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When the Wind Blows: Alternate Ending 

Author since 2024 6Stories 3 Followers
When the Wind Blows: Alternate Ending 

When the Wind Blows. That was a title I hadn’t heard in a long time. It was just obviously a British animated film based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs. You know, the guy who did The Snowman? It centered around an elderly couple then one day, word came out that war would break out in three days. The graphic novel was written around the height of the Cold War. The threat of nuclear war was as high as it is now.

I’ve always had morbid affection for dark animated films. Watership DownThe Plague DogsFelidae, you name it. When the Wind Blows fit snuggly in that bubble. Having watched it religiously on YouTube, the film was ultimately removed most likely because of it violated the website’s terms of service with its objectionable content. My thirst for the darkness of the animated feature was unquenchable and I hadn’t watched it since.

That would all change one day. While I was browsing the internet, I came upon an online forum dedicated to dark, more obscure cartoons. It must’ve been my lucky day because one of the users happened to discuss When the Wind Blows. It was boring at first with him elaborating on how he was immensely disturbed by the film when he was 7-years-old. Then the discussion took a swerve.

After he explained what he considered the most horrid aspect of the film, he added an interesting tidbit. Apparently, it was an interview with Briggs himself. In the interview, Briggs explained that what contributed to his penning the graphic novel was the reality of a nuclear war and how virtually impossible it was for anyone to survive a nuclear holocaust. As such, there was a secret ending embedded in the home releases of the movie. To further his point, the user left a link to download the movie.

Curiosity overwhelmed my reasoning. For all intents and purposes, he may as well might’ve fabricated the whole thing. But, if it was in fact real, it would prove a good nugget of knowledge. So, I clicked the link. As it loaded, I was growing concerned that I was hoodwinked and that some sort of virus would crash it. I glanced back at my computer screen seeing that it was finished.

The film surprisingly started off without a single lag nor freeze. David Bowie performed the title song per usual followed by the real-life footage and Jim returning home from reading the newspapers in town. He lived with his wife in his country home in Sussex. He conversed with his wife again without issue. I felt a building dread. This was likely the third time I’ve seen the film so I already knew how everything would play out. Its saccharine mask would crumble away exposing its sinister underbelly. I hadn’t the faintest idea as to why this was the case. If I could put money on it, I’d have to guess Jim’s tone of voice. He was voiced by John Mills and yet rather than his jovial, more informed self, he had a forlorn expression on his face. Hilda immediately took notice.

When she asked her husband what the matter was, he informed her about the likelihood of war being inevitable. After she went through her tirade of war being wicked, the radio shuttered to life announcing that war could be expected in three days. The film segues to Jim preparing the house for the nuclear missile such as by painting the windows white or making a makeshift bomb shelter all according to the Protect and Survive pamphlet the government handed out. He called his son Ron only to become disheartened with his son’s seeming ignorance. Ron’s laughter could be heard over the phone. A mixture of humor and melancholy. He quoted famous songs much to his father’s chagrin. To me, it was clear that Ron was aware than he was letting on. He was losing what little sanity he had left by partying his troubles away.

The film progressed with the couple mentioning previous world wars and D-Day. Hilda was making a cake while her husband further desecrated the house in accordance with the pamphlet. The radio sounded again, the announcer explaining that an ICBM would arrive in three minutes. Jim became more hectic, and shoved Hilda underneath the door after calling her a bitch.

The screen turned to symbolize the missile dropping. A deafening siren blared through my headphones nearly sending me sprawling on the ground. I saw violent images of vehicles colliding and creating massive pile ups. Wood and bricks flew off houses from the incredible force before crumbling into ruins. Bystanders were violently blown across the screen like paper drifting in the air. And the screams. To this day, those screams would continue to haunt me. Hundreds of voices begging for salvation all silenced.

The next few seconds were dedicated to depicting what exactly happened to the human body: the intense heat consumed civilians, their clothes catching on fire as flames licked their skin like wax candles. Those closer to the hypocenter of the blast were immediately vaporized where they stood. Buildings leveled from the violent explosions sending glass shards and other bludgeoning debris down on the populace.

