The Home Front

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hey, this is something I did for history a few months ago. I couldn't be bothered coming up with something new for today and tomorrow, and I'm kinda busy making plans for my new book (maybe) so I'm feeling lazy.
Basically it's about a factory worker from WW1. That's pretty much it. It's longer than most of my stuff and is lacking my usual twist, though I'm trying to keep my flair (or failing that some kind of poetic sounding-ness (Yes, I know how to speak, how dare you!)). That's about it, thanks for reading see ya.

Submitted: March 11, 2016

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Submitted: March 11, 2016

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The most startling thing about her was her skin. Bright yellow, matching her hair. The only mars to be found in this golden covering were in her tired blue eyes and the red rash across her chin, looking like nothing more than lipstick put on in the dark. 

 Fortunately for her, at this point in time, women looking like her were a-dime-a-dozen, so the only stares she received were those of gratitude and respect for the work she was doing. 

 During WW1, the factory girls were a well known sight, and her appearance was understood to be caused by the TNT that she worked with. This dangerous work was what gained her respect, even from men, during the times when her work was needed. 

 She stepped out of the factory and began her journey home, planning to pass by the bakers on her way. It was already darkening and the streets would have been deserted if not for the stream of canary-coloured women all around her leaving at the same time. 

She turned a corner to take the long route home, leaving a lot of her friends behind her with a wave. For a moment she let herself enjoy the seclusion after having spent hours surrounded by them. 

"Oh, Betsy, it's not that bad," she scolded herself, forcing her hungry eyes away from the butchers window, with it's tantalising steaks hung up just behind the glass. 

Pulling her thin coat tighter around herself to guard against the chill, she quickened her pace and focused her gaze into the bakers, and the warm glow pouring out from the windows. 

The door opened with a bell's jingle, and a relieving warmth infused with a doughy scent washed over her, instantly numbing her fingers. 

 "Hullo, Tom," she's said with as much energy as she could muster. "Got any rolls for me?" Her stomach grumbled as her eyes passed over his crisp, golden wares.

 "That I do, Betsy, a halfpenny each," the bakers plump face shifted into a smile. 

 "Two please, then," she pulled out her rationing book with her purse. 

 Tom turned his back to bag her rolls and asked, "Any news about your boys?" 

 Betsy stiffened, and was very glad that Tom had his back to her. Though she did all she could to keep the anger and stress out her voice, her throat was so tight that she had trouble forming the two short words, "'Fraid not." Luckily, her tense statement passed by unopposed. 

 When he had given her the rolls and she had deposited the coins, she left with no small talk and only a tight-lipped smile. 

 Her relief of escape was short-lived. After the heat of the baker's stoves, she cold wind slapped her in the face like a wet blanket. Clutching the rolls tightly to her chest to suck out any remaining warmth, she started to make her way home. The weary cold pressed against her, making it difficult for her to keep her thoughts - and more importantly her emotions - in order. 

 Her mind kept struggling back to her husband, David, as well as their two sons, Ernest and Bert. She dreaded the day when a uniformed official could be standing at her door, stating the facts of a tragedy in a bored monotone. 

 They weren't soldiers, not at heart. David had only gone to protect her, she could still remember when she last saw him. 

 "I'll be alright as long as I've got you to come back to," he had said, wiping a lone tear from her face. "Just stay strong, honey, and your love will keep me fighting." He could have already died and she wouldn't have known yet. 

"Come on Betsy, stay strong for him and he'll be alright." She held her head up a little higher at the thought, and rebuilt the wall around her emotions. It crumbled almost instantly when she turned the corner and saw a soldier standing directly outside her door. She patched up the wall with an ill-fitting motar of hope that tried to slide off no matter how much she put on. She forced herself to stay composed for just a few more seconds. She kept walking, a pit of desperate denial forming in her stomach, but she swallowed it down as she approached the death-monger.

 The soldier turned to her, and she saw a missing arm, then her eyes shone as she beheld a face so lovingly familiar that it washed away all tiredness from her limbs.

"David!"


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