Mandy Oviatt: Author

Miles Herman, 1946: 8 Years Old.

<h2<h2London, June 21, 1946

Dear Journal,

Today, I got in trouble again. And, on my birthday of all days!

See, I rode my brand-new bike into town with Tony and Johnny and we were at the sweet shop, drooling over the candies on display.
I didn’t have any money cos I left my money at home hidden under the mattress. I’m saving up so I can spend money when we go on holiday next month.

But I promise, I didn’t mean to steal it!

The policeman stopped me on the street and emptied my pockets, finding a big wad of Turkish taffy that I promise I didn’t put there!
So Dad boxed my ears and Mom made me go to bed without dinner.
On my Birthday!
Because this is the third time I’ve been caught taking stuff from the stores.

London, November 11, 1946

We celebrated Armistce by hosting an American Soldier Dad knew in the War, a man named “Sergeant Harry Zeuner.”
I don’t know why my dad likes him; this Harry guy is scary! He is tall, mean, and looks like he could eat Nazis for breakfast. He’s also loud and rude.

He’s going to be staying for a few weeks before he returns home to America.

November 13, 1946

So, Sergeant Harry today caught me borrowing money from my Dad’s wallet.
I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but Dad’s wallet was sitting there, on the counter, open, and I couldn’t help but take the money laying out in the open. I couldn’t bear it if something happened to it!
Except Harry stopped me.

He put his hand around my shoulder and pulled me into the living room. Then I saw something.
It’s like I had a dream while I was awake.
I was a full grown man, dressed like a gladiator or a roman soldier or something, climbing in a mountain to a well. The well was made of bronze, and had a cap on it. I could hear wailing and shouting from within, and the ground shook beneath my feet. A pair of twins, angry looking giant men with gnarled teeth and rotted beards stood behind the well, daring me to open it.
Until my sister, who stood by my side, offered to snog one of the men if they’d let me look at the well.
Delighted, the men walked toward my sister, who turned into a deer and ran off, causing the men to chase her while I opened the well.

Inside was Sergeant Zeuner, or a man that looked just like him.

When the dream was over, Harry put me down and laughed. I was a little disoriented, I don’t have a sister, just my little brother.

“You’re Hermes!” he shouted. And it made sense.

So, you can’t blame me if I takes stuff now an again: I am a god who steals without meaning to.

Too bad Dad and Mum won’t believe it.

Christmas, 1946

I couldn’t believe my luck!
Today, under the christmas tree, sat a box with my name on it.
And in that box was the most amazing pair of shoes I think I’ve ever seen:
Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

shoes
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a pair in red, though. They’re almost always black!
The note in the box was from Harry Zeuner; he had them dyed red because of my Ginger hair.
Apparently, the shoes are worn by American Soldiers in Basic Training.
I’m never taking these shoes off.

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