The invaders had intercepted and decoded the last desperate communications of the defenders. It had said, “Communications Compromised! Refugees use protocols to Safe Zone.” One such “protocol” was a spray-painted sign at an obscure crossroads. It read “Gone North.” On discovering this, Lieutenant Role of the occupying force posted a lookout near the place to see if it was in fact one of the defenders’ instructions. Within an hour the observer reported a band of about fifty refugees and handful of soldiers approaching the sign and then turning West. Role ordered the word “North” removed to symbolise the Resistance’s future.
Angus’ mum sent him to the shops to pick up a loaf of bread. It was much like any other Saturday morning until he turned the corner onto High Street. Little did Angus know, that he had inadvertently become the star of a Hovis advertisement.
The Jamesons at Number 12, stared at the delivery notice on Helen’s phone.
“It says the package has been delivered to a secure location.”
“I looked under the bench, and even behind the trash cans,” Doug said.
Helen dialed the number on the notification, and after pressing a series of prompted buttons, she finally got a human representative on the line.
“Yes, yes,” the representative said in a thick “call-centre” accent. “Our courier has left it at Number 63. It had very strong gates and a video camera, and your instructions clearly read, ‘If not at home leave in a secure location’.”
The Summer of 2019 was marked by record breaking temperatures across the United Kingdom. As the mercury climbed into the 80s and edged towards 90 in old money, huge queues formed at the public pools and swimming baths across the nation. There were even incidents where crowds fed up with the heat and the lines rushed the gates of the aquatic sanctuaries. The good news is, that as of today, the twenty-sixth of September, those at the end of the queue were able to make their final approach to the turnstile. Better late than never, so they say.
I originally titled this “An Empty Gesture?” in reference to Morgan’s empty cup. But that smacked a little too confrontational to me so I have changed the title to merely “The Gesture.” By the way, American tea might as well be in an empty cup, give me Tetley’s over Lipton any day.