Wednesday 20 September 2017

New W.I.P.. After the bombing and in a safer place

Work In Process for the first book in my trilogy 
Book One: Embarking 

 Collecting the Pictures

1945 June 4th  'Labour will need a sort of Gestapo to rule,' says Churchill.

(Maggie gave birth to Alice in during the bombing of South Shields. They are now in a safer place...)

Now Alice, we’re gunna see your pretty picture,’ says Maggie, unbuckling Alice from her harness, leaving the big pram outside the photographer’s shop.  The bell tinkles and Eli Mason looks up from the far counter where he is wrapping a big picture in brown paper and string. He looks up and smiles. ‘Ah!Mrs… er  Miss … You’ve come for your photographs!’
She smiles. ‘Just call me Maggie,’ she says. ‘Yes. We’re looking forward to seeing them aren’t we, Alice? 
Alice makes her mouse squeak in response and Mr Mason laughs He puts an envelope on the near counter. ‘There you are. Good job,  though I say it myself,’
Maggie leans over to get a closer look.  ‘Amazing. Just perfect Mr Mason.’  She has tears in her eyes. ‘She looks so much … herself.’’
Mr Mason smiles ‘That’s what we want from our photographs. People looking like their best selves. Especially these days.’ He pushes a mahogany frame towards her. ‘Choose the best picture and put it in this frame.’ For free,
Maggie puts her hand on it and hesitates,.
‘It’s a present,’ he says. ‘For Alice.’
Maggie smiles, relieved. She only has the money for the photos in her purse.
He wraps the photos and the frame and - after protesting – takes  the money for the photos from Maggie. ‘Well, if I must.’
She tucks the package into the pram basket and makes to go. Mr Mason puts up a hand. ‘I don’t know if you’re working, er … Maggie?’
‘Well, I work four nights in the bar at The Welsh House. I'm staying there.’ She smiles. ‘Singing for my supper.’
He stares at her, ‘As a matter of fact I need a hand here in the shop. The women are signing on at the factory and the men are in the army or at the pit,. Much better money of course. I told you I’ve lost  Bernie  didn’t I?’ He hesitates  ‘Would you be interested to work here? Maggie, times to suit you?’
Maggie smiles faintly. ‘Its wonderful to watch you work Mr Mason.. But I know nothing about cameras, or taking photographs.’
He smiles ‘I can teach you. Took young Bernie straight out of elementary school. In six months he  was nearly as good as  me.’ His smile fades. ‘Not that that’s doing him much good now  at the bottom of the Atlantic.’
Maggie finds herself nodding. ‘Now Alice is at school perhaps I can make the time.’ He is delighted, bustling to find his calendar to arrange when she can start. She is outside the shop and walking down the street with Alice in her pushchair before she realises that she had said yes to Mr Mason because he was so sad about his lost boy.

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