Invasion 1940-extract



Angela knelt by her bed and prayed.

Really prayed. It was the first time in a while. Yes, her whole family always attended church on Sundays and she religiously joined in with the prayers, but without truly focusing on the words.

This evening was different.

She’d moved a few of her belongings out of the bedroom suite that she normally shared with Francis into what was called the ‘green room’. The guest bedroom wallpaper was green and there was a large olive-coloured rug on the floor. The brass bed was a queen-sized double and there was a mahogany wardrobe and dressing table.

Penny and Gabrielle were sleeping in their own bedrooms. But her poor husband and Cliff had been taken upstairs in the attic next to Ruth and Vera.

Angela was wearing a nightdress and slippers. The green room was cold. Nobody had slept in here for months. The air battle and blitz had put paid to any normal social life. The bed looked unwelcoming. She’d have liked to have locked the door but there wasn’t a lock or bolt. Nobody had ever needed one. People always knocked.

She’d just brushed her teeth, washed her face and was lifting back the eiderdown when the door suddenly swung open.

The young German officer strode in as if he owned the place.

Which he basically did.

“Everything is fine, ja? You have all you need?” he asked. He was still dressed in his grey uniform, smoking one of Francis’s favourite cigars.

Angela had to admit the officer was devilishly handsome in an awful way; he had piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw line and what she thought of as very Germanic features. He was holding his left hand formally behind his back.

“Y ... yes.” Her heart thumped in her chest.

“Good.” He flicked ash onto the rug and revealed his left hand. He was holding a ball of twine. “Get on the bed.”

“N ... no ... please ...”

He sighed. “Frau Pettigrew. You have a choice. I am a German Officer far from home. My girlfriend is a long way away. I have needs that require satisfying. Normally I would prefer a woman my own age. Like your daughters, perhaps? But I am prepared to spare them if you choose to look after me instead.”

Angela gasped. Her prayers hadn’t been answered.

“Decide.” He smiled dryly at her. “Penelope is next door, isn’t she? I would probably start with her as she’s older. But Gabrielle’s fair and I prefer blondes. So maybe I should start with her instead? Which daughter do you think?”

“Please ... this is against all the c ... conventions of war.”

He shrugged, casually juggling the ball of twine in one hand.

“But we are no longer at war, Frau Pettigrew. Your country surrendered unconditionally. Britain no longer exists. You are now a New Prussian. And all New Prussian women are expected to ... look after ... German men.”

“Wh ... what is the twine for?”

He sucked on his cigar and exhaled a plume of grey smoke at her.

“It’s to make things easier for you, Frau Pettigrew. I will tie your wrists to the brass headboard there. Then you will not be tempted to try to resist me, and I will not have to hurt you.”

“If ... and if I ... do as you say, you won’t ... touch my girls?”

The horrible Nazi looked at her. There was sudden a flash of anger in his stark blue eyes. Like he was losing patience.

“Your country surrendered unconditionally. You too must surrender to me without any conditions, fraulein. You have nothing to negotiate with. You must simply hope for mercy instead.”

Angela stared at him in shock. Her knees felt weak. How could anybody be so cruel and hateful? His eyes were almost devoid of emotion.

He had to be the devil in disguise.