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J.A. Aarntzen

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Lancastershire
by J.A. Aarntzen
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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           >> View all 183

A fictitious war drama


 

Lancastershire
 
1. Homecoming
 
The chimes are ringing in Lancastershire
For the boys will return home today.
Crawleigh has prepared a luncheon banquet for the boys to be followed by an afternoon of golf.
Nighttime festivities include a dance at Connaby’s.
“It will be the most perfect event of the year!” says Harrigan.
The boys have fought for us in Paraguay
They are all heroes.
“And they are such good boys!” Mrs. Windsor explains to the Lancastershire Public School Choir.
A contingent of he populace has decided to travel to London to meet the boys
The rest of the town will wait and view the entire English Army coming back to London on the television.
“All over England there must be people just like us in Lancastershire, all overjoyed and overwhelmed by this day going down into history!” Mrs. Ackley tells her husband.
The Army will arrive at Heathrow Airport at 9:45 A.M. today.
“I am so happy I’ll see young Robert once again!” sighs Mrs. Baker.
 
 
2. Paraguay
 
Battle stricken eyes weary of the sights of death close into the humdrum of muzak piped into the cabin.
In the rear of the plane a bottle is passed from hand to hand
The atmosphere of each man’s temper is shrouded with thoughts of touching down in the U.K.
It’s been two years since they last tasted London fog.
What happened in between had been a nightmarish conglomeration of guerilla militancy vs. disciplined battle techniques
Death had abounded in both war camps.
A vigil to see the guns of peace be resounded and echoed in every corner of the earth.
The hazy blue sky modifying the sun’s body, the clouds of winter below, it seemed like eternity since they left the airfield in Paraguay.
The stench of blood and urine drowning in the battlefield
The sounds of mortar guns, sub-machines, screaming bombs and the howls of the wounded men left for the scavengers of the night.
The taste of death strangling the appreciation of life
The sight of the dead man’s face that was robbed of all values then mutilated
The feeling of insecurity whether you’ll be dead or alive tomorrow.
This was Paraguay to the Lancastershire Battalion.
“We’ve won, we’re going home!” shouts Private Robert Baker.
 
 
3. Flying
 
“Altitude ten thousand feet, velocity 500 mph, we’ll be landing at Heathrow in approximately thirteen minutes -- ten hundred and five hours” the voice came out of the speaker.
The cheering was silent within each man’s heart.
“It’ll be great to see Mom, Dad and Elizabeth again!” thought Lt. Crawleigh.
Peace is here and we’re home.
The airplane has flown all this distance nonstop – a credit to technology.
“We are now approaching Heathrow Airport, our altitude is 1,500 feet and our velocity is 200 mph.”
In a few minutes all will be over with, the families will be united under the Union Jack.
“Visibility is poor, just like London, eh boys?”
The queen’s voice came over the P.A. “On behalf of the United Kingdom I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the outstanding courage you soldiers of England and Scotland have shown.   I would like to say to each and everyone of you, it’s good to have you back, welcome home!”
“We are now coming in for a touchdown. Rate of decline 37 degrees.”
“England, here I am!” thought Robert Baker as he saw the light of London.
 
The lights went out.
 
 
4.      Aftermath
 
The flags will be at half mast for an entire month in honour of the Lancastershire Battalion.
Tears flowed throughout each eye in Lancastershire.
“Young Robert will never be home again!” cried Mrs. Baker.
Storyteller On The Lake
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