The latest installment of my son’s online fiction series. If you are just joining in, click here for the previous chapters.
Thursday, November 15, 1917 – Faithfulness
“Hey, Brickman, what do ya think of all that fuss going on in Russia?”
Richie was sitting on his bunk and quickly closed the journal with a snap, sliding it under his pillow next to him. He turned to the marine who had addressed him. “What do you mean?”
“You know, the Bolsheviks, they took over their government a few days ago. Read in the paper that they’ve always been against the war. You don’t think they’ll pull out on us, do ya?” The soldier’s fingers pinched the cigarette out of his mouth as he blew a puff of smoke. The cloud dissipated into Richie’s face, but he’d been around the smell so much he hardly noticed.
“Well, if they do, that’s be a whole lot of freed-up Germans headed our way,” Richie replied. “I’m sure that’s what Kaiser Bill has been hoping for, so he doesn’t have his Huns fight on two fronts. But hey, by the time the Germans get here we’ll be on the line ourselves. Less targets for the Russians means more Huns for us.” Richie felt like kicking himself; he wanted to say something that sounded tough, but it came out sounding naïve.
The solider took another deep inhale of his cigarette and then flicked the glowing butt aside; it rolled till it hit Richie’s boot. The solider breathed out the smoke through his nose. “Yeah, I guess.” With that he stood to his feet and walked away.
Richie stared at the end of the cigarette next to his foot. He used to smoke. Used to drink and cuss, too. Gave them up after going to church. Sure, it had been hard, but he was a changed man.
The marines made that change a lot harder… (Read more)