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?

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12. The Letter

The Letter

Jimmie

                The next few days were much the same and throughout the week, Tommy and me picked up more and more injuries. Mr Jim insisted that we tell our teachers, but I explained that my teacher was Mildew Mildred, the strictest, most horrible teacher in the school. The other main factor for the both of us was the fact that we both wanted to keep our pride, besides, if we told a teacher the bullies would find out and only bully us more.

                Finally it was Friday and the end of the day. I had two days of not seeing Joe ahead of me and the thought was a heavenly one. We walked into the lounge. Mr Jim and Mrs Elsie were there.

                “Ahh boys,” Mr Jim said, putting down his newspaper.

                “Tommy, I’ve got something for you,” Mrs Elsie said. Tommy walked up to her and she handed him his new yellow sweater.

                “Thank you, Mrs Elsie,” Tommy exclaimed, pulling it over his head.

                “Jimmie, I’ve also got something for you,” Mr Jim said, handing me an envelope. I flipped it over and saw my sister Sara’s neat writing scrawled across the back of it. I slipped my finger under the flap and tore it open. I unfolded the letter with fumbling fingers. I was worried not to damage it since the paper quality was poor.

                I quickly read the first few lines and my mouth dropped open in shock. Mr Jim saw my face and said, “Are you alright there, Little Jim.” I was gobsmacked and didn’t reply. I quickly read through it again to make sure that I hadn’t misread it.

 

Dear Jimmie,

                Everything is changing here in Coventry. I don’t know whether Mother or Father told you before you left, but Mother’s pregnant. I don’t know whether you knew, but this is the case. It means that Mother shall have to move to the countryside, for the baby’s sake. I’m afraid she won’t be returning to Coventry for a while, so she is going to have to give up her side of the business.

 

                My hands dropped to my side and I stared blankly out of the window into the street beyond, thinking deeply. Mother was pregnant and I was soon to have another sibling.

                “Jimmie, are you okay?” All three of them were staring at me with worried expressions, as if I might keel over any second. Was I okay? I didn’t know. I was feeling a wave of mixed emotions. I felt betrayal at the fact that I hadn’t been informed of this matter sooner, I also felt sad that mother had to give up her part of the business, but I felt happy that Mother was going to have another baby. Maybe that way Mother might start acting like I was no longer a baby.

                “Mother’s pregnant,” I told them, looking back to the letter. They each gave out little cheers. I ignored them and read on.

 

                Father says that I will have to go with Mother to be of assistance when the baby comes, plus it will keep me out of danger. This has made me sad since you know how much my education means to me, I am worried that this way I might not be able to achieve the right grades, as I will have to attend a new school.

                I suppose you’re wondering why Father cannot go with Mother? Well, you see, Father will be going away for a while. He says what he is doing is only right…. Jimmie…. Father has signed up for war!

 

                My heart began to hammer in my chest and my breathing came it short bursts. My eyes were wide as I couldn’t accept what I was reading. I staggered into a chair behind me. I forced myself to read on, despite the fact that I didn’t want to hear any more bad news.

 

                Since Mother and I will be in the country and Father most likely in other countries, this means that there is nobody to look after the house in Coventry. Mother and Father are going to have to sell the house. This means that there is a very good chance that we shall not return there for a long time.

 

                Before I knew it, I was crying. I wouldn’t be going home for a long time. In fact, soon, I would no longer have a home. Most of my possessions in Coventry would be sold, never to be seen again. My books would be gone. All of my friends that I had known for years, who I had grown up with, I would never see again. I would never see my best friend Peter again. I would never go to my old school again, the school where I didn’t get bullied. Where I had friends and where I had had the best times of my life. I would never go there again and there was nothing I could do to stop this horror that was engulfing me.

                To top it all off Father was going to war and would die there, no doubt. That was someone else that I would never see again. I had never even had the chance to say goodbye. Soon he would be gone for good. There were only a few lines left.

 

                If you are wondering why it is me writing to you, it is because Mother wouldn’t have wanted me to tell you this information, however I felt you deserved to know. I hope this letter reaches you and I hope you are having a good time in Devon. I’m sorry if this has worried you.

Write soon,

Sara x

 

                I slid off the chair and onto the floor. I curled up into a ball as if doing so would help blot out the world around me. I could hear Mr Jim talking to me from above but I ignored him and just sobbed to myself in the darkness.

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