SHORT STORY? Come on Gramps, you old steam train! ? Yelled a voice. ? Calm down you? rat-bag, ? I? m old you know? replied another from within the brush. A head popped out, slightly wind-beaten and worn, ? where ya to? ? he asked. There was a small rustling to the right of him, ? Not tellin? ! ? the voice yelled again.

? I got better hearing? than you may think, me lady. I know where yer too Danny! ? said the old man sneakily as he gently eased himself from some brambles. There was a short silence of anticipation until finally a small boy of around 7 years old came darting out of the bushes, ? ha, ha, but you still can? t catch me! ? ? Yer right there! ? muttered the old man to himself. ? You don? t half wear me out, I tell ya! ? ? When are we going to your den Granddad? ? asked Danny, with the same tone as the last few times. ? We? re nearly there? replied the Grandfather. ? Where? s Jess? ? ? I dunno, probably in the river again? ? Oh bugger, your Grandma in? t gonna be best pleased I? m thinking.

? The Granddad then put his fingers to his mouth and let out a high-amplified whistle. The two of them stood still, awaiting some kind of movement. Quickly their eyes flew right to see a light brown lurcher sprint towards them with a look of desperation in her face. ? Come on girl! ? Yelled Granddad.

He cuddled the dog for a long time, trying to slow them down from getting to the den. ? Come on Granddad, or we won? t ever get there in time! ? ? Alright, just give me a moment. ? ? You alright Granddad? ? ? Yeah, just? just a bit of arthritis kickin? in. Come on then. ? They began walking for a short time until they came across a field that squeezed between huge woodland and a large trading estate hidden behind new-planted trees and a 10-foot fence. ? Danny, if you look just around the corner here you might spot a small opening down the bottom.

? ? Ah, wicked! Is that where your den is? ? and without waiting for a reply, Danny went running off, only to disappear as expected. The old man took his time walking over, looking at the surroundings, and remembering what it was like when he was young. Still the same little snug area hidden away from the smoky city. Here the air wasn? t thick and fumy, just fresh and clean, with the spring morning crispness of the countryside. ? Come on Granddad, it? s well cool in? ere! ? shouted an exited voice from within the bushes.

The grandfather put his fist to his mouth and closed his eyes, trying to shut out the memories that were trying to fight there way into his head. ? Just fight it Bob, come on! ? he muttered to himself, ? Just? just go in? . Slowly he began crawling down on his knees and through the brush, pulling off the brambles as they clung to his jacket. ? Wicked Granddad! Can I use this den as well? ? asked Danny with wide eyes and the sound of excitement in his voice. Bob put on a smiling face to hide the emotions that were flooding through him. ? Um? course? yeah? The old man lifted himself slowly to his feet, brushed himself off, and leant back to admire a forgotten memorial of his childhood.

Having tried to block it out for so long, he was trying to remember his childhood again. His mouth dropped slightly and with contrasting emotions going through him a tear fell from his eye and off his cheek. Looking around he could see everything as he had then, as if it had been untouched or all these years; The trees shot upwards around a small 10 foot by 12 foot area, leaning inwards more as they went up to cover the bare patch completely. The leaves from all sides met in the middle and let in little, but strong beams of warm, radiant springtime sunshine that scattered the ground beneath his feet. He could feel the rush and excitement, the power that this place possessed as it did when he was young. It was like rediscovering a very precious yet lost belonging.

Soon he was feeling four and a half foot tall and full of energy. The childish, adventurous feel flooded hi body from his toes all the way up to his arms and head. He had forgotten the bad memories that were trying to haunt him again. He looked down to his grandson and said, ? Danny, want see the tree platform we used to? ave? ? ? Yeah! ? Replied Danny smiling. He looked up and sure enough, there it stood firm; the platform that they used to use as young boys to go and hide away in.

? Come on then! ? He said looking down at Danny with anticipation and excitement in his voice. ? You first. ? They began climbing and Bob felt the magically adventurous feelings of a young child. As they got near the top, Bob gave his Grandson a small push to get up onto the platform before pulling himself up. ? Wicked! ? you can see all of Coventry from here! Look, is that our house over there? ? ? Probably. It all looks a little different from up here.

