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|Those That Pass in the Night (standard:romance, 2474 words)|
|Author: Tim Callaway||Added: Jul 31 2002||Views/Reads: 1938/1005||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Two strangers meet on a train during war torn England. Things are not as they seem!|
Those That Pass in the Night. A short story by Tim Callaway. The last train of the evening left Didcot Railway Station at 10.45pm bound for Winchester. The tired carriages were filled to capacity with wartime traffic, soldiers, sailors and airmen each fighting for a seat and luggage space for their heavy bags. Amongst this frenzied throng sat a solitary woman dressed in a sergeant's Wren's uniform. She was noticed by the majority of the ratings who passed lewd comments in her general direction as part of their usual 'wartime overtures.' After all their entire motto was to 'live for the moment.' It was hardly surprising that men noticed Jayne Thorpe, as she was young and attractive wearing just enough make-up to be noticed by her male admirers. She surveyed the full carriage and decided that it would be prudent to find a smaller compartment hopefully occupied by officers to make her journey less stressful. She was tired and made her way through the sea of testosterone and assorted bags feeling the odd pat on her shapely behind. She ignored these advances and continued with complete purpose towards the last carriage that had numerous compartments. In the last compartment sat an airman deep in thought. Jayne recognised from his smart RAF uniform that he was a Wing Commander and she opened the compartment door with confidence in one swift action. The young officer looked up at her and immediately stood to help her with her bag. She noticed straight away his piercing blue eyes, tanned face and short, blonde regulation haircut. He was attractive and Jayne knew that she would spend a pleasant hour and an half on the train in his youthful company. "Thank you, it's very kind of you," offered Jayne with a smile as the young officer heaved her heavy bag onto the luggage rack. "My name is Geoff Barnes. I'm on my way back to base just outside Winchester," he uttered gazing at Jayne's natural and innocent beauty. "Oh, how rude of me! I'm Jayne Thorpe and I'm stationed at Southampton. It's a pleasure to meet you Geoff," she replied offering him her warm hand. Geoff held it gently and savoured its warmth and tenderness. "Please do sit down. Would you like a window seat?" he asked. "No, I'm happy sitting away from the window. As it's night time there will be little to see especially during the blackout," she commented. The train started to move out of the station and struggled on the sharp embankment in the direction of Newbury. The train was heavier than usual as several mixed goods carriages were attached carrying arms and ammunition towards the coast to supply the forthcoming D-Day invasion. The driver used maximum steam pressure to its greatest effect and the stoker shovelled on more coal to provide the full amount of torque possible from this Merchant Class Locomotive. The passengers were unaware of the problems faced by the driver as they settled down to their conversations and numerous games of cards aimed at boosting individual income through illicit gambling. The train gliding to a halt went relatively unnoticed by most passengers as the incline; wet rails, heavy load and gravity took their effect. The driver dismounted from the cab and walked briskly back down the track towards the engine shed to fetch another engine to help his train up the challenging incline. Jayne, using her pocket mirror checked her makeup and removed her Wren's cap. Geoff was reading his book but studying her motion using his peripheral vision and masculine charm. "Why have we stopped so soon?" commented Jayne as the compartment lights went out. "Don't worry. This is standard procedure. Probably there is going to be an air raid and they are just taking precautions for our own safety," Geoff grunted as he opened the compartment window to survey the dark environment. He stared towards the darkness of Didcot and examined the sky for aircraft as Didcot was a major junction and important to Click here to read the rest of this story (217 more lines)
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