France, Normandy, July 4th
|Shhhh. That's a BBC podcast|
“Turn on the radio would you?”
“… and the evil forces were losing the battle where our glorious leadership set up a master trap for them in Normandy, deceiving them that we were defeated while we were just waiting for the right time to strike back. Not only were we gaining ground in our great offensive, killing and capturing thousands of naïve Americans and their English puppets, but we were going to win the war. Sadly, the treacherous enemy launched chemicals on us! The bastards were not able to win in a honorable and fair fight. But alas, while we were prepared, innocent civilians were unfortunately affected by the gas and only our great support and help was able to…”
“stop it, that’s the German-friendly radio!”
“sorry, my mistake. Let's try the other channels.”
“… the French speak to the French…. The German have launched human rabies gas on the whole front, including Russia and Italy. We are not forgetting you, but we are currently holding our offensive until the new weapon can be dealt with. We recommend to our fellow French under the German occupation to restrict movement to daylight only and lock all doors and windows by nightfall. The terrible rabies can affect men and women, and do not discriminate children. We will defeat them for this and we will never surrender. Pour la France, vive la liberte!...”
“That was better”
“Yes, and they confirmed they withdrew.”
“The German too. I heard the soldiers holding Saint Pierre left last night. Bourg la Riviere too.”
Outside they could hear a moaning and a barking dog…
“I think we can assume they are all leaving the area, we should not expect the Allies to come back soon, neither the Germans. We have to take control.
They all look at each other and mutually said:“Agreed”
Meanwhile, in Sussex, United Kingdom
The bombing was intense but the country house was not affected. The century old stone house had seen more than this and the bombing was not going to do more than shake her a little.
Henry Smith, a 65 year old farmer, had been looking at the airfield's bombing and sitting on his chair in the kitchen. Suddenly, he heard gunshots from far away. Taking his hunting rifle, he opened the back door and scrutinized the darkness between his house and the airfield.
“Mam, I’d be damned if that’s not wat goo’ ol’ Churchill spoke abut. I bilive the Hun comin’ they way.”
“Com’ back ol’ fool. That’s just a bombing. You keep talking about invasion since 1940. Com’ back. You are too ol' to carry a rifle."
“Tel’ ya. Hear somethin’ from the woo’. Think that’s Adoph comin’ his way. Brin’ me the lam’”
“I am bringing the lamp because I want you back to sleep soon. I should have listen to Mum, and not married a crazy lunatic”
- “Aaahhaaa” -
“Wot that?” The old man was now aiming at the darkness.
The old lady brought the light and a shadow was coming their way.
“That’s Esmee, from the Davis’ farm” She look at her husband still aiming. “Give me that gun, you’re going to hurt somebody for real.”
She took the hunting rifle and wave her hand to the incoming visitor.
“Esmee com’ here. Surely the bombing was bad, but not a reason to cross the field at night. Is it o…. Oh my goodness. Esmee, are you alright?”
She looked at Esmee with a trail of blood on her night dress. Surprised, she instinctively dropped the rifle and walked to her as fast as possible.
“Darlin’ com’ back. Nat sur abut that" said the old man.
But his wife was not listening and reached Esmee... who bit her at the face. The old woman fell on the ground screaming. The old man looked at it shocked. He looked hard as if his will only would stop his 40 years old neighbor from feasting on his wife.
As he was catatonic, he did not notice the moaning of 2 badly wounded soldiers limping on his side with empty eyes.…
Meanwhile in London.
A knock on the door.
“Sir?Are you awake?”
“Come in. I am never sleeping as long as war continue”
“Sir. Bombing in Sussex”
He looked at the young officer as if he disturbed him for banalities. “Anything special? Casualties?”
“Not a standard building Sir, I am afraid” he paused. “The gas Sir. They used their gas on England soil Sir. There are many casualties. There are reports of English civilians and soldiers turning against each others”.
“Send in the reserves and troops from London. This has to be eradicated as soon as possible. We can’t repeat Normandy's events.”
