by Writer345 ©* * *
Chapter Seventeen: Loose Ends.
June 1948 — Peace!
Temple Farm settled in to a routine all of its own. The old weapons development Bunker had been adapted to make it more suitable for its new role: a process that would be never ending as new biological discoveries were made and new techniques were developed. Bergen and Howard worked together more-or-less amicably much to everyone’s surprise and the herd of milkers grew steadily until it stood at twelve.
One hucow had been found to be unsuitable due to poor yield and so had been dried off and ‘recruited’ as a farm girl to assist the two former DRK Nurses. This solution, although satisfactory actually led to quite a bit of soul-searching on Virginia Howard’s part and ultimately to an in-depth discussion over dinner one wet June evening.
It was Glenda Weaver who asked the question as they tucked-in to home produced roast chicken—well it was a farm after all. “So what happens to the women after we’ve finished with them?”
Virginia suddenly froze, her fork part-way to her mouth. “What... What do you mean?”
Weaver sat back and frowned. “Well they can’t all join the support staff, can they?”
Bergen and Howard exchanged blank glances and Glenda continued. “I know that you plan to run a herd of about twenty and that it would be unwise to milk each one for more that about five or ten years... So that means that eventually there’ll be about four will need replacing every year... So what happens to the old ones? I mean we can’t keep them as pets can we?”
Suddenly Annie Holt chuckled an everyone looked at her. “Why not? I’d like the tubby little blonde when you’ve finished with her, you know, the one that was in the SS?”
“What?” Virginia cried in surprise. “You want to keep her as a pet?”
Annie gave her a lascivious smile. “Weeell, a pet with benefits.”
“Why not?” Began asked. “And besides, you have given me an idea, Feldwebel, of course you can have her!”
Virginia Howard looked uneasy. “What idea?” She asked, her food forgotten.
Bergen’s expression was almost shark-like as she answered. “There are wealthy women who would happily part with large sums of money to obtain intimate, er, companions who have been well trained, shall we say? I have contacts from before the war who might be in the market for such luxuries.”
The meal continue in silence for sometime. Annie Holt looked exceptionally pleased with herself while Virginia Howard looked uneasy and found that she couldn’t match Elsa Bergen’s gaze while Glenda Weaver became exceptionally quiet.
The former lieutenant suddenly pushed her plate away and muttered. “I think I’ve had enough!” Although it may not have been the half eaten chicken dinner that she was referring too.
Later that evening Virginia Howard was relaxing and listening to music in the farm’s sitting room when Glenda Weaver poked her head around the door and looked around.
“Good evening, Glenda, you look troubled.” The woman observed.
When the tall blonde was sure that there was no one else in the room she made her way in and sat down opposite Virginia. “Yeh, you could say that” She said with a sigh.
“I need your help, Ma’am,” she continued in a tired voice, “My past is catching up with me, it’s all becoming too much, I can’t sleep.”
Despite her sinking feeling, Howard tried to appear positive. “I’m not a doctor of medicine but Elsa is: I’m sure she’d prescribe something for you, if you spoke to her.”
Weaver gave her a tired smile. “Don’t worry, Ma’am, I’m not going to ask for my pills back.”
“I’m relieved to hear it. But why so formal? I’m your friend, not your commanding officer.” Howard said, she sounded relieved but also puzzled as she had no idea where the conversation was going. “So how can I help you, Glenda?”
Weaver suddenly leaned forward. “I wanna be a cow!” She gabbled. “They’re relaxed, they don’t have to think, they don’t have any trouble getting to sleep and they don’t wake up screaming when they do drop off!”
Howard looked as if she’d been slapped. “A... A cow?”
“Thinking hurts and I don’t want to do it any more!” She suddenly sobbed and burst into tears. And then, to Virginia’s surprise, she launched herself across the space between them and and landed on top the former colonel who she clung to in desperation.
Howard then held the taller woman, stroked her hair and cooed in a soothing, almost maternal voice until the explosive sobs eventually subsided.
“What about your family?” Howard asked, largely for want of something to say.
“Killed in the Coventry blitz in 1941: you people here at the farm are all that I’ve got.” She disengaged from Virginia, straightened up and stepped back. Suddenly she ripped off her blouse to expose the bra that was covering her small breasts which she placed her hands under and lifted as best she could. “It’s either these or my bottle of pills, Ma’am.”
Virginia stared at her thoughtfully. “Alright, Glenda, if it’s really what you want, I’ll tell the others.”
Glenda seemed to fold back into the chair opposite where she relaxed. “Thank you, Virginia. There’s nothing that I’d like better. And afterwards I hope that you’ll want to keep me around.” There was a thoughtful pause. “Well, I rather like Annie’s idea of being kept as a pet although with my temperament I’d probably be more like you’re guard dog—vicious, but faithful!”
She smiled but suddenly looked down at her own chest once more. “Hell, it’s just dawned on me! These tiny things are big enough, aren’t they?”
Caught off-guard once more, Virginia came over all technical for a few moments. “Of course they are... Size is linked to storage capacity, not productivity.” She shivered. “You’ll be fine. I’ll have a word with Elsa and we’ll begin prepping you first thing in the morning.
Then, much to her surprise, she watched as Glenda Weaver, former First Aid Nursing Yeomanry lieutenant and SOE operative, leaned back, smiled contentedly, closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Summer 2006 — Peace.
The sun was setting behind the hill and painting the summer sky red and gold as it did so. Smoke curled lazily out of the chimneys of the farmhouse and drifted away to the east in the almost still air evening air.
Behind the farmhouse the long mound was disappearing into the lengthening and darkening shadows of dusk. The trees and shrubs that now covered it made it look like a low natural hill—an extension of the moorland that butted against the the northern boundary of the farm. Indeed most people who visited the farm thought that it actually was a small hill, if they noticed it at all, that is. For since more than sixty years had elapsed since it ha been constructed, there were few alive who remembered the farm before the army had moved in during more troubled times and built their secret bunker.
Bats wheeled and darted around the bushes and somewhere in the distance, an owl hooted hopefully in the warm summer air. There were no animal noises from the surrounding fields for, other than the few chickens and goats that Mary Howard kept, there was no livestock kept at Temple Farm—other than the valuable dairy herd housed in the bunker itself, that is.
Slowly the sun slipped behind the hills to the west and the lengthening shadows merged into the darkness of the coming night as peace and quiet descended upon this quiet corner of rural Derbyshire—much as it had since before the forests had been cleared by the first farmers millennia before.
Inside the bunker evening milking was long over and the placid hucows were settling down for a night of peaceful slumber, just as there predecessors had for the sixty years that the herd had existed. A lone milkmaid checked that all was well and made sure that the lights were dimming as programmed before retiring to join her ‘sisters’ in their barrack-like accommodation in the rooms that took up the northern part of the large bunker. Peace and tranquillity now reigning everywhere above and below ground at Home Farm.
In the farmhouse its self, the Howard family and their companions and retainers were preparing to retire for the night, their work done and their beds beckoned for tranquillity ruled here also.
Mother Mary relaxed in the large double bed that she shared with the ever-faithful Julie—her loving companion of many years. She sighed contently. The future of the farm was secure now that her daughter, Megan, had begun working alongside her. She finished the last of her cocoa, turned off the beside lamp and lay back, slipping into Julie’s warm and welcoming embrace. They kissed and then made gentle love before contentedly drifting off to sleep.
Megan, alone in her room at the other end of the hallway, was already asleep and dreaming of her friends Lily and Anna. In her dreams, as in life, a long future stretched before them..........