PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook
When the house and her parents became too much to bear, when the tide was neither out nor in, Molly would run to the beach and the ruined pier.
She’d counted the perfect distance from the rusted beams, one foot in front of the other, toe to toe – nine feet.
Standing just there, with the beams cutting off the endless sky above, snapping short the sand below, she could pretend.
Pretend barrage balloons weren’t jostling the clouds, that barbed wire didn’t loop back and forth amid the dunes and marram grass.
Pretend Charlie was home, safe.
During the Second World War, many of England’s lovely beaches were strewn with barbed wire to combat an invasion from the sea. Fortunately, such an invasion never occurred, but still, that sight in itself must have been disturbing for residents, a sign that we were vulnerable, that only the narrow strip of the Channel stood between us and possible defeat.
For a child’s perspective from the time, see here.