Maps and Chipper - Reading from the Front, Part 1

David Gubbins By David Gubbins, 18th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Maps and Chipper - Reading from the Front, Part 1, All the latest from The Daily Echo

Maps and Chipper - Reading from the Front, Part 1

Silently and stealthily Arnold crept through the undergrowth. It had been a few days since his last meal and desperation had begun to set in. In the shadow of the shed bordering the technical area of the Flying School, Arnold looked up and saw the loft and the square holes in the brickwork. Bingo, a Pigeon Loft.

"Hold that Front Page!", screamed Lord Charlgrove.

Thomas "Raincoat" Mackintosh opened his mouth in surprise. The Cigarette he had been smoking fell and landed with little noise on the papers on his desk.

"A Scoop?", Raincoat asked.

Raincoat was the Ace Reporter for the Daily Echo newspaper. He had started in the trade only a few years ago, a Junior Crime Reporter, he had unwittingly stumbled on the Story of a young Sherpa who claimed to have climbed the biggest mountain in the world in 1908. The story and subsequent interview had propelled "Raincoat" Mackintosh to the top of his profession. Despite the set back of that story about Icebergs in the North Atlantic that was printed the day after a large Ship collided with one. Raincoat had embraced the outbreak of the War with a sense of opportunity. He had embarked upon a long series of articles detailing the lives of British soldiers at the front. His articles were extremely well read and the public clamoured for more and more. The articles became Raincoat´s drug and despite having never left the comfort of his home County he had now written 127 separate articles, the owners loved him.

A Scoop was therefore of much excitement for Raincoat.

"A Scoop?", he question expectantly.

"No!", glared Lord Charlgrove.

"Why are you holding the Front Page?", questioned the Ace reporter.

"Because...Young Man", Lord Charlgrove emphasised the young in that sentence. "You have spelt my Name wrong again!".

A quick glance at the Front Page revealed the mistake. Lord Chorlgrave did not have quite the same ring to it.

The error corrected, the dent in Raincoat`s ego suitably enlarged, the process of getting the Echo to print continued.

Raincoat removed the Teabag from his cup and focussed once more on the story he had been writing that day.

On a seat under a primitive shade, two fine British airmen sat and listened. The sound of Distant gunfire, the chatter of many voices, the barking of dogs accompanied the pounding of many running feet. A large group of men were obviously onto something, charging headlong through the mud and mayhem of a forgotten wood.

Leaping as they went over the broken carcase of many a crashed aeroplane, some stumbling and falling only to be hauled to their feet by a trusty Dog, a rifle still clasped tightly in their hands.

The two airmen could hear the sounds of engines in the distance and longed for the opportunity to join their colleagues in the air, propelled by fine British engines headlong through the mist and the cloud, into the cold and harsh world of the Fighter Pilot.

Raincoat looked up and remembered the pleasant few hours he had spent chatting with both Chipper McGraw and Maps Medlicott. He remembered the cold lost looks on their faces when he had mentioned loved ones they had left behind. He remembered how maps had looked him in the eye and whispered a name that sounded like Victoria. How positively wonderful that a man 15 years after the death of the dear Queen, still remembered his beloved Monarch.

Chipper had also looked up and whispered a similar name, the more he thought about the meeting the more he remembered how most of the men in that establishment had fondly whispered the name of Victoria. What patriotism, what courage and remembrance. Raincoat tried to imagine how any true British man could think so wonderfully. Queen Victoria had been dead for 15 years yet it was obvious to Raincoat that her spirit was the driving force behind heroic march of the British Army. A tear nearly appeared in his eye.

Raincoat finished his piece with the patriotic fervour that he had felt standing next to these Men. Men that he knew were hungry and eager for the swift return of all of their colleagues in the fields, the return of their fine Dogs. Their return with the smell of a fresh victory in their nostrils. Pride pumped up the breast of the Ace reporter. He could see the Band of Brave warriors returning and felt that they had seen enough for one day, the nonsense of a reporter would undoubtedly not be welcome under such circumstances.

Raincoat finished his piece and drunk the last of his tea, and presenting the article to Lord Charlgrove, he muttered the words "Fine Men out there!" in a tone just audible to the ears of the esteemed Lord.

Back in the field, Maps and Chipper rose from their seats. Vera the assistant to the cook, appeared at side of Chipper, she wielded a large knife and occasionally wiped it on her blood stained white smock.

Maps was first to greet the returning men.

"Any luck? Old Chap?", yelled Maps.

The leader of the pack, his trusted hound complete with a bloodstained muzzle, at his side replied in the affirmative.

Vera wiped the knife once more and smiled.

Chipper walked over to Man and his Dog, Chipper collected a large bag and throwing it over his shoulder, returned to the seating area.

Vera took the bag and counted the contents.

27 was a great disappointment to Chipper, and an expensive one. Maps had a few pounds on 28.

"Still", breathed Vera. "With this much Rabbit we will be eating like Kings for a week or two!".

A large and hearty cheer erupted from the mouths of the tired and weary hunters, the Dogs barked and the Daily Echo went quietly to print.


Bardufloss, Bizarre, Comedy, Cricket Rules, Farce, Flight, Flying, Humour, Maps And Chipper, Military Intelligence, Rabbit, Rfc, Sheep Dogs, The Secret Aeroplane, Wacky, World War 1, World War I

Meet the author

author avatar David Gubbins
The challenge is to write an episode, based on a loose story line. The writing must take no more than 30 Minutes and be as spontaneous as possible. The idea is to see where it takes you.

The time limit can lead to posts of dubious quality, however...(more)

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author avatar ittech
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Great stuff.

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author avatar ittech
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Great stuff.

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author avatar Denise O
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Another good read. Thank you for sharing.:)

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