tagErotic CouplingsSwitchboard Girls Soldiers & Sirens

Switchboard Girls Soldiers & Sirens

byRetroFan©

INTRODUCTION & DISCLAIMER - It's 1941, and Britain is experiencing the full fury of the Blitz. Amongst the wartime rationing, uncertainty, danger lurking across the Channel, the air-raids and the eerie sirens that herald them, 21-year old switchboard girl Sandra Smith finds plenty of ways to enjoy herself with men in uniform. Her shy 19-year-old cousin Susie is not so forward. What will happen when the two girls meet two dashing young soldiers from Scotland, Andy and Callum, after an air raid?

You will enjoy this if you also like historical fiction, or are interested in World War 2. I write all my stories set in the 20th century, and have already written stories set in the 1960s & 1990s. I intend writing more set in each decade.

All characters and situations are fictional with similarity to persons living or dead coincidental, and only characters aged 18 or older are in sexual situations, or naked.

I hope you enjoy reading Switchboard Girls, Soldiers and Sirens.


*****

"Susie, keep your hand steady," complained Sandra. "I can't have what looks like a crooked stocking line at the dance."

Sandra Smith, aged 21, stood in her bedroom with her light blue frock hitched up at the back, her white cotton knickers visible. She had lightly dyed her legs with tea, and now her younger cousin, 19-year-old Susie Stevens, was applying the final touches to make it look like she was wearing stockings by drawing a line with an eye-brow pencil down the back of each leg.

Susie frowned. "Sandra, you know how bad I am at drawing. Maybe you should get one of the other girls from work to do it instead?"

"No, it's not that hard," said Sandra. "You just keep your hand steady, and draw down my leg with a straight line."

Susie tried to keep her hand from trembling, and as best as she could drew the black line down the back of her cousin's left leg, and then moved to her right, drawing the black line from just below the elastic of Sandra's knickers to her ankle.

Sandra continued to hold her dress up, stood with her back to the full-length mirror in the corner and looked at Susie's efforts. "That's pretty good, you're getting there. Would you like me to do yours?"

"No thanks," said Susie. She had never seen the point of all this effort to make one look like she was wearing nylons. She just accepted that they would not be available until the war was over and rationing finally ended, whenever that might be.

Sandra smoothed her dress down, and stood in front of the mirror, checking her shoulder-length blonde hair, to which she had applied curlers the previous night to create the perfect waves of curls that accentuated her beauty, with a pretty face, blue eyes and perfect complexion. Her figure was slim with large breasts, and the blue dress looked wonderful on her.

Susie contrasted with her cousin by having dark brown hair and brown eyes, however the style of her hair was identical to that of Sandra, the same length and wavy thanks to setting it the previous night. The girls both shared similar figures, with Sandra taller than Susie by about two inches. Despite a busy Friday on the switchboard at the telephone exchange in town where they worked, the styles had held all day and would look good at the dance. Just as pretty as her cousin, Susie went to check her appearance in the mirror, seeing a piece of loose cotton on her light green frock, and brushing it away.

Sandra gave her make-up a final look over, and Susie peeked out through the thick, dark blackout curtains that covered the window, tape applied to the panes to minimize shattering glass. The April evening seemed to hold a perpetual twilight across the Sussex countryside, with England on British summertime for the duration of the war, not that this seemed to bother the Luftwaffe.

"Hey, don't show a light," said Sandra.

"It's not dark yet," Susie pointed out.

"It soon will be, just keep the curtains closed, will you? We're both in the ARP, how bad would it look if we were showing a light, especially if there happens to be a raid tonight?"

"Sorry, I'll close it," said Susie. She looked at her cousin, feeling a little put out. It was true that they were in the local Air Raid Patrol, and would be out on patrol several nights a week, sometimes past midnight. After a full day's work answering and connecting telephone calls, it made for little sleep, but with a war on, everybody had to do their bit. Some of the girls Sandra and Susie worked with were also in the ARP, while others did agricultural work on the weekends or in their spare time. When the war first broke out, some had wanted to join the Home Guard, but these groups mainly consisted of older men, veterans of the Great War of 1914 to 1918, and there appeared little desire to have women as members, so they had gravitated towards the ARP.

