Here in the UK, it’s Remembrance Day, and I gather it’s Veteran’s Day over the pond. So there was never any question which story I’d snippet from today: it’s Wild Flowers, my story in the Call to Arms charity anthology.
On Remembrance Day, we often–and rightly– focus on the men who gave their lives for their countries, but for my story, I chose to focus on an often-forgotten group who also suffered and died, the women of Berlin in the aftermath of World War II:
Ruth won’t remember the times before the devil took our country and our people’s hearts, not as I do. So many clubs, like the Dorian Gray and the Topp-Keller, where you could buy a drink and watch handsome women singing in drag, and where pretty boys picked up foreigners for love and money. Berlin was beautiful then, gleaming white and red and gold.
Now, the pretty boys are all dead and the clubs long since closed down or destroyed. I had a lover then, Anna, with cornflower eyes and wide, red lips that laughed and swore and kissed me with equal abandon. When she was killed in the bombings of 43, I thought my heart died with her.
Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.
Modern LGBTQ+ fiction
of the Second World War
Seventeen stories, thirteen authors, a second war. Once again Manifold Press’s writers explore the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their war-time experience in cities, towns and countryside across the world.
Amidst war and peace, in the thick of violence or in an unexpected lull, these stories of the Second World War take the reader far and wide: through Britain, Europe, Asia and South America, from loss and parting to love and homecoming. As for home, it may be an ordinary house, or a prison camp, or a ship: but it is, in the end, where you find it, however far you have to go. Read this book, and make the journey yourself.
My story: Wild Flowers
Henny lost her lover, Anna, during the war. Now, in post-war Berlin, as she joins other women rebuilding their shattered city from its ash-grey ruins, she recalls happier times – and finds new hope in a younger woman, Ruth.
Available in ebook and paperback:
Please note: All proceeds will be donated to the British Refugee Council (Registered Charity No. 1014576).