Theodore Jerome Cohen is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Theodore Jerome Cohen
“Hurry, Sir Winston,” whispered Alan “Brookie” Brooke, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, as he half-dragged the prime minister out the doors of the House of Parliament under the stone-faced gaze of the grotesque above them. Furtive glances skyward lend credence to their concerns regarding what the air raid sirens were announcing: yet another of what now were daily raids by the Luftwaffe and the blitz on London by the Third Reich.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” huffed Churchill, poking along with one hand on his Malacca walking cane while using the other to hold his cigar, one of ten he would smoke that day.
Behind them, Louis “Dickie” Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, scurried along carrying two briefcases and a tube containing maps of Germany.
Once the trio was ensconced in the car, it sped north on Parliament Street, careened left onto King Charles Street, and screeched to a halt at the entrance to the War Rooms. No one spoke en route. But Churchill could not help notice Brooke was sweating profusely. His shirt collar was soaked, and the man had a look of utter fear in his eyes unlike anything Churchill ever had seen.
“I say, Old Boy, are you all right?” asked Churchill of Brook. “This raid seems to have unnerved you beyond anything I’ve seen.”
“It’s not the raid, Sir Winston,” responded Brook. “I’m concerned if anything happens to you, Baroness Spencer-Churchill will have me drawn and quartered before sunrise tomorrow!”