“Come along Lucy.” Susan snapped her fingers at her little Yorkshire terrior. She yipped and trotted after her mistress, her little legs working hard to keep up with Susan’s long ones. Susan put her hands in her coat pockets and was thankful that she had put on her thick walking shoes. The ground was damp. The pungent smell of mowed grass prickled her nose and she breathed deep of the scent. The gravel two track stretching out beneath her feet made her heart pitter patter. The open road had always attracted her. Something about not knowing what lay beyond the next turn exhilarated her.
She had always loved adventure stories. The Chronicles of Narnia had been read to tatters in her hands and the fact that she had the same name as one of the main characters had only increased her enjoyment of the stories. Hence also, the reason she had named her pup Lucy. They were inseparable.
Now, as an adult and with little time on her hands for play, with responsibilities, work that tied her down and pressed her into a little box, books were still her escape. The ways of the world and the turn of events that had brought her here, to an old, ramshackle manor where she took care of a crochety aunt and uncle who were too ill to manage for themselves often depressed her, and she needed something to escape from the cares that weighed her down. And there were many. Topmost of which would be her fiancé who was halfway around the world, sailing the seven seas in the royal navy. Spurned by stories of the second world war that they had been too little to remember and the scars that still pocked the London landscape like open sores, he had been determined to enlist the minute he was of age. She missed him, and while she wished he hadn’t gone, she couldn’t in good conscience beg him to stay. It was something he needed to do. But she longed for the day that he would return and they could finally start their lives together.
The sound of a rattling bicycle behind her caused her to turn her head and catch site of Robert Wallace, the mail carrier.
A grin broke out on his freckled face and he lifted his cap from his head in a salute as he pedaled harder to reach her faster. She smiled and nodded, pulling herself from the place she had allowed her mind to take her.
“ello Sue! How goes it?” He asked, pulling to a stop next to her. Little Lucy barked joyously and jumped up on her hind legs, begging an embrace from the mailman.
“Well, thank you. And you?” She nodded, her voice quiet, but welcoming.
“Fine. Hey lu, take it easy girl.” He chuckled as he ran his hands over Lucy’s fluffy coat as she trembled with joy. “I’ve got some letters for ya, you saved me a bit of a ride, so for that I thank you.” He rummaged in his mail bag that was slung from his shoulder.
Susan’s heart skipped a beat and raced ahead. She hoped they were from Roger. It had been over a month since she had heard from him last.
He handed her a stack. “Got quite a bit of ‘em this time, eh?”
She let out a shuddering breath, trying to contain her excitement. “Thank you, Robert.”
“My pleasure Sue, give your aunt and uncle my respects.” He nodded with a knowing smile and set his cap back on his head.
He placed his feet on the pedals and gave her a nod before he pushed off with a whistle on his lips and pedaled hard for the next house. Lucy barked and took off after him, then, realizing that he was going too fast, pattered her way back to Susan.
Susan, without any regard for her dog that was begging for attention, flipped through the stack of letters that were addressed to her. All from Roger, wait, one from London, but the rest had Susan Ellerby written across the front in his adorable scrawl. Her heart sang. His letters had finally arrived. Wanting to save the best for last, she opened the one from Roger’s parents in London.
It was short. Too short, and with the words, throat constricted.
“Roger caught in skirmish, injured on the field. Still waiting for more information. Thought you should know.
Susan wanted to melt into a puddle right there in the middle of the road. But her strength wouldn’t let her. She took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. Lord take care of him, she begged. If only there was something she could do.
Post WW2 Fic. . . her I come! Maybe. 😉
By God’s Grace,