The Troubles

"The Troubles " the story is set in Belfast and the North East in 1969.
Seamus Webster and his family flee the riots in Belfast and come to live on Barnstaple Road in North Shields - where he takes up work as a crane driver in Smith's Docks his wife Annie finds a job in the Co-op in Whitley Bay - Seamus is good at DIY and gets lots of work decorating or fitting out new kitchens for people. His father Michael is serving a very long sentence when he is implicated in a
bombing of an army base- his skills as a bomb maker have been passed down to his oldest son and Stephen Mcgill is on the look -out for him as a bombing campaign has begun on mainland Britain. Newcastle has been chosen as the target - can Seamus avoid getting mixed up in this. Read what happens in this tense thriller.


38. 38

“I mean they come from working class backgrounds you know; but you will meet a better circle of friends once you go to University in Sheffield.’

Four years away from home; however will you cope on your own dear?’

“I’m on my own most of the time anyway mother, I have learned to cope on my own.’ Anyway, I’m off to bed now mother goodnight.’

Gillian found the bottle of Jack Daniels and poured herself another drink. She looked for ice in the freezer but there was none left. She reminded herself to fill up the trays to make more ice before going to bed. She kicked off her stilettos then lay on the sofa; the television was still on although there was now nothing on and a distinct noise came from the set which was meant to remind her to turn it off. It was ten minutes after twelve; she drank the contents of the crystal glass then slid down on the sofa and blacked out. The glass fell from her hand onto the carpet. There were burns from cigarettes in a couple of places where she had left a cigarette burning in the ashtray and it had dropped onto the floor. Jan heard the bang of the glass and came down stairs. She turned off the TV set then took a blanket from the cupboard and covered her mother with it. She picked up the glass and took it to the kitchen and washed it out before going back to bed. She longed for a better life; if only her father was home she thought. Her mother didn’t drink as much when he was home and there seemed to be some kind of normality. Her mother began to eat again and even put on a few pounds. It was short lived though because as soon as her father left, her drinking started all over again. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep but sleep wouldn’t come until she thought about Liam; big strong handsome Liam Webster, she let herself drift off.

She dreamt about Liam; he was like a big handsome knight coming to rescue her from the evil witch. He scooped her up in his arms and she held onto him as they rode into the forest on his white horse. Then he set her down next to an oak tree where they made love amongst the trees and the sounds of the birds it was wonderful and she didn’t want the dream to end.


The Webster’s attended mass on the Sunday morning. They all took holy communion and went into the confessional booth. None of them spoke of the events of the night before. They all went back home and stayed indoors all that day just in case Stephen McGill decided to pay them another visit.

Seamus tried to act as normal as possible but Annie was on tender hooks the whole time. “Do you think they will come today?’

“No, they will come for me when I’m needed and that won’t be for a while yet.’

“You’re not going to do it are you Seamus?’

“What choice do I have Annie, if I don’t they will shoot the lot of us.’

“Can you not speak with your father?’

“What good would that do?’ “he’s locked up; his hands are tied.’

“There must be something we can do.’ “I don’t want to see you get shot but we have to do something.’

“I’ll think of something; try not to worry; Seamus held his wife in his arms; one way or another he was going to get McGill and the others.

There was virtual silence as the Webster’s ate breakfast on Monday morning. They all got up together and it was Liam who looked out of the window to see if anyone was out there. It was seven o’clock in the morning and still fairly dark, he moved the curtain a crack and looked both ways; the street was clear. He came down stairs and told his father. Seamus put on his heavy coat and flat cap there was a frost on the ground and the grass had turned white. 

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