A Wartime Evacuee

by Andrew Passey

Part 20

Sometimes a summer storm clears the air leaving it fresh and clean. Other times it just leaves it as muggy and uncomfortable as it was before. This was one of those times. As I sat under the tree crying I didn't feel like what I'd done had made anything better for anyone. I'd blown everything up and for what? Was Uncle Frank really going to do anything about Wilfred?

We kids were just expected to keep quiet and not rock the boat. I'd definitely not done that and I feared for the consequences for me. The Candlins might now just see me as too much trouble and pack me off to who knows there. I knew I wasn't thinking logically or sensibly. My mind was a maelstrom of emotions, hormones and thoughts which I was struggling to control.

I sat under the tree for a long time with my back to it hiding myself from the house and the house from me. At a certain point I thought I heard Edith calling for me but I ignored it. I just couldn't face going back inside as facing the music. The physical exertion of the chores and the mental exhaustion of what had transpired this evening suddenly left me feeling like I couldn't keep my eyes open. It was still very warm out and as the stars started to twinkle in the sky above I lay down and stared at them. Before I knew I'd fallen fast asleep.

I woke up to the realisation that sleeping outside on the ground was very uncomfortable particularly with nothing padded beneath me. I moved my hand with my eyes still closed and felt a blanket. I opened my eyes to see I'd been covered by one. Someone must have come in the night and laid it across me. The darkness of night was ending and first light was starting to peak over the distant horizon.

"I don't see many dawns but when I do I'm reminded of the beauty that exists in this world. With everything going on at the moment it's easy to forget that."

I almost jumped out of my skin as I heard George's voice. I looked around and he was sitting almost next to me up against the tree.

"Um have you been there long? Was it you that covered me with the blanket?" I asked sitting up to look at him.

"A while. Edith couldn't sleep worrying about where you were. I expected you to be in the shed but then I remembered this tree. You were asleep when I found you so I covered you with a blanket and dozed up against this old tree. I'm not sure I'd have slept much anyway. You certainly caused quite a stir young man but it has at least given me the opportunity to see this beautiful sunrise," he said as the first sun rays began to light up the world around us.

"I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have lost my temper and said anything but I couldn't listen to Uncle Frank talking about Wilfred and his behaviour as if it was some big joke. I guess I've just made everything worse and everyone hates me."

At this point George placed a hand on my shoulder in reassurance.

"That was a brave thing you did, Tom. It's hard to speak up and that's why Fred wouldn't say anything. He won't talk about it but he didn't deny it happened. Well from what we could get out of him, he's still barricaded in his room! I imagine he's fast asleep now anyway. As for hating you Tom, well none of us could ever hate you for telling the truth. Edith is very annoyed with you for running off and hiding outside but she'll forgive you. You might have to do some extra chores though to make it up to her! Fred might be trickier and the two of you will have to work that out between you but in the end I am sure that will be fine. You certainly gave Uncle Frank a shock with what you said but I think he knows he needed to hear that. I'm not sure he's going to arrest Wilfred or anything like that but I'm certain that word will spread that he is to be avoided. I just feel terrible that I failed to protect Fred and he felt he couldn't tell us."

"Thanks George but as you said it's hard to speak up and that's why Fred didn't. I wasn't aiming it at you when I said adults don't believe us kids. Still, it's a hard thing to talk about. I just hope things can go back to normal."

"We're at war Tom and the world feels far from normal. However when I see the sun rising over the horizon as it is at the moment it gives me hope. Day follows night and it's always darkest before the dawn. Last night was hard for everyone. Now the sun is here hopefully that will lift everyone's spirits. Normality might take a while to come back but we can still take pleasure in the beauty of life."

After George said this we sat in silence as the sun rose before I must have dozed off again. After a while George shook me gently awake. "I don't know about your Tom but I could do with a bit more sleep. Luckily you chose a Friday night to sleep outside so with no work I can go back to bed. Are you coming back in?"

I considered saying yes and going to sleep on the floor or in bed with Fred. However I didn't know if the door was still blocked and I also felt we needed to talk first before I could do that. I could sleep on the chairs downstairs or even on the unmade bed in Norman's room. However I was enjoying the early morning sunshine cleansing me after last night's dark night of the soul.

"If it's alright with you I think I'll stay here a while. Thank you for the blanket and the chat," I said to George and he went back inside. I sat under the tree for a while letting the sun warm me up dozing on and off. Eventually I needed the toilet so I headed back in. Edith cornered me in the kitchen and I hung my head in shame as she berated me.

"Tom! What on earth did you think you were doing running off and sleeping outside? You caused us all a lot of worry! Never do that again! Whatever happens or is said you're always to sleep inside the house where it's safe. Sleeping outside! I've never heard the like! I barely slept a wink with all the fears about what might have happened to you. And poor George staying up with you!"

"I'm sorry...." I said softly hoping the lecture would end.

She looked at me and then embraced me in a big hug, "I know you are and you did a brave thing last night. Now I heard Fred go to the toilet so he's probably awake although I'm not sure he's letting anyone into the room. Once you've sorted yourself out you should probably talk to him."

So a toilet trip later I was gently knocking on the door asking Fred to let me in for a chat. I was met by silence but then a piece of paper was slid out under the door. On it was written "Fred's list of demands to be met before he will talk to Tom or leave his room." I looked at the list:

1. No parent or adult asks me about what happened

2. You tell everyone you know Wilfred is bad

3. Tom does my chores for two weeks

"You cheeky git!" I said out loud as I saw demand number 3! I took it downstairs and shared it with Edith who looked at it and said that was fine. "I hope Fred will open up to us in time but I know why he doesn't want to. At least we know the truth of it all now. And as for Wilfred, well there's a storm coming for him and he's going to be swept away by it! It's up to you on the chores Tom but I personally wouldn't be letting him get away with that. Here's a pen to write your counter demands!" She said clearly happy Fred was communicating with me.

I went back upstairs and ticked demands 1 and 2. I then crossed out "two weeks" and wrote "three days". I then folded the paper below so it could be ripped off easily and wrote my own demand,

4. Fred lets Tom hold his dick for ten minutes every day until he gets used to it.

I then pushed the paper under the door and waited. I felt like I was probably pushing my luck and just the act of reading that might make Fred annoyed with me. A couple of minutes later the paper came back with a tick next to demand number 3 and number 4 crossed out and rewritten below to read.

4. Fred let's Tom hold his dick for two minutes every day and Tom then uses his mouth on it.

That was all good with me! I was more than happy to suck that delicious dick of his as much as he'd let me so I ticked it and pushed it under the door. I waited and the door slowly opened before Fred poked his head out looking very tired.

"You look like shit Tom."

It was a fair point he'd made. I certainly did. "That's what sleeping outside does to you Fred! Although you don't exactly look your best." I replied with a slight smile.

"Didn't sleep much. Knackered now. Why don't you come and we can have a doze together. Then we need to have a serious chat."

I came into the room and we both got on the bed in our clothes. I was going to hold his hand but I was so tired I fell asleep straight away.

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