UnBooks:Ill Met By Moonlight

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Illmet

Dirk Bogarde plays Bernie Shovel in the film of the book.

Ill Met By Moonlight (not to be confused with "I'll Met By Moonlight", the story of a tense-challenged, dyslexic, nocturnal gambler) tells the story of two lovers, Bernie Shovel and Doris Felch, who meet under cover of darkness in war torn Crete, braving minefields, searchlights, gullies and German food so that they might snatch a few stolen moments together. Why they do this remains unclear, since they actually live just around the corner from each other in Manchester, England. The book was written by Major Col. Brigadier Stungunner as a reminder, he claims, for young people to cut their hair and get proper jobs.

Chapter 1: 1942

Bernie Shovel is exhausted after four months of clandestine hiking. He has climbed up the Cretan mountains and was nearly shot by a passing German patrol. He has dodged minefields unsuccessfully and lost a foot. Hopping over a ridge, he spots the ocean beneath and realises he has made it. And there she is, Doris Felch, with the moon glinting off her false teeth like the rear lights on a Morris Minor. In an urgent whisper, he says:

"Doris, it is me, Bernie"

"Bernie, oh my Bernie, you made it! Yet, we have only a minute for I must go!"

"Only a minute. A minute of stolen pleasure, and then we must part. It's this war. This damned awful war. This damned useless bastard war. This damned stupid bloody bloody damned..."

"Oh, no Bernie, it's not the war, it's just that I think I left the gas on. I was pretty sure I'd turned it off when I left, but now I can't be so sure. I've got to go and check. How about we meet here again later, say 1943?"

"Oh... ok, then, See you later."

Chapter 2: 1943

Bernie Shovel is exhausted after four months of clandestine hiking. He has climbed up the Cretan mountains and had his ears shot off by a passing German patrol. He has dodged minefields unsuccessfully and lost another foot. Crawling over a ridge, he spots the ocean beneath and realises he has made it. And there she is, Doris Felch, her hunchback silhouetted against the sky like an odd shaped mountain. In an urgent whisper, he says:

"Doris, it is me, Bernie"

"Bernie, oh my Bernie, you made it! Yet, we have only a minute for I must go!"

"Eh?"

"Bernie, oh my Bernie, you made it! Yet, we have only a minute for I must go!"

"Sorry Doris, you'll have to speak up a bit! I've had both my ears shot off by a German patrol!"

"But Bernie, how will you wear your glasses?

"My glasses. I know. Never again will they fit me. It's this war. This damned awful war. This damned useless bastard war. This damned stupid bloody bloody damned..."

"Don't worry, you can always tape them to your head. Anyway, time's up. How about we meet here again later, say 1944?"

"Oh... ok, then, See you later."

Chapter 3: 1944

Bernie Shovel is exhausted after four months of clandestine hiking. He has climbed up the Cretan mountains and had his glasses shot off by a passing German patrol. He has dodged minefields unsuccessfully and lost a leg. Dragging himself over a ridge, he spots the ocean beneath and realises he has made it. And there she is, Doris Felch, with her hearing aid gently humming like a large injured mammal. In an urgent whisper, he says:

"Doris, it is me, Bernie"

"Bernie! ... Where are you?"

"Down here."

"Oh, there you are. Bernie, oh my Bernie, you made it! Yet, we have only a minute for I must go!"

"Oh for Christ's sake! Why can't we just meet in the chippy like everyone else?"

"Bernie!"

"Sorry. I'm sorry. I'm overwrought. Only a minute. Yet again. It's this war. This damned awful war. This damned useless bastard war. This damned stupid bloody bloody damned..."

"Oh, no Bernie, it's not the war, it's just that I think I left the front door unlocked. I was pretty sure I'd locked it when I left, but now I can't be so sure. There's been a spate of burglaries in my area recently, and I just bought a new toaster. How about we meet here again later, say 1945?"

"Oh... ok, then, See you later."

Chapter 4: 1945

Bernie Shovel is exhausted after four months of clandestine hiking. He has climbed up the Cretan mountains and had his head shot off by a German patrol. He has dodged minefields unsuccessfully and lost his last leg. Dragging himself blindly over a ridge, he realises he has made it. And there she is, Doris Felch, gently cradling her colostomy bag like a newborn infant. In an urgent whisper, he says:

"Doris it's me, Ber"

before he is obliterated by the last Allied bomb to fall on Crete.

Such is the tragedy of war. This damned awful war. This damned useless bastard war. This damned stupid bloody bloody damned...

THE END.

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