In her recent post, Charli Mills suggested that the classic formula used to create a ‘hero’s journey’ in a story or novel could be applied to any work of fiction or non fiction. Her challenge this week was an exercise to write a story in 99 words (no more, no less) that “rethinks the hero”. What happens to the “hero” when they face their shadows and fears? Is there resistance or acceptance? And as always, we were asked to go where the prompt leads us.
My story takes place in London England the summer of 1940 when children, mothers with infants, pregnant women and the ill were evacuated from the cities and towns, travelling to the countryside in hopes that it would be safer there. At a time of such fear, uncertainty and doubt, I could well imagine the courage it took make such extraordinary decisions.
Ed unlocked the front door and put on his cap.
“I’m not going!” Mattie said. “I’m staying in London.”
“Lovey, you agreed to this. When France falls, you’d leave. It’s not safe here.”
“I know,” and Mattie placed her hands protectively over her belly.
Ed picked up her suitcase.
“But dear heart, what if I lose you?” she cried, trembling.
Ed pulled her close and whispered, “My duty’s here, Luv. Yours is to look after our baby… Promise me?”
Mattie studied her husband’s eyes, her fear reflected in his. Eyes brimmed with tears, she nodded and opened the door.