A Story by MartinDickens

A story of an old colonel and how the war affected him.


“Wars, a bad topic but someone’s gotta discuss them, ain’t they? And who’d be a better man for the job then the crazy, grouchy, moody, old, war hero Colonel Willie Boggers(or IT for very close friends). So get cozy, my dear fella, ‘cos this tale’s gonna touch your ‘eart, right ‘ere, yep, that’s the place. This story will tell you how a wee little boy changed the life of an old man in ‘ermitage, me…

During the war, I lived in a secluded, little village Little Weirworld. My job was to take care of the graveyard and to oversee the maintenance of the church. Now me Eenglish aren’t that good so I ‘ope you’ll forgive me, Yankee. As we was living in a small, unnoticeable village so we thought that the Nazis would bomb us. So, we carried on with our daily routine.

During those days, the regional billeting officer would bring orphans or kids ‘oo were more vulnerable to the effects of the war and distribute them among the small, underdeveloped villages like ours to be taken care of. We was allowed to ‘ave our pick but the officer persuaded me to have a small, disheveled, scared, lonely, little boy by the name of Alby Newt. After she ‘ad left us two alone, we was standing there looking at each other when I suddenly came to me senses, ‘ow silly I ‘ad been in keeping the lad all cold-like out there.

So I invited ‘im inside. We sat close by the old range, that’s the one, yep, and salvaged through ‘is belongings. Apparently ‘is Pa ‘ad left and ‘is Ma was nutty to the core. Only after the giving the boy, Newt I called ‘im, a bath did I realize the madness of ‘is Ma. The boy was blue and black from all angles. Only then did meself realize the expected purpose of the thick, metal-buckled, leather belt that had fallen out of his knapsack. ‘Cos as far as me is concerned, I did not even glimpse any type of garment that would require the belt.

Slowly and gradually, as we’s two got closer to each other, I begun to do jobs that I’d never thought I’d do after me Eena’s and Zachie’s demise due to scarlet fever. Me’s only family and I ‘ope they’re in eternal bliss now. Anyways, I begun to clean the boy’s bed after restless, nightmarish nights.

As the boy slowly matured ‘ee realized his strengths which lay in the ability to depict reality on papers using colors and paints, just like me Eena. They both shared the qualities of believing in second chances and forgiving. Soon, I pretty much began to enjoy life. A thing I had believed a sin since, pretty much 47 years. A long time to brood and sulk on the unfairness of life, indeed.

I ‘ad vowed to meself, a long time ago that I would break all ties with anything and anyone that would remind me of Eena. But this little boy reeking of innocence, made me do things simply by ‘is desire for paints and other artistic materials. When I visited me Eena’s favorite paint shop I discovered that trying to forget your sorrow or loss doesn’t ‘elp but learning to live with it and accepting it relaxes you and puts you to rest.

I suddenly realized what I ‘ad been missing from the last four decades, what I ‘ad been doin’ to meself and others. I was conseedered a grouchy old ‘ermit, touched at the ‘ead.

You’s cans’t imagine the surprise and astonishment of the village peoples when they saw me goin’ ‘round the village, buying, selling and bartering. Goin’ ‘round with a boy, when people knew I ‘ated them pesky little brats, made their eyes drop out of there ‘eads!

I was a little surprised meself, too. I, meself did not ‘ave any idea ‘bout ‘ow in the blazes ‘ad I accepted to take the boy in the first place? Little did I know, that in a matter of time I would grow to love the boy.

The boy begun going to school. ‘Is shame at being a class behind than ‘is new friends forced me to give him classes in reading and writing. ‘Ee found it easier to write when I told him that it was like drawing. ‘Ee thought that was called copying. When I told him that it was, the poor bloke (according to ‘is Ma) thought ‘ee ‘ad committed a grievous sin! I ‘ad a pretty ‘ard time telling ‘im it wasn’t and I couldn’t do that without rebuking his mother.

I took care of ‘im as if ‘ee was my very own Zachie. A status I ‘ad thought no one would ever achieve. But I was wrong, wasn’t I?

Newt soon grew up and it was time for ‘im to carry ‘is own gas mask. We constructed our bomb shelter together in the garden. Then we fixed Eena’s old tandem and used to ride it together.

Now, as I ‘ad someone to live for, I decided to make the best of this       God-gifted opportunity. For the little chap’s sake, I begun to attend village councils and take part in volunteer service to make an unexpected Nazi attack ineffective.

I brought out old things that I ‘ad forgotten I still ‘ad, which ‘adn’t been used since my Eena’s death.

I made up with me old friends, more for Newt’s sake than me own.

Slowly and gradually, as time passed, I became more soft-hearted and    sociable. News reached us of ‘is ma’s death and the authorities tried to move the little chap to a Home. I rejected their authority and ‘ee ‘ad to be led away forcibly. I ‘ad grown to love the boy, I couldn’t live without ‘im now. Initially I kidnapped ‘im back. When the authorities returned, I gave them a piece of my mind. They suggested that in order to make ‘im a legal family member I should adopt ‘im and that’s exactly what I did. Soon, I felt as if I ‘ad got my own Zachie back from the Eternal Playgrounds of ‘eaven.

So, ‘oo says wars are bad. All I’m saying is that if the war ‘andn’t occurred I certainly would still ‘ave been a ‘ermit and the boy most probably beaten to death.

I ‘ope you liked the story, Yankee. Another’ll follow tomorrow, same place, same time. Be sharp, all right? I don’t like to be kept waiting!”

“And where exactly is little Alby Newt, now?” inquired Jason(the Yankee).

“I wouldn’t exactly call him little now, if I were you!” was the curt reply in a deep, heavy voice.

The weak hearted Jason swirled around and immediately fainted. For there in front of him stood a beast of a man whose shadow engulfed the whole room. Little Newt had grown into a six-foot tall, muscular man.

© 2019 MartinDickens

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Added on July 3, 2019
Last Updated on July 3, 2019



Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Just a common man with writing as a hobby and passion. more..

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A Story by MartinDickens