? He picked himself up to admire the view. Breath taking. He couldn? t breath it was so wonderful; from here, you used to see far across the city, to where hills met and forests grew. Now the city as all you could see under the smog that covered most of the view. It was like looking at a son and how much he had matured. From here, no one could touch you; you were invincible, with not a worry in the world.

Here, your mind cleared and your body flew. It was his own little world. A tear glistened as it ran down his warm cheek and fell to the platform. ? Wonderful.

Absolutely wonderful? He murmured with a slight croak in his voice. ? This is real cool Granddad! ? Said Danny excitedly, making his granddad jump. ? Well, I tell you, this used to be my hideout whenever I was in trouble with me mum; you? re great Grandma! I used to come up here with a blanket and sleep under the stars. ? ? What, you mean in the night time? ? ? Oh yeah, don? t you try it now though, your mother will have fits? ? Why? ? ? Well, she might think you? ve been kidnapped by someone. It happens more these days, and anyway, I never used to stay up? ere on me own. I was too scared for that, so me and Ronnie used to stay up? ere a lot.

? He paused and all his wonderful thoughts dropped. ? Or sometimes with Will. ? ? Cool! ? Exclaimed Danny, ? was it scary? ? His Granddad didn? t reply, for he was deep in thought. ? Granddad? ? Repeated Danny. ? Hmm. ? Murmured Bob softly, then coming to a soberness.

? Sorry, what was that? ? ? Don? t matter? said Danny, realising his Granddad was thinking hard about something, and knew he? d have trouble getting any good response from him when he was like this. Down below could be heard the sound something moving in the bushes. They looked down, and staring back at them was Jess. ? Ahh, Jessie, can? t you get up? ? Said Danny childishly. Bob felt the memories coming back. Quickly he turned to Danny and said, ? Come on, we? d better be off.

I promise to bring you back? ere one day, but not now? ? cos of Jess. Danny carefully lowered himself down, taking a careful route with lots of branches to grab on. His Granddad looked across once more at his world. Took a deep breath and sighed. ? Come on Granddad, it? s easy! ? ? I? ll be down in a moment. ? He replied; sucking in another breath and closing his eyes, he could picture himself as a boy, playing soldiers with his mates.

? Agh! ? He yelled to himself, trying to block out the horrid memory that had haunted him. He turned around and began to climb down, taking a last glance at the platform. He hastily lowered himself, trying to get away from his thoughts and memories of this place. As he quickly lowered himself from one branch to the next he managed to get his scarf stuck on some twigs. He plucked the scarf away and fell back onto an old branch; He rested his body on the branch whilst adjusting himself. Suddenly the branch cracked, He tried to grab another branch but missed it.

Danny was observing from below and let out a scream that filled Bob? s ears as he fell through the branches, eyes closed with fear. ? Bobby! ? A voice called from across the field. ? Coming! ? He shouted back, ? I? ve just gotta finish off this letter! There. ? BG, RR, and WA! ? Rightfully our property now! ? ? Hurry up will you, we need a hand here! ? called the voice again. ? Alright, alright, I? m coming! ? Bobby replied running over the field to them.

There stood a timber mill with a large fence surrounding it. There was a small dug out patch in the mud where the fence was slightly damaged and the boys had managed to crawl through. There was a small hole just the right size for a small boy to fit through. Sure enough, on the other side were Ronald and Will, waiting with three more pieces of timber. ? Quick, before that old guy sees us again! ? Whispered Ronald, looking about frantically.

? Chuck it over? ? Asked Bobby impatiently, ? Quick. Now! ? The two boys threw over the planks one by one. ? Oy! You little buggers! Come here! ? A chubby man wearing an overall began to run towards them? I? ve got ya this time? ain? t I? ? The two boys quickly dropped to their feet and scrambled under the fence hole. ? Come on! He? s coming! ? Yelled Bobby! Ronald pulled himself through and rolled over to let Will through. ? Come on Will! ? The man leapt forward just as Will pulled his body through and scrambled to his feet. ? Ha ha! ? Will remarked smugly.