Sandra appeared to relish her ARP duties a little too much, Susie thought. Sandra's bossy and brassy personality made her seem five rather than two years older than Susie, who disliked confrontation. The domineering Sandra had no such inhibitions, and would keep an eagle eye out for any glimpse of light showing in the blackout, and when she saw one, would make a beeline for the house. The hapless homeowner would then be roused by loud continuous knocking and face Sandra's wrath. Last night it had been an old lady whose kitchen light showed through a tiny gap in the curtains, hard to see from the street, let alone from an enemy plane hundreds of feet in the sky.

Confrontations with people who breached the air raid precautions were not the only thing Sandra seemed to enjoy about the war. The war meant men in uniform - soldiers, sailors and airmen - and Sandra was certainly not shy about meeting their acquaintance at dances or around town. After one dance, Susie had wondered out to see where her cousin was, and all she could see was Sandra's bare feet against the window of a car parked in a dark, quiet laneway, the khaki uniform of a soldier moving back and forth on top of her. Another time, Susie came across the sight of Sandra in the woods, her knickers down around her ankles leaning back against a tree. A sailor with his trousers unbuttoned stood in front of her, thrusting deep inside Sandra's female area to which she moaned and gasped.

Susie had made a hasty retreat from these situations, not wanting to see any more, but was not so lucky one weekend when her Aunt Ethel - Sandra's mother - went out of town to visit her own mother. Sandra had brought a young airman back to the house, and Susie had spent the night with a pillow over her head, unable to sleep for Sandra squealing and gasping in delight in her own bedroom, the creaking of the bedsprings a constant as Sandra and her new friend tested its durability by writhing around and bouncing up and down upon it all night.

Only once, when they were walking to work, had Susie worked up the courage to suggest to Sandra that what she got up to might not be the best thing for her reputation. Sandra had laughed, taken a deep drag on her cigarette and scoffed that they worked on a telephone exchange, and Susie should have plenty of opportunity to call somebody who cared.

Sandra and Susie collected their purses and the gas masks they carried in boxes swung over their shoulders. They were cumbersome and unflattering, but necessary. The girls walked downstairs and into the front lounge room. "I just need to go to the loo," said Sandra, making her way to the back of the house where the laundry and the lavatory were located. Susie heard Sandra close and latch the toilet door, and she went to sit down in an armchair to wait. The cat came up to her and Susie scratched her under her chin, the cat purring and rubbing around her legs. The wooden radio in the corner played a cheerful tune.

Aunt Ethel entered, checking and double-checking that the blackout curtains were secure and that the essential papers and ration books were in a satchel, ready to be grabbed if danger presented itself. A skinny, bespectacled woman in her early fifties, Aunt Ethel had always had a nervous personality, which presented itself as strict control, needing to check everything twice and then twice again. She had been worse since war broken out, but Susie made concessions for that.

Uncle Henry, Aunt Ethel's husband had served in the Great War, and while was a little old to serve again now, had been seconded to work in civil defence. This meant him being away for weeks at a time in cities where the bombing was at its heaviest - London, Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry, Liverpool, Hull and Southampton - so Ethel's apprehension was understandable. Henry Junior, their eldest son was serving in North Africa, while their youngest son John had joined the Navy the day he turned 18, and was somewhere in the North Atlantic, fighting U-boats. The possibility of the war office arriving with a plain, brown telegram about her husband or sons was a realistic one every day.

"So, you're off to the dance," said Ethel to Susie as she walked by. It was not so much a query as a criticism. Aunt Ethel disapproved of dances and many other fun activities, but grudgingly conceded that there was little that she could do to prevent her daughter and niece attending them.

With Ethel having no control over the fates of her husband and sons, she fretted over her daughter and niece, fearing that the telephone exchange would be a target of German bombing. She also worried incessantly about them going out on air raid patrols, but was reconciled to the fact that everybody had to do something for the war effort, with her contribution being sewing clothes and blankets for the forces. Worst of all were her constant reminders to Sandra and Susie that they needed to wear clean knickers when they went out, should they finish their days in an air raid.

