Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Something New.

Well, I already forgot, but it was sumptin' new. Brownie points is you got that! :D

Heehee. Anyway. I have decided to start putting bits of one of my short stories on my blog, sort of in a serial, so ya'll can see what they're like. So, here is We Regret to Inform You... and click here to learn about the characters. I am in no way saying this story is perfect, and even reading it this afternoon made me realize stuff I needed to change, but please, tell me what you think, if you have a spare moment.

Dad was a telegram deliverer. Mother always said that it was the hardest job on the home front-- to deliver those hated pieces of paper. Those little yellowish slips of fear.
I knew these telegrams were dreaded, but I had no idea just how much until I was over at my friend Brad’s house. We were playing checkers when the doorbell rang twice.
Brad looked up, the checker dropping from his hand. “Ma?” he called, his voice wobbling.
“I heard,” Mrs. Hanson called from the kitchen, her own voice unsteady. I watched silently as she walked to the door and pulled it open. There stood dad.
“Dad!” I said with surprise.
He didn't even acknowledge me, only held out a brown envelope to Mrs. Hanson. “Telegram for Mrs. Hanson.”
“Th--thank you,” Mrs. Hanson whispered, taking it.
Dad nodded and left, without even looking at me. I watched as Mrs. Hanson opened the envelope. Brad went to stand by her side, his eyes on her face.
“We regret to inform you that your husband, Lieutenant George R. Hanson has been killed in action....” Her words died away and Mrs. Hanson began to cry hysterically. “George! Oh, George!” Her legs buckled and Brad was only barely able to catch her before she fell.
“Jack, help!” I rushed to his side and we lowered his unconscious mother to the couch. Tears gathering in his eyes, Brad picked up the yellow paper and finished reading it. By the time he was done he was crying hard.
I stood by his side, not knowing what to do. Mr. Hanson was dead. I couldn't believe it. Looking at the floor, I spotted a glint of metal and bent down to examine it. It was a medal. “Brad, look.”
He saw the medal and snatched it up, holding it to his chest. “Da.” That was all he said, but he repeated it over and over again. “Da.”
“I’m sorry, Brad,” I mumbled, not knowing of anything else to say. What else was there to say? Mr. Hanson wasn’t coming back. “Should... should I get a doctor for your ma?” I asked hesitantly, after a moment’s pause.
He shook his head numbly. “No. Go away, Jack. Please.”
Slowly, I left the house, my heart as heavy as a stone. When I got home, dad was sitting on the porch, having just gotten off from work. When he saw me, he held out his arms and held me tightly. “I”m sorry you had to see that, Jack.”
I started to cry. “Dad, it doesn’t seem fair!”
“I know, son. I know. But it’s God’s Will.”
“But Mr. Hanson’s never coming back! Brad’ll never see him again!”
“I know. It’s hard for me to accept as well. But at time like this, we can do nothing but hang onto our faith and pray that this war will be over soon.” He looked at me carefully, wiping the tear stains from my cheeks. “But while it lasts, we have to bear it like a man. Like all those boys out on the battlefields are. If they can be soldiers, so can you, Jack.”
I straightened my shoulders and saluted. “Yes, dad.”
He saluted back. “Good boy.”
I leaned into his shoulder. “Doesn’t delivering telegrams hurt you, dad?”
He sighed. “Yes, it does, Jack. But I have to keep going. Sometimes, the telegrams hold good news. A promotion, or the news that someone who had been lost has been recovered.” He squeezed my shoulder. “But no matter what, I have to keep going, no matter how painful it may be. It’s my job.”
I lowered my eyes. “But it’s a horrible job.”
Dad lifted my chin so I looked him the eye. “So is fighting in a war. Killing is a horrible thing.”
I dropped my eyes again, knowing he was talking of my games about war with my friends. “But the soldiers are protecting our country by fighting.”
“And I’m helping the families of our country.”
“How are you helping them?” I burst out. “You give them pain and sadness! You bring the messages that hurt them forever!”
“Would you rather have pain forever or never know?” dad countered. “What if we never heard from Michael again? Would you rather know he had died fighting for his country, or would you rather never know what happened to your brother?”
I gulped. “I... I guess I would want to know. I’m sorry, dad.”
He hugged me. “I forgive you, son. You just need to keep a stiff upper lip about these kinds of things. Remember; be a soldier, Jack.”
“Yes, dad.”

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