Not quick enough. ? Don? t you dare come back or I? ll? ave all of ya! ? yelled the man? Yer only hurt in? yourselves y? know! Those are for the war effort! ? The boys all picked up a plank each and quickly ran off back to their den. ? There, all finished! ? Shouted Will from the new platform they had built from the planks of wood. ? Come on up lads! ? Bobby and Ronnie began to climb up the large conker tree supporting the platform. ? Excellent! ? Exclaimed Ronnie.

? Do you reckon we? ll be allowed to sleep up here tonight? ? asked Bobby. ? Possibly, ? replied Will. ? Nah, my mum reckons there? ll be an air raid tonight. ? Replied Ronald, against the thought completely.

Will turned to him and laughed, ? Your mum reckons there? ll be a raid every night. We haven? t had one yet have we, and anyways, our air force won? t let them cross the channel anyway! Were probably the best in the world! ? ? You only say that because your dads in it! ? Bobby remarked? Yeah, so what? ? They all paused for a bit until Will went back to the original conversation? So who wants to stay up here tonight then? ? ? I will if my ma lets me, ? replied Bobby? What about you scaredy? ? Will said as he turned to Ronald. ? I? m not scared, I just? don? t want to get killed by some Nazi plane bomber. ? ? For god? s sake, they would have evacuated us out of the city by now brainy.

? ? Go on Ron, I? ll tell your ma your staying at my house? Bobby said persuasively. ? Oh, alright! ? ? Yeah, ? exclaimed Will, ? and I? ll say I? m staying at yours Ron. And Bobby can say he? s staying at mine, that way we? ll all stay out! ? ? I? ll do it, ? said Bobby excitedly. ? I suppose so, ? muttered Ronald quietly. Bobby got up and began climbing down, ? Well, it? s getting late and my Ma is going to kill me if I don? t get back soon, I? ll see you two here later? ? ? Yup! ? responded Will with excitement in his voice? Hmm. ? Ronald wasn? t too keen.

Evening fell and all light was almost gone. Bobby polished off the last of the apple crumble, jumped off his chair, and ran over to his bag. ? Can I have some food to take over to Wills please Ma? ? ? What for, I expect his mother has food at her house doesn? t she? ? replied his mother. ? Yeah, but we were going to have a midnight dinner? Bobby answered back? That still doesn? t stop her from providing you with food does it? ? His mother said looking sharply at him. Bobby looked away, grabbed his bag, and darted out the door, only to hear as he got to the gate his mothers voice again. ? What? s the big bag for, hasn? t she got sheets either? ? Bobby pretended not to hear her and ran down the road towards the fields.

Night had fallen and Bobby found it hard to see in front of him, listening now and then for Ronald and Will to speak so that he could tell which way to go. He stopped briefly to listen for there voices and saw a light at the top of the trees. ? Yer late! ? Called a voice from within the trees. ? I know! ? He then replied, quickly scrambling into the bushes and through to the other side.

? Look what scaredy brought along! ? Shouted Will from the platform. ? A bloody lantern! ? ? Least it? ll keep us warm! ? said Bobby as he climbed up the tree to the platform. ? And I? m going to have to scavenge some food from the veggie patch behind the timber mill. My ma didn? t give me any food to take along? ? Mine neither? , Ronald told as he put up the lantern. ? I got a lousy supper too, it? s all that rationing rubbish that? s going on! ? ? Well let? s go get something then! ? Interrupted Will.

All three of them cautiously wriggled down the tree and began to trudge over to the timber mill; Ronald held the lantern close to him at the front until they reached the large fence. ? After you! ? Will rambled through the fence first, getting his jumper caught on some of the fence wire. ? Damn jumper! ? he cussed. The other two followed shortly. They all hustled quickly across the mill area, jumping over logs and planks, pretending to be soldiers fighting in Germany.

They stopped for a while and continued playing; hiding in the wood sheds and jumping out on whoever they came across. ? Quits! ? Called Bobby from across the yard? I? m knackered! ? They all regrouped in the middle of the yard and collapsed in a heap, looking up at the stars. ? Have you ever wondered if we? ll ever fly to the moon? ? Asked Ronald as he gazed across to the beaming white light in the sky. ? I? ve wondered, but I don? t think we will. I don? t reckon we? ve got enough petrol to get there. ? All three looked up at the moon as if were a mothering watch on them all, comforted by it? s warm glow.

