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Those That Pass in the Night (standard:romance, 2474 words)
Author: Tim CallawayAdded: Jul 31 2002Views/Reads: 4071/2607Story 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 

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