the ghost comes home

‘To be honest with you, I can’t believe I’ve reached the age I have. I had four brothers and sisters, and now I’m the only one left. My sister Judith was the first to go. She was only eleven. I was fourteen. And now here I am, ninety-one! Me and Judith, we used to love going to the pictures on a Saturday. The matinee performance. This one Saturday, my mum stopped me as we were headed out the door. You’re not going out till you’ve sewed that button on your cardie like I asked you to she said. And I was furious about it but I did what I was told. I sewed the biggest button on there I could find, quick as I could, then I took Judith’s hand and we ran off down the street to the cinema on the corner. We were about half way through the main feature when there was an almighty crash and a flash and the whole place came down around us. Because we were late getting there we’d had to sit at the back, not like all the other kids sitting at the front. They were all killed outright. But we made it outside, and Judith, she was badly hurt, worse than me. We both got taken by someone to the hospital, and Judith died a little while later – not that I knew about that straight away, because I was having bits and pieces taken out of me. When I came round in bed a day or so later, the doctor showed me a chunk of metal and d’you know what he said? He said This would’ve finished you off if that button hadn’t taken some of the force out of it. So it just goes to show. I learned later on what happened. A German bomber had ditched its load early trying to get away from some Spitfires that were chasing it. He wasn’t targetting the cinema or anything. It was just one of them things. Didn’t do him no good, though. They caught up with him over the Channel, and that was that. The film? I’ll never forget what that was. A comedy, a silly little thing, only just out. The Ghost Comes Home.

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