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amaliaverdezoto > Bliss and Blitz > 1 Chapter 1
During the 1920s, the Walters lived a comfortable life. However, during the Great Depression – a period when families fell apart and people lost their belongings, especially homes and farms. The Walters was not an exception even if they were of the middle class. The Great Depression affected everyone. The collapse of the stock market and the closing of more than 5,000 banks ruined them. William and Nancy now had to deal with the loss of income and unemployment. They could no longer consider themselves as a middle class family when the depression took its toll on them. They faced the difficulty of finding ways to support themselves and a way to feed their children such as the rationing system, having to stand in lines for the government handouts, and adjusting to a new way of living by tightening their belts. They knew they had to change in order to survive.

But since the summer of 1940, the war in Europe seemed very close as William and his family lived near Birmingham; they had to search for ways to fend for themselves and for their two other kids, 16-year-old daughter Daisy and 10-year-old son Edmond. Besides, they were expecting a little one to join their family. They also made a decision to leave Birmingham for the States. The reason was that the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) bombers strafed the British capital and the countryside almost everyday and night, and they often sought shelters in the Metro underground subway stations. As a result, panic and fear gripped the minds of the British citizens.

In one of the bombings, a tragic thing happened to the family. The family and the others were taking shelter under the subway stations. All were anxiously waiting for the bombs to stop. After a few minutes, the bombings seemed to subside. The crowd hurriedly ran toward their destinations before another raid came by. Nancy was bearing the baby in her womb. Will held Nancy's left hand while Edmund held Daisy's hand; hand in hand they jostled through the crowd. All of a sudden, they heard the wail of sirens and the people instantly ran for shelter. Alarmed, the people started to shove each other for safety. The family got separated. Will turned around in search for Nancy and his kids, but they were lost in the crowd. Will heard a deafening explosion nearby. He also saw a German air force coming their way. Panic seemed to be everywhere.

Will desperately looked for his loved ones because he knew that within a few minutes, the plane would dump thousands of tons of bombs and left the place in ruins. Nevertheless, he scoured the streets to find his family. After a moment of searching, he saw a figure who was wearing pink silky day-dress. She was walking on the other side of the street.

"Nancy!" he shouted.

The couple made eye-contact. Will was about to race towards her when suddenly the German airplane flew passed overhead, dropping the bomb around a mile where he was searching. The explosion roared as it landed on the four-storey building. The splinters and the impact of the bomb blew Will and the others away, making him lose his consciousness. As he began to recover his senses, he found himself lying against the brick pillar some distance away from where he had been standing previously. He stood in agony. His eyesight and vision poor amid the deadly chaos. Soon after regaining his eyesight, he saw the destruction and wreckage that the bomb made. The fire from the explosion started spreading, burning everything within the building and around.

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