A Short Story.
The Story of Grange Farm.
Near her betrayers door she lays her head. The wind was icy and shrill, it howled like the sound of rabid wolves as it tore through the hall and into each and every room, bursting to find its way out and back into the night. Tap, tap, tap. It pelted against the single pane windows, at the very top of the cottage. Usually the wind and rain were trying to get in but not now. Not here. Not even the cold and callas weather wanted to stay here a moment longer.
Grange farm wasn’t always so feral and tormented. The barns were once filled with the sound of cow’s being happily milked. The fields were once fruitful with the season’s crops and accompanied by village shows. This had been the case for many a year.
The people of Skelton knew the family who ran the farm well. They were just your usual farming folk. Although one day life appeared to seemingly carry on as normal. The family sat down to breakfast at the large oak dining table where they ate the eggs the girls had collected fresh from the hens that morning, the bread the mother had baked before sunrise and they topped up their tea and poured the fresh milk on their cereal that the cows had given only an hour before. After breakfast they set to work, even the children mucked in. their day was blissfully average, it wasn’t until late afternoon when it happened.
They were rounded up and hushed into the barn. General Shilmer did not give an explanation to them he just ordered his men to shoot each of them and leave their bodies to the pigs.
The head of the family was shot first as he posed the largest threat to a possible orderly task. The eldest daughter was next then the son and then to the twins. The mother was out to market. She had to watch from the stile as her family were murdered. It took everything she had not to scream, she stood there helpless and motionless. A farm hand from the next farm saw her and rushed her away; he knew he had to get them both away without being seen otherwise they too would meet their fate. She had dropped her basket of groceries and the contents began to roll down the road. He frantically collected them. If the Germans found the items he feared they would realise that they had been seen and surely come looking for them.
Their bodies lied there amongst the hay and dirt. The men dragged the bodies into one of the stalls. The barn was closed and they joined the General at the cottage table.
The orders had come from a higher place, to secure the farm and to use it as a standing base for German troops entering from the east coast. It was as simple as the farm being hidden far from anything in between two valleys.
It was a cold November in 1944 and Frieda had decided to return from Vienna, where she was discovering the art of ballet to help her family through the winter months. Her conscience had plagued her from sometime. It had been four months since she last heard anything by letter. So she decided now was the time to come back.
She arrived to discover the devastating events before her. She tried to run but she too suffered the same fate. The only difference being that she suffered a fatal blow to the head as she walked into her once familiar family home. Her head lay in the doorway.
A buzzing of plane engines sounded as a large cluster of Lancashire Bombers flew overhead. Each of the soldiers rushed outdoor in an attempt to stop their position being discovered but they were too little too late. Each lost their lives. Our men defended their country well.
The locals knew now what had happened. The mother must be sitting on the porch filled with sickness and sorrow they told themselves but a dull and lifeless body hung in the barn.