The Village

From All The Fallen Stories
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This story is set in an English Village in the early 1960s when attitudes were very different from today. Middle-class parents spent very little time with their children; and all children had a great deal more freedom to experiment, test themselves and get up to mischief. The wealthier men travelled to work in the city on the train, and most of the others worked on the land, while the women stayed at home. The children who lived in the village went to the Junior School in the next village or to the High School in the town.

Most kids had some idea about sex from an early age, which they picked up from watching animals, reading, and older children, and it was just part of daily life. Most adults never spoke about it to each other, never mind to children, and there was no such thing as formal sex education. The only thing anyone knew about perverts was what they read in the more prurient Sunday papers, which regularly featured stories about Choirmasters and Scout Leaders interfering with children; but no one worried about it much.

Incest was common; after all, even today for young people, one of the main obstacles to sexual activity is lack of opportunity, and among the poorer families it was not unusual in those days to have boys and girls sharing a bed into school age and beyond. When large families are crowded into small cottages there is little or no privacy, so the children would probably see and hear their parents having sex, and would naturally experiment with each other.

The Village is small, maybe twenty families living mostly in cottages strung out along the High Street. It exists because there was a ford over the stream which now has a narrow stone bridge that might be Roman or Saxon. The road was once a major route between two large towns but as traffic started to increase between the wars, a bypass with a new bridge was built.

Few people in the village own a car, but there's an hourly bus service for the people who work in town and for those whose shopping needs are not met by the village shop. Unusually, there is no church; it burned down back around the turn-of-the-century was never enough money or enthusiasm to rebuild it. All that remains are the stone walls and the graveyard. There is, of course, a pub which is the centre of the community. There is also a butcher, a greengrocer and a small general store, all of which are struggling in the face of competition from the new supermarket on the edge of the town. Bread, milk and newspapers are all delivered daily and a mobile fish and chip shop visits the village every Thursday evening.