Hi guys. Here is the first chapter of my current Work In Progress. As I am having trouble deciding if I wish to publish it (I will finish it) could you please let me know what you think of it so far? I would greatly appreciate feedback. Thanks.
It’s May 1943, although Edward is not entirely sure of the date as the days and hours rolled together. Edward is a sailor in the Royal Navy and was posted onto the ship as soon as he turned eighteen, just a little over two years ago. Sea life was all that he was beginning to know as for the past two years he had spent the majority of his life in the seas. He grew up on his father’s farm in Ireland and remembered that he had always wanted to sail the oceans. He often dreamt about spending his life out on a boat, having the open seas before you, smelling the fresh sea air as he woke up.
Sitting in his cabin however, he found himself thinking that it was not the lifestyle that he had always dreamed of. It wasn’t the excitement that he had hoped for; instead, he was facing danger each day. He knew when he joined that it would be dangerous but he didn’t realise at the time how dangerous it was. In his two years of being stationed in the ship, he had seen three other ships become sunk by the enemy. That was one of biggest concerns and so they had to ensure that they had people on night shift to keep the ship safe and afloat.
Growing up on an Irish Farm, Edward had gotten to visit the beach once a year on their family holiday. Each time, he would be found sitting by the sea, staring out and imagining what a life on the open sea would be like. He imagined waking up and seeing the openness around him, being able to smell the salt in his cabin. He would be able to have his breakfast on the deck, watching as the sun glistened on the water. Unfortunately, it was not meeting its expectations and instead he woke up each day, his mind wondering if he and his shipmates would make it to the end of the day.
It is dark inside the cabin, the electricity was been cut off by the storms and so they have had to resort to using candlelight. The flame is flickering eagerly and causing dancing shadows on the walls. Edward noticed the letter that is sitting on the small wooden desk. The Captain had enrolled them in a letter exchange programme with other members of the Special Forces within the United Kingdom. He told them that it would help to create friendships and circles outside their assigned ships, and would build their morale. Edward hadn’t taken much interest in it, hence why his letter had stayed on his desk unopened since it had arrived that morning. He decided to read the letter so he sat at the desk and grabbed the envelope. Moving the candle closer, he opened the envelope and pulled out the letter.
I am not sure what we are meant to do with these so I will just introduce myself to start with. My name is Rose Jones and I am the woman who was selected to write to you. I work as a nurse in a small hospital in London, although it is becoming harder as this war continues and it is more difficult to do my job. I have just turned eighteen years old and have an older brother, William, who has been sent to fight in the war, and I am afraid that I will not see him again as it has been nearly six months since I last heard from him, and I am worried that something will happen to him before I get the chance to see him again.
I joined this writing programme to try and help someone get comfort. I know in these times we cannot have our friends and family around us and it can make it difficult. So I’m hoping that I can bring you some comfort between these pages. I know that you do not know me but I hope that we can become friends and that you will trust me and talk to me about what is on your mind.
I learn from my Matron that you are in the Navy? That is amazing. I would love to be on the ocean as I haven’t had the chance living in London; my parents never took us to the beach or the ocean. It is something that I am hoping to do one day, and would definitely love to see the ocean once the war is over.
Oh I do hope that you will reply, it would be a great honour to get to know someone who is protecting our waters. I also hope that you do not think me weird. Oh God, please ignore that last part. I have to go now because Matron wants us to have some more field training ready. I have enclosed my address and I hope that you will respond.
Goodbye Edward and all the best.
Edward looked inside the envelope and pulled out Rose’s address.. He re-read the letter and then placed it back into the envelope carefully and keeps it on his desk. Edward made the decision to reply to her and found some paper and a pen from inside his desk and lights another candle. He wondered how he would respond to her; he did not know her and did not wish to say too much to her. He wasn’t sure if they would continue to correspond.
He did not wish to tell her not to get her hopes up about the ocean and that it may not be what she expected. He decides on a quick letter, like hers, to introducing himself to her. Edward put pen to paper and wrote ‘Rose’ and halted. He had not communicated with women very much as his mother had always told him to stay with his brother and therefore, he never got to speak with many women growing up. As soon as he had turned eighteen he had joined the ship and there are no female crew members there. He scribbled a quick letter and then placed it into the envelope, wrote her address on the front and took it to the mail room as they had regular collections for the mail. Edward decided to go to the mess hall and join his shipmates for a few drinks. It wasn’t often that they had the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company and so when the opportunity arose they took it.