Previously in this story, we saw our heroine jumping into a cab to avoid the downpour, our girl soon regrets her decision as the cab driver drives past her destination taking her down a dark alley blocked by a giant wooden gate. As it slides open, she’s facing a massive structure and is instructed to exit the car.
I stepped through the open door, my heart ready to beat out of my chest. I’m absolutely sure the cab driver could hear it. What am I doing here? The path in front of me was dimly lit, but the rest of the room hid in thick darkness. I walked down the narrow path, steps tentative from the unknown. The absurdity of the situation wasn’t lost on me. How many people just walk into buildings with people they don’t know. Well, this isn’t the smartest decision I’ve ever made…The cabbie walked along beside me, hands in his pockets and eyes focused ahead. Would asking questions help at all? Would it make any difference in what comes next? Our footsteps echoed in the room, and from the sound of it, I’d guess the room was fairly large.
“Um, can you tell me what I’m doing here?” I asked, my voice shaky.
He glanced at me from the corner of his eye. “You’ll have to wait and see. I’m not at liberty to answer questions.”
I scowled. Not at liberty to answer questions? What did that even mean? Was it that he couldn’t answer questions or wouldn’t answer questions? I followed behind him, almost slamming into the back of him when he stopped in the open doorway and knocked on the frame.
“She’s here,” he said to someone in the next room.
I didn’t hear a response, but the person in the room must have done something because the cab driver stepped aside and held a hand out for me to enter the room. I entered the room, my eyes locking on the figure at the other end of the small room. He back was to me, so all I could see was his short, dark, curly hair. It was a stark contrast to my long blonde hair that had absolutely no curl to it.
I looked around the room, hoping to gather some sort of clue as to why I was here.
My gaze shot back to the man in the room, my eyes narrowing. “How do you now my name?”
The man chuckled, “Do you not recognize me?”
A war waged within me: part of me wanted to step forward to get a better look, but the other part wanted to take a step back in fear. “Who are you?”
He moved closer to me, the light of the room making his features easier to take in. His brown eyes bore into mine, and something about them seemed familiar. I delved into the archives of my brain, trying to recall where I might have seen them.
Then it hit me.
The man before me smiled even wider. “We meet again, Alethea.”
Whatever this was, I wanted no part of it. I spun on my heel and started out the doorway.
Well, I would have if it weren’t for the cab driver blocking my path out. “Move,” I demanded.
The cab driver crossed his arms and shook his head.
“Ugh! Let me out now!”
He didn’t move.
I spun back around. “Tell him to let me out.”
Candor shook his head, that stupid half-smile smirk on his face. I wanted to make it go away. I stomped over to him, glaring hard. This was not how I had wanted my day to go. How did it keep getting worse and worse as it goes on?
“Why did you bring me here?” I poked his chest with sharp jabs. “Was breaking my heart and then disappearing suddenly not enough for you?”
He sighed, gesturing to one of the chairs in the room. “Can we sit down and talk about this please.”
I stood there, crossing my arms. “No. Why should I?”
“Believe it or not, it’s important.”
I huffed and strode over to one of the chairs before plopping down. “You have five minutes to give me the short version before I take out your guy at the door.”
Cabbie scoffed from the doorway.
“Thank you, I will try to explain as quickly as possible.” Candor grabbed a chair and sat down across from me.
And then his story began.
About the Book
Some say all Sophia Randall thinks of are romance novels and dance frocks…
That may have been true once, but when war broke out, reaching even to our isolated corner of the bush, my priorities changed. I now read news from afar and dance but rarely.
Only my love for the Almighty God, for family and friends, for the man who captured my heart, for the bush, and for the call of the curlew haven’t changed. Especially the call of the curlew.
Some say it’s mournful—even sinister—but I’ve always delighted in that lonely cry heralding the end of another day. And when Kenny went off to war, it became a promise—a reminder of his love and determination to return.
When the unthinkable happens, my prayers become listless. New challenges surface. Ghostly footsteps join the coal trucks rumbling through town. Dingoes lurk in the shadows. Valuables vanish. A… presence chases me through the bush. Burdens weigh me down, and I forget to remember.
But is all lost? Would the pain in my heart be easier to bear if I stopped to listen for the curlews’ call?
Loosely based on “The Boy Who Disappeared”, When the Curlews Call is a story of ghostly doings, missing airmen, and a young girl desperate to keep the home fires burning when all hope seems lost. Told through a series of letters, readers will follow Sophia’s journey, sharing her triumphs and trials all through the long, dark days of World War II.
About the Author