Susie continued to wait for Sandra, and reflected further on her nervous aunt. Their town was not a target for bombings, being too small. Only about four bombs had fallen in the vicinity since the Blitz began, none causing any significant damage. However, as Sussex lay between the English Channel and London, and there was an airfield not far away, German planes would frequently fly overhead on their way to the capital or to Southampton, and the danger was always there. Aunt Ethel also feared an attack from the sea by German raiding parties. Susie, who had loved the seaside in her younger years, thought how sad it all looked now. The promenades and piers were closed until the end of the war, and precautions against German attack, such as guns and barbed wire, could be seen along the coast.

Nerves appeared to run in the family. Susie had been sent to live with her aunt, uncle and cousins at the age of just three, shortly after her father died at a young age. He had been wounded and shell-shocked in the Great War, and barely survived a dose of Spanish Influenza in 1918, with these factors leaving him with a limited lifespan. Susie's mother could not cope with his death and raising a child alone, and suffered a complete nervous breakdown and subsequent committal to a mental hospital, where she remained to this day. So Susie had been raised by her aunt and uncle, and grown up with her cousins more as siblings.

Aunt Ethel would get along well with Mrs. Richards, the formidable manager of the telephone exchange, Susie and Sandra often said. Mrs. Richards frequently gave all the girls lectures about the strict need for confidentiality and to avoid careless talk and gossip during the war. It was as though she thought they were pen-friends with Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini, or spent their evenings gossiping with Herman Goering's daughters over the telephone, exchanging recipes, their thoughts about movies and information about Allied war operations. One of the girls, Heidi, came in for a very hard time. Despite the fact that both sides of her family had lived in England for generations, and Heidi was named after the beloved story-book character, her Germanic name caused her much scrutiny. That she was very pretty, with blue eyes and blonde hair, the Aryan look that the Nazis revered, did not help matters.

Susie saw her aunt check the kitchen curtains for about the fifth time, and then she heard it. The eerie sound came again, rising in pitch and falling again, rising again a second later, then falling. As often she had heard them before, the sound of the air-raid sirens never failed to send a chill through her body. Susie had heard the sirens sound for the first time on the afternoon of September 3, 1939, a sunny Sunday where she, Aunt Ethel, Uncle Henry, Sandra, Henry Jnr and John had sat listening to the radio at noon. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had announced that having received no undertaking from Germany that they would withdraw their troops from Poland, the two countries were now at war. Less than an hour later the air-raid sirens sounded, followed by the all-clear as part of a test.

The sirens had been heard more and more frequently over the past few months, with the sustained German bombing campaign having picked up in intensity late in the summer of 1940, and showing no signs of abating now, in spring 1941. London had not seen a night without a raid for months on end.

Susie grabbed the cat, and Aunt Ethel the satchel of important documents. "Where is Sandra?" she asked Susie, the tone in her voice full of panic.

"She's in the loo," said Susie.

Aunt Ethel ran to the lavatory, and pounded on the door. "Sandra, get down to the cellar right now!"

Sandra's tone in her reply indicated her annoyance. "Mum, you and Susie go down there. I'll be down in a few minutes."

Aunt Ethel was uncompromising. "Sandra, you finish up right now, and you come down to the cellar. You stay here, and you'll be blown up."

Susie heard Sandra tearing up newspaper, while outside the sirens continued their eerie wailing, then her cousin's angry reply. "Mum, they sound the sirens long before there is any danger, to give people a chance to get to shelter. I have plenty of time. Anyway, there haven't been any serious bombings here, the planes are on their way to London. They aren't going to stop and drop a bomb on Sandra Smith of Sussex while she's sitting on the loo with her knickers around her ankles, are they?"

Ethel was unimpressed with her daughter's response, and pounded repeatedly on the lavatory door. "Sandra Smith, you will come out this instant, otherwise I will break down this door and drag you off the toilet, then down to the cellar by your ear."

"Okay, okay, I'm coming!" yelled Sandra. Again there was the sound of newspaper being torn and scrunched up, followed by Sandra pulling the chain and flushing the toilet. She slammed the door open, adjusting her dress and knickers with an angry expression etched upon her face. She glared indignantly at her mother, before making for the laundry.

"What are you doing now?" demanded Aunt Ethel. "Sandra, come on!"

