She wasn’t trespassing.  Sadly, these houses were no longer homes.  The smell of damp plaster wasn’t pleasant nor was gashing her knees as she clambered over the debris, but to a London child, a bombsite was an adventure playground.  The war had taken many things but never a child’s imagination.

Running home, she couldn’t wait to immerse herself in warm soapy water.  Mum would have the tin bath ready, in front of the fire.

She’d heard the shrieks as she’d climbed the stairs to the three rooms her family occupied in the dilapidated old house.  She’d never seen her parents so excited.

Spotting her in the doorway, they’d grabbed her hands, swirling her around.

“We’re moving to a brand-new town!” her mum exclaimed.  “Our very own house!”

***

It was a lovely little terraced house… with a bathroom!  A pretty garden at the back, complete with an apple tree.  Overnight, her concrete playground had transformed into nature’s own.

But it was on a tree-lined street, while walking to school, that the true beauty of nature was revealed to her.  And it took her breath away.

The cloudless blue sky was ablaze with an infusion of pink and the sweetest aroma filled the air.  What was once an ordinary street had suddenly become wonderland.  She wanted to reach up and grasp a piece of cherry heaven but the blossoms were too perfect to touch.

They reminded her of the words of a popular song.

It’s Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
When Your True Lover Comes Your Way

And she imagined a time when she’d meet her true love and, on their wedding day, she’d adorn her hair with apple blossom and carry a cherry blossom bouquet.

***

But the joys of life are fleeting and a few short weeks later, reminiscent of a snowflake flurry, she watched the delicate petals begin to fall.  Spring would give way to summer, autumn and winter before the cherry tree would bloom again.  Until then, a cloudless blue sky and a glimpse of cherry heaven would be hers alone.  Such is a child’s imagination.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Beautiful story Linda that feels very much written from the heart. A joy to read.

Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi(@brigitta-hegyi)
1 year ago

I really like your writing style. Great story!  ? 

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Linda, I loved reading this. How beautiful that the family’s situation got better and that they could have their own house with a garden! Not to mention the beautiful Cherry-blossom lane! It sounds idyllic! It is easy to picture the protagonist fantasizing about her future love and wedding day. This is a lovely story!

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Genya Johnson
Genya Johnson(@genya-johnson)
1 year ago

You captured so much in this short story. The difference between city and country living. How hard life was after the war. I love how you created the beauty of cherry blossom.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 year ago

So true, Linda! A child’s imagination is boundless as the possibilities are so many. I felt your story so much, even smelled the damp plaster at one stage!

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

The little girl has a very vivid imagination, Linda. The darkness of war-weary London has been brilliantly illuminated by the light of adolescent imagination in the limited space.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Linda Rock
1 year ago

You’re welcome.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
1 year ago

How nice to share your childhood memories in such a beautiful way. I enjoyed reading about the child’s reaction to the London Blitz. Thank you for such a sweet story.

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Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
Reply to  Linda Rock
1 year ago

Possibly write another story where you share more of the memories!

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

I, too, remember the blossom on the trees as I walked home from school as a child and thought it looked magical. Fortunately, I was blessed with a comfortable home but I can imagine the joy this child and her parents felt at moving to a new home. A beautiful story, Linda 🙂

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

There is a lot of emotion in this story, Linda. The contrast is very stark between the two homes and their surroundings, war and peace. You manage well to communicate the feelings of the girl, going from curiosity, to thrill and happiness. There is a sadness at the end for the short lived excitement caused by the flowers, but also a longing for a promising future. Good job!

Danielle Burke
Danielle Burke(@danielle-burke)
1 year ago

I really like how you captured the child’s imagination in this piece, particularly through the song lyrics and the thoughts of a future wedding day.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hello again Linda, when I saw the title ”A Childs Imagination” it reminded me of growing up too, with lots of memories flooding my mind. Particularly of my Nan – I mentioned her in my story, of how she kept her purse wrapped with countless elastic bands. So I connected with you straight away, I hope you have written your story down for the grandchildren to read, for the war and the rebuild are almost forgotten. I enjoyed my walk with you. It is nice to see life in a story, through another person’s eyes.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Linda Rock
1 year ago

Linda, I’m so sorry for your loss. Coming to terms with losing those close to us changes us, and being so young must have given you so many unanswered questions. I hope that this site may have helped you, and being a writer too, opens up the heart.
When I was working I used to pass a school on my way, and I would see pennies just thrown away everywhere, picking them up I would be thinking why do they not see the value that even pennies have.
Just one more comment Linda, I remember my dads sister singing this song…The Lambeth Walk…..Ha, ha.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Linda Rock
1 year ago

Linda, there is a film that you must watch, I won’t say what it is about, except to say that it is a true story. I watched it on Netflix, after Kendall (my 4 year old granddaughter) told me that I had to. it is called – ”Penguin Bloom”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Eric Radcliffe
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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Hi Linda, you captured my heart so much. I feel it very much. The imagination of a child is very vivid and fantastic. I remember my childhood days when I keep imagining things when I am alone, that’s a funny thing to remember.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Linda Rock
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Linda.

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