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'Ever thought what life would be like if Britain had lost the war - then read Repercussions'

One Small Lie - Can Change History Forever
ISBN-13: 978-1491032015
Hammer & Tong Publications (Print or Kindle)

Tomas is a boy haunted by a nightmare of being bombed. Night after night in his dreams he runs to the bomb shelter as the sirens scream. Every morning he wakes gasping for breath surprised to be alive. Now it is suddenly very real. He has no idea how he got to 1941, or how he will get back. Worse, the only person who believes he's from the future might be a German spy!

The day after Tomas disappears. Gabriella discovers everything has changed. She is the only one who remembers that Germany didn't win WW2!


Extract : The Imperial Culture Museum

Gabriella seemed to be the only person who knew that once the museum had been called Victoria and Albert.  She’d been there with her father and Tomas only a year ago and now she was back and it was called the Imperial Culture Museum.  Same place, different name.  She wondered if any of the art or furniture was still going to be in there.  Her father had been interested in a photographic exhibition on how London had lived though the war.  She’d paid little attention to people staring at bombed out homes or digging trenches in Hyde Park.  She wanted to go to the fashion section. She’d been writing an essay on changing fashions in British society and this was a perfect opportunity to score an A.  Tomas had gone next door to look at dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum.  He hadn’t any time for art, furniture or fashion, but she remembered he loved dinosaurs.
            She emerged from the toilets and wandered towards a gaggle of girls from the bus.
            ‘We’re going shopping.  Are you coming, Gabriella?’
            ‘KaDeWe department store is just down the road and Peek and Cloppenburg. Didn’t you know?  They’re the best.’
            Gabriella knew but she hadn’t brought any money, but she was torn.  She also knew that the best stores down there used to be called Harvey Nicks and Harrods.  She wondered what had happened to them?
            ‘I promised to look at the fashion exhibition with Marsha.  Perhaps we’ll find you in an hour.’
            The other girls shrugged.  They were excited to be in London for the first time and intended to have an adventure.
            ‘Go.  Mr Brownstone is in the loo.  Go now if you are going,’ Gabriella told them.
            They needed no encouragement.  They ran off giggling, happy to be off the leash.
            Marsha appeared.  She’d adjusted her make-up and looked even more pale. Like a ghost.  Gabriella thought.  She had a museum guidebook with her.
            ‘We have to go to the Heroes of the Nation section first.  Then History of Fashion.  Dad says I have to look out for the Future City Living exhibition.  He designed most of it.’  Marsha added with pride.
            ‘Must be nice to have a famous father,’ Gabriella told her as they linked arms and headed towards the Heroes exhibit.
            Marsha frowned.  ‘Probably.  He never comes home much, though.  Spends a lot of time in Munich.  That’s where the head office is.  He only wanted me to go to school there, but Mum refused.  She doesn’t want to leave England.’
            Gabriella suddenly had empathy for Marsha.  Her own father had been gone over a year in the previous England.  She had yet to meet him in this world and worried what he would be like.  Would he still laugh and smile?  It seemed to her that smiling was not an option in this world.
            ‘I brought money,’ Marsha declared. ‘We can go the café after this section.  They have excellent chocolate cake and strudel.’
            They entered the Heroes of Britain hall.  Some names and images Gabriella recognised.  Although Marconi was Italian, he did at least invent the radio.
            Marsha was a bit disappointed.  ‘They’re all men.  First to climb Everest, first to North Pole, first to fly a jet across the Atlantic, they’re all men.’
            Gabriella smiled. ‘That’s such a surprise.  Here’s a woman.  Dr Hilda Gantree, first to establish DNA of the English Gene.’
            Marsha nodded.  ‘She started the Eugenica University.  Amazing woman. Tragic she died like that.  Hit by a tram.  Hid her deafness all her life.  Amazing.’
            Gabriella thought that a tad ironic.  Someone interested in perfection turns out to be deaf.  She turned and saw another exhibit that caught her attention.
            Boy Hero – The Boy who Saved England from Destruction.
            The boy looked a great deal like Tomas.
            ‘Oh, Tomas Drucker.  He’s my favourite.’ Marsha trilled.  ‘He’s the one who persuaded England to sue for peace with Germany.  Saved 50 million lives.  He’ll definitely come up in the essay, Gabs.’
            Gabriella was staring, panic welling in her heart.  All the colour drained from her face.  She stepped closer.  She wanted to read this.
            Tomas Drucker, the boy hero from Portsmouth who persuaded English leaders of the folly of their ways.  Drucker personally made sure the traitor Winston Churchill attended the Dublin Peace Conference in 1941 and signed the treaty of co-existence.
We cannot allow a whole generation to die for the stupidity of our elders. England must join with Germany and unite against Bolshevism.  Together we will be strong.  This is not surrender.  This is nation building.  A united Europe under German leadership to save us from total slavery under communism.’
            There were London Illustrated News photographs of Tomas looking dazed and bruised whilst being pulled out of the rubble.  He looked exhausted, his face black with oil, his bag still around his neck, she noted.  There were flames right beside him.  A very dramatic photograph.
            There was another photo of him in smart clothes with some important men. Tomas Drucker with Professor Wylie, Winston Churchill (PM) 1940-41 and Von Ribbentrop (German Foreign Minister 1938-60).  It didn’t look real, as if they had inserted Tomas into the picture.
            The poster stated that Tomas had been buried alive three times and each time vowed to stop the war. He was the lone voice that shouted ‘peace’ when all wanted war.  His voice called to all young people and they listened.  ‘We want peace with Germany now’. 
            German Leader Adolf Hitler heard their cry and reached out to them.  He gave England the lifeline it desperately needed.  Peace now or total obliteration.
            The British Government listened and finally saw the truth.  War with Germany was folly.  They willingly undertook to join National Socialism and to fight the Soviets.  1942 was the great turning point in world history.  Tomas Drucker was awarded the German Cross for his bravery and volunteered to fight on the Russian front.  He died, as he had lived, leading others towards the enemy.  His body was never found, but to England he remains forever the Boy Hero.


