome


                The ring of the bell that declared the start of break was a welcome sound for me. My morning had been ghastly; the guy behind me kept throwing things at my head whenever the teacher wasn’t looking. My teacher’s name is Mr Wallace and he seems kind so far, since he has welcomed me and the three other evacuees kindly into the class. Nevertheless, he’s hated by many, I’m unsure why. I blame pencil-throwing Will, I don’t know why I say that… no, I lied, I do know. It’s because I hate him. Already. I blame anything unfair on him.

                When the bell rang, I quickly scooped my things into my bag, swung it over my shoulder and dashed out of the classroom before Will could throw anything larger at me. I saw an apple go flying past me, before I cheekily poked my head back through and said, “I didn’t understand why you acted so manly, it’s to hide the fact that you throw like a girl”. I blushed as the faces of every girl in the room turned and scowled at me. The look a girl gave me as she exited the room made me shrink a little; it was much less amusing than the face Will was pulling.

                I quickly hurried from the classroom, down the corridor and pushed open the heavy doors to the playground. It was windy outside which only added to the cold both inside and outside the school.

                I peered about the playground before spotting a small figure perched upon a bench, hugging their knees. I wandered over and sat down beside Jimmie, my dangling legs off the floor. He peered under his bowler hat at me before looking away again.

                “Good morning?” I asked him.

                “Awful,” he muttered. “You?” he asked me

                “Awful,” I agreed, nodding. We both said nothing, we just sighed.

                Jimmie told me how his old bully was now in his new class, I felt for him. “Which one is he?” I asked, glancing around the playground. Jimmie pointed him out, already surrounded by a group of country kids, already fitting in. Turns out, to fit in here you had to be unfriendly and stupid; it was kind of ironic.

                I stood up and lifted my shoulders in a rigid position and began to confidently stride towards Joe, although I’d rather stay sat on the bench, I felt it was the right thing to do, that’s what brother’s did, wasn’t it?

                I felt a light tug on the corner of my jacket. I relaxed my shoulders and turned. Jimmie was clutching at me.

                “What?” I asked him.

                “Please don’t,” he pleaded, looking around me to see whether Joe and the gang had noticed.

                I frowned at him. “Why?”

                “You look like a fool and you’ll make me look like a fool. If you go over there it will result in either you or me getting beaten up, or both of us.” I wanted to protest at his calling me a fool, but I didn’t. “If you walk up to him it will make me look more incapable… I have to fight my own battles, Tommy,” he explained and pulled me back over to the bench.

                “Who is your bully?” Jimmie asked me.

                I pointed to a group on the opposite side of the playground. I sat there for a moment expecting Jimmie to do what I had done, to stand up for me, but he didn’t after a while I turned my head to stare at him expectantly. Jimmie saw my look and knew what I was thinking. “No thank you, I want to live a long and prosperous life! Have you seen the size of them? I haven’t got a chance,” he explained, seeming a little intimidated of the group from even this distance away.

                We simultaneously groaned when the bell was rung and we had to go to stand in our lines. At least if we were the same age and had been put into the same class we would have one another for back-up, but we were in separate classes. We could easily be singled out, we were unknown and different to them and people don’t like to experience change. We had to live with it, why couldn’t they?

                As the teacher lead us inside I almost wished that I was still back home in Manchester, even with the bombs dropping. Life was going to be hard in the near future, and this was only the beginning.

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