I spent the Fourth of July in Saginaw, MI (because why not). It’s one of the worst post-industrial cities in America in regard to both poverty and crime, and so every time fireworks have gone off this weekend, I’ve had to remind myself it’s not gunshots. Kinda unnerving.
This week’s excerpt comes from “Crash,” a short story in my anthology The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which is on sale right now for just $$.99 this morning and then $1.99 after that. In this one, Lindy has just returned from Iraq and is a bit jumpy (something very real for our vets, many of whom can’t handle fireworks because it reminds them of their experiences).
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Bill stopped outside Lindy’s bedroom door and listened his daughter inside, or at least her music, a loud country song with indiscernible lyrics. He raised his hand to knock but paused, his fist poised; maybe the music was all he’d heard.
A crash came from inside the room, then muffled curses and another crash – no, he hadn’t imagined it.
“Lindy,” he asked as he knocked and took a step back, “everything okay?”
Since she’d been discharged, she’d spent most of her time in her room or skulking around the house. He’d known the Army would change his daughter—wasn’t that what all the commercials said?—but he’d expected her to come back proud, strong, and triumphant – not like this.
How would she respond this time – would she ignore him, maybe turn up the music; throw open the door and jettison something toward his head; come out crying, needing her daddy, finally ready to talk?
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Read more about Lindy in The Futility of Loving a Soldier, on sale right now at Amazon, then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.
You’ve described a parent’s nightmare and she’s a veteran. My heart breaks for these characters you’ve written so well.
Very poignant snippet for this weekend.
I grew up across the river from Detroit – so I know Mich pretty well. Saginaw – tough place that has been kicked pretty – but unfairly – hard.
I really like that you’re telling the story of a female vet. Powerful excerpt – I really felt sorry for both of them.
Powerful snippet. I’m with Victoria and like that you’re telling the story of a female vet.
Definitely like that this soldier is a woman. I need to find time to read this!
Beautifully done, and heartbreaking.
I grew up seeing how my grandfather dealt with his WWII experience (his military record says he’s been at the Bulge, Dauchau and Buchenwald… so despite just being a radio operator, he saw plenty enough). There was a “corn popper” my uncle used to try to keep crows out of the corn field…. Grandpa couldn’t deal with it; we never went to fireworks shows with him… so many things that seem exciting and fun to a child, he couldn’t deal with, and this was a generation before.
I can only image what these younger soldiers suffer.
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