The Battles Of Hastings by Steph Bennion - Read Online
The Battles Of Hastings
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Who really won the Battle of Hastings? Eighteen-year-old Jane Kennedy, a twenty-first-century Chicago girl on her first field assignment, had expected a simple mission to gently ease her into the time-bending realities of her new job. Yet here she was, lying semi-conscious amidst the wounded and dying of a particularly gruesome battle, wondering what the hell she had let herself in for. In this novella based on Jane’s memoirs, follow her strange journey through multiple realities as her fellow time travellers each realise they come from a future with a different past. Is there a rogue on the loose out to change history? The Battles Of Hastings is a romp through alternate time lines in England 1066 to mark the 950th anniversary of the invasion that shaped Britain and Europe today.

Published: WyrdStar on
ISBN: 1370456689
List price: $1.99
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The Battles Of Hastings - Steph Bennion

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[About the Author] [Contents] [The Battles Of Hastings]


Copyright (c) Stephanie M Bennion 2016

All rights reserved.


Smashwords license notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not obtained for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Smashwords publishing history

First published October 2016

Revised June 2018 (text corrections and updates)

The right of Stephanie M Bennion (Steph Bennion) to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998.

Cover artwork copyright (c) WyrdStar 2016

This novella is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it, though inspired by recorded history, are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

* * *



[Copyright] [Contents] [Foreword]

A Novella by

Stephanie M Bennion



My thanks go to Jonathan Trigg, author of Battle Story: Hastings 1066 (The History Press 2012), which proved a damn fine resource when writing this story. As always, I would also like to thank Sarah, who despite all evidence to the contrary, kept me sane in that big, bad city. We now live by the seaside; in Hastings, no less.

* * * * *


The Memoirs of Catastrophe Jane

[Title Page] [Contents] [Chapter One]

IT IS WITH THESE WORDS that I have great pleasure introducing ‘Catastrophe’ Jane, an extraordinary woman by any account. I first met Jane Kennedy back in 2004 when I found myself in Suffolk with a friend and her aged relative, who were evaluating retirement homes near the delightful town of Woodbridge. Jane was an eighty-year-old feisty resident of one such abode who, despite her advancing years, was none too coy about using her considerable charms with every one of the male residents still capable of lustful thoughts.

Jane’s place of residence proved agreeable to my friend’s aunt and so it was that we found ourselves returning on a regular basis. It was when Jane discovered I was a fledgling writer that our friendship blossomed, for it transpired she had any number of tales to tell and was desperate to set out her memoirs before her final breath. The more salacious stories were already good currency within the home and I heard Jane retell many an incredible ode on a blustery winter night.

What intrigued me was what she called her ‘journal’; a diary that was almost a novel, written in the style of a sensational autobiography, stretching back to what she claimed were her teenage years. The tales, though fragmented, told of time travel into a twisted version of history that could have come from the pen of the fathers of science fiction Verne and Wells. If you did not know Jane better, it was easy to believe they were merely fictions written in her youth, retold to a willing audience hungry for melodramatic anecdotes until they merged with her own faltering memories.

I came close to dismissing her writings as pure flights of fancy; almost, but not quite, for one aspect of her story is curious. When word got round that I was compiling Jane’s fabled yarns, a local retired police officer came forward with his own twist to her tale, recalling vividly Jane’s arrival in their little community. Around Christmas time in 1980, he and a fellow officer found Jane in some distress, out on foot in the quiet lanes of nearby Hollesley. She was lost and confused; the officer remembered being equally mystified by her Victorian-era clothes. When no explanation was forthcoming, he decided on the basis of her American accent that she had wandered from a fancy-dress party at what was then USAF Bentwaters, a nearby American Air Force base, having perhaps imbibed too much of the Christmas spirit. Records released by the police, the Royal Air Force and the USAF show that officials had other concerns that particular night. Although incredible, Jane’s final diary entries suggest a link between her abrupt arrival from nowhere and the infamous Rendlesham Forest incident, but for now I will speculate no further.

Jane’s diaries are proving difficult to untangle. The following short tale dates from before she earned her ‘Catastrophe’ nickname and is the earliest of her incredible accounts. It is also perhaps the most fantastical, but very appropriate as we mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. I hope this will give readers a flavour of the wondrous writings of this mysterious and extraordinary woman. Make of it what