"For goodness sakes, Mother, it will take me ten seconds to wash my hands," said Sandra, turning on the taps, the water pouring onto her fingers as she applied soap. "Do you want me to avoid basic hygiene when I go to the toilet because of the war?"

"Do not be so smart," snapped Ethel. She pushed Sandra towards the cellar door. "Go on, get down there. You too, Susie, don't stand around here waiting for bombs to fall."

"Mum, there won't be any bombs," Sandra said. They descended the steps into the cellar, and Aunt Ethel closed the door behind them. Sandra lit the lantern, and the three women and the cat sat in the dim light, listening to the sound of the sirens, accompanied by a new, distant sound, that of aircraft engines. The trio had no idea if they were German or British, and could only wait until the all-clear was sounded.

Susie saw Sandra glaring at her mother from time to time, and had to suppress laughter. With the battle of wills with her mother over Sandra's refusal to vacate the loo when ordered to, it was nice to see her bossy cousin get a taste of her own medicine for once.

Outside, high in the sky, a squadron of German bombers flew overhead, with a smaller squadron of British planes approaching from the other direction. An exchange of fire occurred, before the English planes were forced to withdraw from the dogfight, hopelessly out-numbered as a second squadron of German planes came onto the scene. What the brave British pilots did achieve, however, was to separate two German planes from the first squadron.

The British pilots then went for the kill, opening fire on the Germans. The first plane went into a dive, sweeping down into a farm and gliding at great speed through a field, taking out a section of hedge-row and crashing into a second hedge, before exploding in flames.

The second plane went straight down, crashing into the same farm, and exploding instantly. Red, orange and yellow flames soared high into the sky, accompanied by secondary explosions as the payload of bombs, scheduled to be dropped on the London docks, a city landmark or some poor East End family huddled in their tiny Anderson shelter, went up too.

The exploding plane and bombs were far enough away from the farm buildings to avoid setting them on fire, but close enough to shatter the windows and blow the doors off the hinges.

Terrified farm animals - horses, sheep and goats - ran from the barn, and the cows likewise ran from the cowshed that housed them. Squealing pigs bolted from their sty, and numerous panicking hens, ducks and geese fled from their housing. They were accompanied by hundreds of rabbits bred for the table, in high demand as food during wartime rationing.

Another animal quick to depart was a cunning red fox, which had been hiding near the farm buildings plotting how it could extricate a chicken or a plump rabbit and take it back to its den for supper. The fox had encountered precautions taken by farmers before - long sticks that went bang and vicious dogs - but things falling from the sky and exploding was a whole new experience in farm defence. The fox, running back to the woods with its tail down and its ears set back, resolved not to go back there again, and would hunt rats and rabbits in the wild. This farmer was far too good.

Susie, Sandra and Aunt Ethel remained in the cellar, unaware of what had happened. Ethel was glad her daughter and niece were beside her, not on ARP duty in the town during a raid as had been the case many times many times in the past, with just her and the cat sharing the cellar listening to the sirens.

After a few hours the sirens ceased their rising and falling pitch, and began emitting a continuous, long monotone to sound the all-clear. For some reason, Susie found this just as scary as the active raid siren, staying in her mind long after it had ceased. The three women emerged from the cellar, and went to bed. All kept an ear open in case the sirens started up again, or if the ARP wardens came for Susie and Sandra if required in the town, but all remained silent.

*

The next morning, a car drew up and the local vicar, Reverend Thompson, got out and knocked on the door. The local clergy played their role, with the vicar being a member of the ARP, and the local Catholic priest, Father McIntyre, in the Home Guard.

"Sandra, Susie, we were hoping you could come out to the Johnson farm for the day," said the Vicar. "Two German planes came down there during the raid last night."

"Was everybody okay?" asked Susie.

"Yes, fortunately nobody was hurt," said the Vicar. "The problem was that one plane destroyed the hedgerows, and another damaged the farm buildings and allowed the animals to escape. Farmer Johnson cannot cope, and we're rounding up ARP, Home Guard and basically anyone else who can lend a hand to find and recapture the animals. As you can imagine, they were pretty scared by what happened, and most have run off through the damaged hedgerows."

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