Private Peaceful: Molly's Letters
An imagining of the sort of letter which Molly would have sent to Thomas and Charlie as they went away to join the army.
By the time you are in a position to read this letter, you will be well on your way out of Iddesleigh and into the war. I do not know how we will manage without you back home. Already, things are starting to change. The colonel has told us that, with nearly all the men gone from the estate, I’m going to have to take on additional jobs. I now have to work from six o’clock in the morning to six at night.
The worst problems, though, are back at home. At the time of writing, it is still three hours before you leave, and already Big Joe is getting worried. We might not be able to hide the truth from him for so much as a week, let alone the many months for which you will be away. But even then, there is always the chance that you and Charlie don’t come back.
I know I probably shouldn’t be frightening you like this at this time, but everywhere I go, I hear about how our troops are being slaughtered, our defences overrun. I wonder how many people from our village are going to come back in one piece. I’m so worried about you, Tommo, and about Charlie, too. I can’t bear the thought of living the rest of my life without you, or of raising the baby on my own.
I know that you are in charge of your own life now, but promise me this, Tommo, promise me that when you get out onto the battlefield, you give the Germans a good kick up the backside for me.
The more I think about you, and where you are going, the more I am starting to miss you. After being with you for many years, I don’t know how I shall adapt to us being apart. You are the most wonderful man I have ever known. I know that most people would disagree. They would point out how you stole Bertha and got me pregnant, but I don’t care, I love you in a way that they could never understand. I have to live without you now, and I don’t know how I’ll cope.
I now have to work twelve hours a day for the Colonel and the Wolfwoman, while you go off to slaughter the Germans. The colonel says that getting rid of you was the best thing to do, and that you need to find out how to become a man. I don’t see why he cannot go to fight in the war, being a colonel.
Back at home, Big Joe is already getting suspicious, and mother is looking ever more depressed. She says that we have to look happy for you, and that we must not cry when you get on the train. Even if I manage to hold back the tears, I will be crying inside. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to my husband so soon. But, I have to look on the bright side. Hopefully all will go well and you will be back home before the baby is born.
Your mother keeps reminding me that we need to start getting ready to look after the infant; we’re going to go out next week to but some new bed sheets and blankets, and perhaps some toys for the baby to play with. Of course, we don’t yet know whether or not the baby will be a girl, but your mother and the people around the village are continually referring to it as my “daughter”. With any luck, (s)he will have his/her father alongside them as they grow up. I would hate to have to raise her alone. Try to beat the Germans quickly and come home soon.
Your Wife Molly
Originally written January 2011 by Robin Taylor. No grade, but positive feedback.