Something flew overhead covering up part of the noise, then another and another. ? Oh censored ! It? s the Germans! ? They all lay still, their blood turned cold with fear. They heard and huge bang from across the city, suddenly the feel of chaos filled the air, ? What the hell do we do? ? Shouted Ronald. Bobby got up and began to run, ? get the hell out of here! Come on! ? They all began to run as fast as they could with desperation and fear across their faces. ? Ron, put out the damn lantern or they? ll see us. ? Said Will looking back at him.

Ronald kept running but at the same time was trying to turn down the lantern not knowing which way to turn it. Bobby quickly dived under the wire and through to the other side, looking back for Will and Ronald. Will turned around to look for Ronald and saw a jumping lantern in the distance, ? Come on! Hurry or they? ll see you Ron! ? A plane could be heard approaching. Ronald stopped to adjust the feed to the lantern, in his panic began frantically turning it the wrong way. He began muttering to himself; tears filled his eyes as he frantically tried to sort out the lantern, hearing the plane draw nearer. ? Leave the lantern! Just run! ? Yelled Bobby from behind the fence.

Ronald began to run still holding the lantern. ? Drop it! ? Screamed Will as he began running to help Ronald, ? Just bloody drop it! ? Ronald looked back and could see a dark shadow approach in the skies, flying towards him; the other two saw it too. Ronald threw the Lantern behind him and began to yell at the top of his voice. The lantern crashed to the floor and let out a huge flame that covered part of the ground. From the flames, you could see the underside of a monstrous bomber plane. Everything slowed to slow motion pace; Ronald kept running with tears flying from his face as he ran crying.

The deep drone of the plane filled their ears. It was too much for Ronald to handle. He collapsed onto his knees and wept as the shadow got close to him. The explosions of the bombs could be heard approaching too. Bobby looked across to see Ronald in a small ball on the floor. Then, in a huge explosion, the flames swallowed him.

Will stood still with shock. He couldn? t move he was so scared. ? Move, Will, move. Run.

Get away Will, run. Will! ? Will turned his body at the last minute and began to run towards the fence, a line of explosions chased him, getting closer and closer. Bobby saw the plane flying in his direction, ran, and jumped into a large ditch, curling up in a shaking, tight ball, trying to hide. Bang followed bang until finally he heard the monster fly overhead. He stayed there curled up tightly for a short while sobbing and shaking still. After a long wait, he slowly picked himself up nervously and slowly walked over to the fence.

He let out a huge scream, trying to say? Will? but he was so scared and shocked that he couldn? t speak properly. He heard a noise from the fence. He began to trudge over, trying his best to run, dragging his feet. He stopped about 20 foot from the fence to observe through the smoke a body trapped under the fence. He ran over shaking even more but had to stop, as he got closer, he could hear muttering. He looked hard.

It was Will, shaking, crying. Bobby turned around and looked away, he could feel his stomach turning. He felt the hot flames on the timber mill on the back of his neck. He gagged and then collapsed on the floor to throw up. He felt so weak and helpless, scared and confused. Will shouted and Bobby hauled himself to his feet and cautiously walked over, smoke began to fill his lungs.

He coughed as the smoke got larger it began to cover him. He couldn? t see well through it, so he outstretched his arms to feel for the fence. His fingers touched the fence and he looked towards Will. Will hadn? t attempted to move, his jumper burnt in places. Still coughing and finding it hard to breath, Bobby knelt down and rested a shaking hand on Will. He felt a burning sensation on his palm, he lifted his hand to see a piece of burning metal in Wills back.

He swallowed hard, ? are? are? ya? Bobby swallowed again, still finding it hard to speak. ? Ok? Okay? ? Will coughed, finding it painful, ? I? I can? t? feel? mm? legs! ? He coughed again, this time spluttering blood that had gathered in his mouth. ? I? I want my Ma! ? He yelled as loud as he could, and then began to cry again, face in the dirt. Bobby looked through the fence to see if Wills legs weren? t damaged at all, he couldn? t see well but the smoke was beginning to blow away. A quick clearing of smoke made Bobby glance across.

