Tag Archives: fiction

The Prayer Journal – A New Road

The final installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

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May stepped out from the schoolhouse into the summer sun, tipping her sun hat to shade her eyes and avoid the blinding transition from inside to out. She breathed deeply the early fall air and savored the fresh scent. Her body had finally recovered from the Spanish flu after having been imprisoned on her bed for weeks. Now being in the open outdoors, she relished the life that had come back to her body, savored the smell the warm breeze carried from the wooded hills. “It’s a beautiful day you’ve made, Lord.” May smiled and headed home.

“May I join you?”… (Read more)

 

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The Prayer Journal: Weathering the Sunshine

The 19th installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

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May shivered. She rolled her aching body under the piles of blankets draped across her bed. She swallowed and immediately regretted it since her throat felt like sand. An involuntary cough forced its way out of her lungs causing her body to double-over on the mattress. When the coughing ceased she tried to sniff but only one side of her nose would give. She felt awful.

She had been sick for a few days now and only getting worse. A good number of people were getting sick in the town; she was surprised the Bransons had not yet caught it seeing how they were taking such good care of her. May could tell they were getting worried about her, though. Yesterday they had called for the doctor. They never called for the doctor… (Read more)


The Prayer Journal: Passing On

The 17th installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

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It was early that morning in France on July 19. Pvt. Adams played with the bolt of his rifle as he sat in torturous anticipation. The cool night’s dew hung on the blades of grass and wheat around him as they peacefully waited to be graced by the beams of the approaching sunrise. Adams knew they’d be moving out soon. They all knew it. They’d been kept in reserves since they’d gotten to the battle the day before. They’d been woken early and told to be ready. It wouldn’t be long now.

“Hey, Adams.”

Adams turned with a scowl to see who had broken the sacred silence the soldiers shared before the charge. It was Rivers. Adams groaned as he turned back to fiddling with his rifle. “Whatcha want, Jack?”

“Gotta favor ta ask ya,” Rivers replied, either not recognizing Adams’ agitation or not caring.

“What?” he growled again.

Something plopped in Adams’ lap. He looked down. It was a book, an old one. He put his rifle down and picked it up. “What’s this?”

“Twas Brickman’s,” Rivers answered. “Ya know, that journal he’d always be writin’ in. Prayin’ and stuff like dat.”

“You picked this off his corpse?” Adams asked in shock. “What, you couldn’t let the guy rest with it?”… (Read more)

 


The Prayer Journal: In the Trenches

The 13th installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

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Monday, March 18, 1918

The lead of Richie’s pencil scratched the date onto the journal’s page, the markings becoming less and less visible in the ebbing twilight. He leaned with his back against the clay wall of the trench, his boots standing on the slimy duck boards that had been placed in the mud. His rifle was leaned next to him. Beside him stood Private Rivers and a few other doughboys who had relieved some French soldiers the day before. Those men had looked so exhausted when they arrived. It was not an encouraging welcome.

Richie didn’t bother writing a request next to his date; it was good enough he was even praying at this point. He wasn’t even sure what he had planned to write when he pulled the journal out of his coat. Maybe it had been the boredom, the monotony, or the cramped, stinking quarters of mud and smoke that brought him to write, but he was writing nonetheless…. (Read more)


The Prayer Journal: Hindsight

The 12th installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

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The morning of March 15 greeted the Marines with a cold and foggy curtain. Mist and smoke blew out from Richie’s mouth as he flicked the stub of his cigarette onto the ground. A few months ago his body would have been sore from the construction job of the day before, but having done these jobs over and over, the work hardly bothered anymore. His headache from the drinks the night before, however, had already put him in a foul mood.

Rumors were that command decided to give them some real experience and they’d be heading out soon. About time.

The past few months had been cold and tedious. Between combat training, railroad work, or unloading cargo from ships, they’d been kept busy doing everything other than what they had been sent to do: killing Germans. It didn’t help to see the trains come through with wounded French soldiers from the front lines. The veterans used to tell them that when you’re in the 1st line of trenches and all between you and the Hun are parallel rows upon rows of barbed wire and the open, lifeless expanse of “No Man’s Land,” you no longer wish to get out unscathed as that seems a pointless fantasy; you’re hoping to get out as soon as possible, and just praying you don’t leave too much of yourself on the battlefield…  (Read more)

 


The Prayer Journal: Aches

The latest installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining in, click here for the previous chapters.

