INSTINCT

Published October 13, 2019 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. Feel free to use the location supplied above, our take your own tour of Washington D.C. via Google maps and find a view that inspires you.

You may write poetry, prose, essay, limerick, sonnet, or fiction of any flavor. Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the linkup below. Reading and commenting is part of the fun.

Thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this unique challenge. To join click the frog.

image-arlington_national_cemetery_public_domain-10944

This week I revisited and fleshed out a story I posted in Friday Fictioneers four years ago. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

INSTINCT

            Six years my senior, my gentle brother was my hero. He was the valedictorian of his graduating class. Awarded a scholarship to Harvard, he owned the future.

            I had just turned twelve when his draft notice came. Vietnam consumed every newscast. Mom was inconsolable.

            The day he left to go overseas I clung to him and sobbed. “I’ll never see you again.”

            “Duty calls, Sis.” He pinched my cheek and kissed my nose. “I’ll be back. You’ll see.”

            “Promise?”

            “Promise.”

***

            Tonight we celebrate his sixty-fifth birthday. His hands tremble as he cuts the cake. The knife falls from his fingers and tears stream down his stubbled cheeks.

            “I cut off their ears and hung them from a chain on my belt loop.” He swallows a pill with a swig of beer. “Thirty-six kills. God, I miss it.”

            My brother did come back from Vietnam but he never returned.    

   

 

17 comments on “INSTINCT

  • So many people returned from that war (as from any) scarred by what they saw, and even worse, by what they did. If world leaders truly understood the human costs, it’s hard to understand how they could send their own people to such fates.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I remember this story well. And the additional 50 words makes it all the more powerful. Impossible to NOT be affected by war, I should think. Some way worse than others. An additional tragedy.

    Shalom and Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    That is such a powerful piece of writing and your last sentence so poignant. I can’t begin to imagine how anyone of sensitivity and a sense of humanity can ever get over war. A cousin of somebody I knew volunteered for Vietnam fresh from college. He never came home.

    I’m watching an incredibly powerful drama at the moment on BBC1 called “World on Fire”, all about the start of World War II. Some of it takes place in Poland and some in Britain. It’s one of those series that my mind keeps returning to throughout the week following each episode. If they eventually show it on one of your US channels, I would highly recommend it, although some of its content is galling to say the least.

    We must make sure to have another face-time session in the next few weeks, and certainly no later than November!

    All best wishes,
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      I imagine any documentary that sticks to the truth is bound to be somewhat galling. At any rate I’m glad you found my story to be powerful. I’ve two brothers in law suffering the effects of Agent Orange. It’s hard to see.
      I agree. We don’t want too much time pass before we meet for another face time session. I believe October is the last month for Dale’s golf club job for the season.
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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