Going Home

Either way, this is flash fiction. Two versions, both 100 words. The first is “conversational” where the reader is left to fill in the blanks. The second is “vignette” or “narrative” where character is not as well developed, the story somewhat less intimate. Which do you prefer?

“Hey, Lenny!  You’re on duty in an hour, ya know?”
“Nope, Dwight.  I’m shipping out.”
“What?”
“Transport on the apron leaves in an hour.  Cap’n’s having orders cut now.”
“No!”
“Unh-huh. Gotta pack in a hurry.”
“Geeze, man.  Where the hell they sending you?”
“Bum luck, Dwight…  Say, got a smoke?”
“Sure.  Here.”
“Thanks, man.”
“You’re shaking like a leaf, dude, what gives?”
“Going home.”
“Man, going home is supposed to be good. This doesn’t sound so good.”
“It’s not.  Got word dad died. Heart attack.”
“Geeze man, sorry.”
“Thanks.”

“’Bye, Dwight. Be careful.”
“Gonna try. Sorry, Lenny.”
“Yeah.”

Last saw Lenny an hour before his watch started.  He said instead, Cap’n cut orders putting him on the transport waiting on the apron.  I reminded Lenny leaving this hell hole was a good thing.  He said it wasn’t, bummed a smoke.  When I lit it for him, his hands shook like Colorado Aspen in Autumn.  I suspected he couldn’t say but asked anyway where they were sending him.  He said, “Home.” I didn’t help Lenny celebrate because I knew going home this way wasn’t good.  As he left, I said, “Sorry about your Pop.”  Lenny frowned, nodded, and left.

© S P Wilcenski 2020

7 thoughts on “Going Home

    1. Thank you, sir. I myself prefer the “conversational” format unless there are very serious and complex matters at hand. You are doubtless correct that others will think otherwise, mayhaps the back-and-forth tedious. Vanilla/chocolate. Thank you for taking the time it is appreciated.

    1. Thank you for taking time to weigh-in. I do appreciate it, especially when it comes from those whose work I admire. A little more catching-up, a few to-dos, then I can see what my heroes have posted for me to enjoy. Do well, youngster.

  1. I like the conversational piece better. There is just enough said to know the care and concern of the buddy is real and to imagine the depth of emotions the soldier going home is experiencing.

    1. Thank you. This is the excellent, elegant feedback I need. Seems you are in good company. Sane and Hobbo agree with you. Can’t argue with the professionals.

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