His legs were gone; there was just a pool of blood where his legs would be. Bobby looked away and threw up in the grass again. He wiped his mouth clean and turned back to Will. ? You? ll? be? ok? okay! ? Bobby broke down with what he had said threw himself against the fence. ? No! No, no, no, no! ? he screamed. Will lifted his head slightly and struggled to speak.

? I? ll, be? okay? yeah? ? ? Yeah? replied Bobby crying? How? s Ron? ? ? He? s okay too! ? Bobby replied again as he put his head in his hands. There was a calming silence; all that could be heard is the faint drumming of the shells far away. ? They? ve all gone away now, Will? said Bobby, trying to act as if everything was all right now. ? I feel so tired? Will said without attempting to move his head. ? Tell me what the stars look like Bobby. ? He paused for a while until finally looking up? They? they? re sparkly and magical? ? He began to cry, ? With angels? inside them and? -? ? -I see those angels Bobby, I see them.

? Will began, ? One of them is talking to me? its Ronny. Ronny? s an angel Bobby! I wanna be? ? There was a calming pause. Will then took a deep breath and released it slowly, muttering to himself? I? m there? I? m there. ? Will slowly stopped shaking and his breathing ceased. Bobby grabbed Will and shook him hard. ? Wake up! Wake up Will, please wake up! ? But Wills body was limp and lifeless.

Will looked up to the sky and the stars again. ? No! ? he screamed. ? No! You bastards! Why did you have to take them? Why didn? t you take me too? ? He threw himself at the fence, shaking it with anger, hands wrapped, white-knuckled around it. ? No! No! No! No! You bastards, you Nazi bastards! ? ? No! No, No, No! ? ? Mr Sandall? Mr Sandall? Wake up Mr Sandall your shaking. ? A voice said kindly, ? are you okay? You? re in the Hospital. I? m afraid you fell out of a tree Mr Sandall.

I suggest next time you think about climbing things you remember how old you actually are! You? re a lucky man! ? Bob opened his eyes to an unknown lady staring down on him with a big smile. ? I? m the nurse on this ward, my names Mandy. It took him a while to adjust his eyes to the light. He sat up holding his head as it ached slightly. ? My head. Agh it hurts? ? I suggest you rest easy sir, you took quite a knock! I? ll let your family know you okay, they? ll be in shortly? Said the nurse as she left through a set of double doors.

Emotions were still flowing through Bob. Tears were in his eyes and he was shaking. As he looked around, he saw people in beds asleep next to him and opposite. Slowly, he began to breathe easy again and wiped clean his tears, still quite shaky.

After a while, he began to relax; overwhelmed at the realisation that it was all a dream. Suddenly the double doors swung open and in entered his wife and Grandson who ran straight up to him and gave him an immediate hug. ? Are you okay now? ? ? Yes thanks, I? m fine. How are you? ? Replied Bob? He did brilliantly! ? Said his wife cutting in.

? Your Grandson saved the day! ? ? Oh really? he said, helping Danny up on the bed. ? What did you do then champ? ? Danny looked away shyly. ? Go on. Tell him, ? said his grandmother? Well? I was crying to start with when you wouldn? t get up. Then I went and told a couple of boys that was playing near by who helped me by running home and telling Grandma.

Then we called the ambulance! ? Danny dug deep into his pocket and pulled out a packet of marzipan. ? I got this or you to eat. ? He handed him the packet. ? Agh, thank you.

? He pulled over Danny and gave him a big hug. ? I love you. Thankyou? ? I love you too! ? Replied Danny. Bob looked up to his wife, ? Give us a hug then love, I? m sorry to have to do this to you? . ? It? s okay, these things happen. ? His wife replied smiling at him? Who were the young boys who helped, local boys? ? ? I suppose.

They said they knew you. Kept calling you? Bobby? . Actually, it was quite weird come to think of it now. They were also dressed in, weird, old fashioned clothes from like when we were kids. I? I can? t seem to remember their names! ? THE END Bibliography 17, just started college..