The sound wave struck the couple’s house, decimating it. Miraculously, or rather unfortunately, they survived. Hilda in typical fashion wanted to tidy up only to be held back and told that she couldn’t leave until the fallout subsided. In a new addition, Jim assured his wife that they would be fine. Another voice spoke out one that Hilda could not hear. Jim reacted in disgust becoming further unsettled.

“Old boy, why are you sentencing your wife to death?”

The conclusion I drew was that it represented Jim’s innermost thoughts, or more directly his conscience. It was a monotonous voice bereft of any emotion nothing there but a cold, pure logic.

The two attempted to survive as long as they could off what little rations they had left or whatever survived the blast. Their water bottles were disintegrated and subsequently, their lines were cut off. The couple were immeasurably famished. Throughout the week, they made offhanded remarks about how people lost in the wilderness resorted to drawing lots and sacrificing the weakest member so the others would live. The thought they were so hungry they’d be willing to eat each other was horrible.

Jim once found a meat cleaver and walked over to his wife as she laid on the couch sleeping. He contemplated his options but got cold feet when Hilda was stirring awake. He quickly hid the weapon away, instead telling her that she was hearing things because of her age.

One day while they were walking in their yard, Jim smelled something in the air. Hilda followed him also smelling it. Roasted pork, she thought. Her stomach was so barren, she’d waste no time gorging on the pork.

They walked over a hill, their thoughts immediately turning to sorrow. A family of four was huddled together tightly and were roasted dark by the blast. They were the remains of a husband and wife and their two small kids. Hilda and Jim looked at each other then at me with that thousand yard stare. The camera focused in on Jim’s beady eyes. Fire danced in them. He knelt down and ripped off an arm from one of the kids. Hilda prayed over the bodies before digging in as well.

“The Powers That Be will get to us in the end.”

A few weeks passed by. The couple were somehow still alive. The camera panned to the fridge showing scraps of flesh that were left of the family. Around that time, Jim had also collected the rain water, unaware that it was radiated and unsafe regardless of boiling it. Their water supply had vanished again. Rat carcasses were thrown all over the floor. It then segued to Hilda vomiting into the toilet ranting about hating the taste of rat meat and blood. Boils were all over her body and Jim’s. They were skeletal in appearance with their leathery skin barely being held together.

“I just hope that Ron and Beryl made it out okay,” Hilda weakly said.

As she said this, a jump cut of Ron popped up. He was animated with clay alongside his wife and children. They were melded together in a fleshy blob with their limbs conjoined together. Jim assures her that their son’s family would always stick together. Hilda’s hair began to fall out by the time she suggested to Jim that they should return to their bags because another attack could come. Jim agreed to her suggestion still assuring her that help would arrive.

The voice from earlier returned now violently criticizing Jim on withholding the truth about their situation. Hilda got into her bag and waited for her husband to join her. It felt like hours before he returned, and when he did, I was taken aback. In his hands was a rifle. He cocked it, and pointed it behind his wife’s head.

“Dear, are you there?” she asked.

Jim choked back tears as he tried to speak coherently. “Recite the Lord’s Prayer for me, would you?”

She obliged. Hilda recited the prayer louder as if hoping that her prayers would be heard. A single tear rolled down Jim’s face. A loud gunshot is heard when the camera panned to the outside of the house. Jim looked at the gun in horror and tossed it beside his feet. Kneeling down, he clutched his wife as she laid dying. Tears dropped on her bosom. He then walked out of the ruins of his once beautiful home and fell to the ground. Jim remained in that position, his breathing hazing, until the film turned to black. 

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Lover of horror films and stories. I have a Creepypasta Wiki account.

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1 month ago

I saw that movie a while back and really enjoyed it. Your take is equally as good.

JosephTheSnail avatar
1 month ago

Okay, that actually made a tear come out a bit, you earned a 5 star by me.

Good job dude!

1 month ago

I’m gonna be honest, after seeing the film, I didn’t expect that this could be any more depressing and dark. I was proven wrong, and you deserve some applause