            Gabriella was on her knees.  She could hardly breathe.  Tears were flowing down her cheeks.  Her Tomas buried alive three times.  The one thing he was mortally afraid of.  Tomas, her Tomas was a traitor.  He’d stopped the war.  How was that even possible?  How could a fourteen-year-old boy stop a war?
            ‘I ... ,’ she began but couldn’t finish.  Tomas was dead.  He’d died fighting the Russians.
            ‘Dad says that he probably never existed, but don’t say I said that.  We have to study him.  But Dad says that he was just one of those propaganda things they used to put out to make people happy.  I’m glad he stopped the war.  Someone had to.  I mean, we were fighting the wrong war.  How stupid was that.’
            ‘He did exist,’ Gabriella wailed.  ‘He did.’
            Marsha was a bit embarrassed.  She’d never seen Gabby upset about anything, let alone about a boy who’d died over seventy years ago.
            ‘I’m sure he did.  Well, he’s our hero, Gabs.  From Portsmouth.  Nice to know one of boys has something heroic in them.  Not like now.  I’m going to look for a German husband when I get married.  I don’t want to get stuck with some spotty weedy English boy.’
            ‘Tomas wasn’t weedy.  He was honest and a good friend and ...’
            Marsha tried to haul Gabriella up off the floor.
            ‘I’m sure he was.  Come on, Gabs, people are staring.  We have to keep moving.  We’re attracting attention.’
            ‘I don’t care.  Tomas is dead.  I don’t believe he’d be a...’ she stopped herself from saying traitor aloud.  In this museum he was a hero.  A hero for stopping the war. How on earth had this happened?  His phone message had said what ‘held prisoner by German spies’.  She hadn’t believed him.  How could she?  Yet here he was, a hero, dead, a traitor and yet she could see his face as he emerged from the ruins, she could see his utter exhaustion and a terrible burn across his chest.
            Tomas.  Please don’t be dead.  I love you, Tomas Drucker.  Please don’t be dead.
            She allowed Marsha to haul her up.  She took out a handkerchief and blew her nose.  Yuk, handkerchief?  Where were her tissues?
            ‘I can’t believe that upset you so much,’ Marsha was saying.  ‘Come on, we need hot chocolate.’
            Gabriella allowed herself to be led towards the café and welcomed it.  She needed something.  Most of all she needed to hear from Tomas.  He was stuck in 1941.  She was stuck in the world that he had created.  She needed to send him a text. Urgently.  Tomas stop whatever it is you are doing.  I hate this world you created.  I don’t want you to be a hero.  Please, whatever you do, don’t change history.
            First chance she could get alone she’d send it.
            But would he ever get it?
            How could a text even go back in time?  How crazy was that?  No crazier than finding Tomas in a museum.  No crazier than discovering her best friend was a traitor, a hero and dead, oh so very dead these past seventy years.  No crazier than that.

© Sam Hawksmoor 2023

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