2 hours after, he was meeting with different ministers and members of the Parliament, some were woken up by force.
“Sir, Lords. If I gathered you tonight it is because of what happened in Normandy a week ago and that stalled our offensive. You are aware that the same happened in Italy and on most of the Russian front. You are aware also that the threat should not be minimized. The Nazi, or whatever they call themselves now have started biological warfare and they have an apocalyptic weapon...”
“We know, just get to the point” said one of the Lord. Most of the attendees were talking softly between them. Few had really paid attention to the speech.
“Tonight, I have been informed, they have used their new gas nearby airfields in Sussex ”
They all went silent.
“The rabies is here, in England. I have taken all steps necessary and sent all battle ready troops to stop it spreading at once. Hopefully, by tomorrow, this will be over”
“You have left London undefended! Are you mad?”
“Be assure that the RAF is in full alert. They have not bombed London for a year. I am confident that…”
Outside sirens came slowly to life. As a mere background noise first, it went crescendo until it became a deafening and threatening sound.
Sir Churchill looked at one of the officer next to him. “Call Buckingham. Make sure all masks are distributed"
Then looking at the terrified politicians. “May God help us. This may be the beginning of a long night”
London's Tube, later that night.
Jenny Hopkins was chatting with her friend. The sounds of the bombing was decreasing. The German bombers were either leaving or the RAF was shooting them down. Being a nurse, she was wondering how many casualties there were. Soon they would receive the signal to leave the Tube station and she would be going back to the hospital. So much for her leave this evening she thought.
Suddenly the lights blinked. A bomb may have hit an electric line. They all gasped and hold their breath for a second. Enough for Jenny to hear something coming from the tunnel. Some kind of humming.
“Anybody’s there?” she said. She gave an intrigued look at the tunnel.
“May I help you miss?” A young member of the security was coming to her. He seemed more trying to talk to her than anything else. He was maybe 18. Too young for Jenny.
“Yes, I think I am hearing something coming from the tunnel. Do you hear it too?”
The young man looked at her then watched the darkness and listened to it.
“Yeah. Something like a generator. Some humming. Let me check”
He took his torch light and jumped on the tracks. With the bombing, all trains had been stopped as the stations filled in with people looking for shelter. The tunnel curved on the right and Jenny lost sight of the young man.
She was now curious and was waiting for him to come back. The humming was getting louder and most people next to her started to look at the tunnel too.
A scream came from the tunnel and echoed in the station. Brief. All discussion in the station stopped. A baby started crying. Everybody could hear the humming now.
The young man was running back bleeding from his neck. He was losing a lot of blood. Panting, he waived at the people in the station, trying to say something.
Jenny jumped on the tracks and raced to help the poor boy. He may have met a dog gone mad because of the bombing. These things happened previously. He felt on the ground, the torch broke into pieces. Jenny reached the young man. Some people jumped behind Jenny to come to help.
“Oh my God, what happened to you”, said Jenny.
“What, I can’t hear you with the humming” It was getting very loud.
“R..R…Run!” he shouted and passed out.
She looked puzzled and then she realized she was clearly hearing the humming now. No, not a humming, a moaning.
She screamed when the young man bit hard her hand. His eyes were empty. She broke away, she had lost some fingers.
Somewhere behind her she heard somebody yelling at people to leave the station. She tried to stand up but somebody fell on her, a nurse with a bloody dress. The mad nurse bit her on the smooth side of the neck
“Help!” she gurgled. Around her the crowd in the station panicked, trying to get out, while bobbies with gas mask were trying to get in. People were crushed, others were devoured. She passed out.
Few minutes after, she stood up, looked around with an open mouth. Her clothes were a mess and the station was filled with screams, gun fire and a heavy smoke from the guns fogging the atmosphere.
“AAAaaahh” said Jenny and she shambled forward. She has seen a man in a business suit hiding behind a pillar. – Good fresh brain- was the only thought that crossed her mind.