The Writers' Block #53: Theme - VE Day
Tommy ran into the kitchen, his cheeks ablaze on top of a grin as though he’d heard an ice cream van. Before I could say ‘no’, he’d banged the tin onto the table. Soil and rust scattered from the minor explosion.
‘What is that?’ was all I could muster, reaching for a cloth.
‘Found it. Was digging with dad where the pond is going to be. Can we open it? Dad said something about it being a Time Capsule, whatever that is, but I think it’s a treasure chest. Can we open it?’
‘Let me get some newspaper,’ I said, my mind racing.
Once the paper covered the table I stared at the faded print on the tin as Tommy insisted on knowing what I could see. There were images on the lid that appeared to be George VI and the outline of a very young Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Writing along the sides had shadows of the word ‘biscuits’ and perhaps ‘Huntley and Palmer’. Maybe Ian was right, this was a Time Capsule, placed beneath the old wall we had demolished. Messages from previous occupants of the house. A copy of The Daily Sketch to date it. Some hand-written notes from the children, maybe wrappers and pictures and flowers! This street was bombed in the war - a few of the houses destroyed. Perhaps this was one family’s way of commemorating their own loved ones.
Until Ian took it off me, I hadn’t realised how hard I was gripping the tin. My excitement surpassed Tommy’s, so much so that I couldn’t speak. I sat down, hyperventilating a little.
History - in front of me. Echoes of people long gone. Perhaps there are smells! Old tea or chocolate. Maybe a signed photograph of Vera Lynn!! I felt faint.
Ian placed his hands on mine and Tommy’s shoulders. ‘Shall we open it?’
‘Yes!’ I was louder than Tommy.
We watched as Ian’s fingers worked round the lid, asking it to let go, to release its rusty grip. Which, thankfully, it did, without putting up too much of a fight. It grunted a little as the lid opened and we all peered inside… it was, I have to admit, a let down as we three stared at the remains of a hamster...