This short story was originally published in Candace C Bowen and Paul de Lancey’s anthology The Darwin Murders, available on Amazon here
Paul and Candace set all of their collaborators a challenge. Write a short story, using only 250 words, that describes a murder that in some way improves society. I chose to write about my hero, Winston Churchill…
I have always admired Winston Churchill. What if, in the last days of the Second World War, Hitler did something just to annoy Churchill?
Symmons sat nervously while the Prime Minister, drawing on his cigar, read. Now Bletchley Park could decrypt the Enigma code for the U-boat traffic, the pile on Symmons desk had grown. This message cost him four days to translate.
“It’s a page of jokes between two very bored U-boat captains, Prime Minister. But it’s the numbers and the reference to ‘Darwin’ that worried me.”
“The one about the Austrian milk-maid and the broccoli is unrepeatable, Symmons”.
“Yes. I didn’t know you could do that with broccoli.”
Churchill laughed “You must try it some time…”
“Does the Fuhrer know about our submarine yards in Darwin? If they are latitudes or longitudes, they are nowhere near Australia.”
Churchill smiled. “I ought to know the location of my own home. He’s spot-on for Chartwell. He looked at Symmons over his glasses: “Wednesday, 22:00. He wants to rattle my cage. But I shall have him…”
Churchill sat in the shadows at the back of the drawing room. He heard the French windows open and by the firelight, he watched a German flag being pinned to the mantelpiece. The agent screwed a silencer onto his Luger and pointed it at the poodle snoring on the mat.
He never saw Churchill coming. One blow from the African club in Winston’s hand felled him silently.
Churchill reached down to scratch the dog’s ear. “I do believe there are biscuits and cocoa for supper.”
Pausing only to stretch and yawn, Darwin followed his master to the kitchen.
Barry is a graduate student, studying at the AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. Any similarity to real broccoli, alive or dead, is unintended and accidental.