The Message

A short story about a girl dealing with the effects of world war two on her family. She tells the story of her brother's message to her.


1. Post

A large ink blot formed onto my last good writing paper. I hardly cared, and scrawled the words ‘Dear Red’. My brother had always hated his name, Reginald, ‘an old man’s name’ he used to grumble. He shortened it to Red before I was born, much to the displeasure of my mother who had a thing for ‘vintage names’. I should know: Edith was possibly worse than Reginald, though I never had the gumption to defy Mother.

“Dinner!” Irene, my sister, shouted up to our shared room, her voice shaky again. She probably had been crying again, mourning her “love” though Barry had moved away a year ago. Irene says it’s because he has probably been sent to war now he’s eighteen but I said that he was too stupid to be soldier. She nearly boxed my ears for that.

“I’ll be down in minute!” I shouted back, putting down my pen. I’d finish it later. It was actually Red’s turn to write, but I wanted to write anyway.

“You’re in luck,” Father removed his pipe and smiled at me, reaching into his shirt pocket, “A letter arrived today.

I looked over at Irene, who was always jealous of me and Red’s friendship, but she was busy grabbing most of the few potatoes from the bowl.


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