IMG_5957 QueenAnne.snow2_smw

Monday, December 17, 1917 – Strength

The window in May’s room rattled against the howling winter wind, a bitter, icy blast that leaked between the cracks of the old boarding house. She shivered from the cold draft as the ink dried on the crisp page of her new journal given to her by the Bransons. Taking a moment before continuing, she stared out the window at the snowy spirals spinning through the air and bouncing lightly against the glass.

My bones are still cold from being outside and my muscles ache. Mr. Branson lost one of his hired hands on the farm to the draft and hasn’t been able to find a replacement. I felt it only right to help. We all have to do something to take up the roles of the men who are gone. Besides, it’s been too cold to sell liberty bonds. May stretched her sore arm and laughed to herself. I never thought I’d miss selling bonds.

She glanced at an envelope next to her lantern that held the most recent letter from Richie. Her letters to him had been regular and on time; May wanted to make sure she was there for him as much as she could be. His letters, however, were growing less frequent, and their contents left May with an impression that something was amiss… (Read more)

 


The Prayer Journal: Fading Into Smoke

The latest installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining in, click here for the previous chapters.

LetsGoMarines

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)


The Prayer Journal: Le Cran

First-in-France

Saturday, November 3, 1917 – Conviction

Richie placed his pencil in the seam of the journal and lifted his eyes to the gray clouds that hovered over the French countryside. It had rained the past few days and looked like it was going to again. The days had been gray, that monotonous dullness of an earth that is undecided between a fall bare of leaves or a winter bare of snow. He missed home in Maine, although it probably looked similar.

Richie rotated his right shoulder, stretching the sore muscle from the long day of training. He had not had to do any trench exercises back in America; he couldn’t say he cared for them much. The French were lively trainers for the now small American Expeditionary Force, as rough as any sergeant he’d had yet. They seemed to fancy charges and bayonets, but he’d take any training he could get. After all, they had been the ones fighting this war for over three years now.

“Hey, Brickman,” a voice called. Richie looked over to see another private holding out a cup to him. “Tea?”

“Sure.” Richie took the cup and nodded a thanks. He had never drunk so much tea in his life. May had always fancied it, but Richie had not ever seen the appeal. The taste was growing on him, though.

Private Richard Brickman, 6th Marines, AEF. We’ve been here in France for a few weeks now. Days are long and they are working us hard. The French are trying to ready us up for the fight. They’re tough, but seem pretty well spent. Can’t say I blame them.

Actually writing in the journal was somewhat surreal. He had been spending the past months reading the entries May and her grandfather had made. Her grandfather was… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal is a fiction blog series written by my son.  If you are just joining in, click here to read the previous chapters.


The Prayer Journal: Part 8 – Go in Peace

The 8th installment of my son’s online fiction series.

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“So, Virginia?”

Richie dropped his bags on the wooden walkway and turned to face May who stood inquisitively looking back at him. She was wearing a blue dress and her usual white sun hat. She looked gorgeous; her hair was in curls and her cheeks were rosy.

“That’s what they tell me, Teach. Orders are to meet there and join the other recruits who are making up the 6th Marine Regiment.”

May nodded and smirked. “I’m sad I’ll miss seeing you in your uniform. I am sure you’ll look dashing as a marine.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to wear it for you when I get back.”

“You better.”

Richie could see May’s gaze fall on the train that stood behind him. Her forced cheerful expression began to crack and show the anxiety within. Richie placed his hand… (read more)

 

If you are just tuning in, click here for the other installments.


The Prayer Journal: Part 6 – Register to Bravery

The 6th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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Tuesday, June 5, 1917 – Courage

“What’s that book, Teach?” Richie asked. May turned her gaze from her journal to look at him from under the shade of her sun hat. Richie was squinting from the glaring sunlight, dressed in his suit with his hands casually in his pants pockets. His flat cap did little to keep out the sun, but it looked fetching on him.

“My grandfather’s journal,” May replied. “Since he passed, it’s passed to me. I haven’t written anything for a few weeks and thought I would probably have time today.”

“Journal, huh?” Richie asked. He grinned and looked at her sideways. “Am I in there?”… Read more

 


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