Ghosts of the past



Ghosts of the past


Describes George lost on a drive but finding a disused airfield. He meets ghosts from the war and becomes emotional, then recovers and drives off.






One typewritten sheet


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Ghosts of the past

While driving along the country roads George had taken a wrong turn, and realized that he had no option but to continue, “at last” he muttered to himself as he came across what looked like the entrance to a field, “somewhere to turn the car round”. Turning into the field, on the horizon a collection of buildings, “why do they look familiar, getting old makes me so forgetful” he says under his breath, but cannot recall why and decides to investigate.

Getting closer he realizes it is an old deserted and abandoned airfield, slowly making his way across the broken concrete taxiway to the buildings. Parking his car, he got out for a look round, as he carefully walked towards the building negotiating broken glass, bricks etc he can see the years have not been kind to them. Weeds and long grass growing through cracks in the paving, decay and neglect everywhere, the paintwork peeling off the window frames causing them to go rusty, the window glass broken or missing, doors hanging off. Carefully, he makes his way inside a building; it saddens him to see damp patches on the floor, looking up there are holes in the roof, dirt and dried grass piled in one corner, a mouse nest, maybe? On one wall the faded remains of a painting, what looks like a young woman, with a sigh he turns to leave. The bright sunlight hurts his eyes, a skylark, singing as it flies ever higher into the blue sky, breaks the silence, somewhere a door or window starts to bang in the wind. Standing there listening, another sound, that of an aircraft engines high in the sky. George started to feel emotional and needed to sit down for a few moments. Then retracing his steps, he made his way back to the car; sitting down sideways on the car seat, the door was open with his feet on the concrete, but for some reason felt uncomfortable.

As George sits, he glances back to the buildings, the signs of decay have disappeared and coming through the door, he can see young men in flying kit, carrying parachute packs slung over their shoulders. The you men stop to light cigarettes as they laugh and talk amongst themselves, but George can hear no sounds, as his mind takes him back to times long ago and memories of his youth.

Sitting in his car watching, he is suddenly brought back to reality, a man appears from somewhere, and asks if George is ok. Wiping away the tears trickling down his face and with a shaky voice “yes, I am fine” he replies. Without another word George turned on his seat, closed the car door and starts the car, a quick glance back and the young men reappear, they turn and wave goodbye, without thinking George waves back just before he drives away.

The farmer as he walks away talking to himself “another one of the old bomber boys, who do they wave to I wonder”.

Stephen Toombs Page 1 02/11/2015



Stephen Toombs, “Ghosts of the past,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 22, 2024,

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