Sara glaringly looked at her watch again. The plane had landed almost 10 minutes ago and her anxiousness was starting to get the better of her. She shook the sign that she held in her hands as the other women and children around her bustled and brimmed with anticipation. It had been the longest 9 months they had ever had together, or rather, apart, and now she stood there in the terminal, waiting.
Hadn’t she waited long enough? Why couldn’t they just let the men off the plane so they could come home? Why couldn’t they just get on with it already? Her hands started ringing the cardboard sign almost tearing the paper that she had worked so hard over the last two weeks to get just right. It had to be just right. For him.
The woman standing next to her reached over and touched her shoulder, startling her out of her thoughts and causing her to jump. “First deployment?” she asked. An inviting smile on her face disarming Sara’s immediate desire to be left alone.
“That obvious?” Sara responded back to this new woman, her hands relaxing a bit on the sign. Continue reading Coming Home
The toy box sits in the corner of the room these days, neglected, unused, and generally forgotten about. It has been years since the children have even acknowledged the joy that has come at the expense of the toys that are now compacted into those six walls, but I still can’t bring myself to get rid of it.
Memories of jubilant Saturday mornings fill my head, of the children creating stories out of the dolls and Tonka trucks. Little green army men out to save the world being trampled on by a teddy bear that had transformed into “Bearacus the Destroyer”. Puzzle pieces strewn across the floor as they tried to compete to see which one could finish the fastest. Lastly, the numerous unspoken curses I held in as I stepped on countless Lego blocks while cleaning up after them. Continue reading The Toy Box in the Corner
“Oberon, are you listening?” Lieutenant Stratta’s voice cut across the static of his thoughts. He looked over at her.
“What?” He said as he blinked his eyes several times.
“I said, are you ready?” Her voice carried a weight of impatience to it and he was sure she had an annoyed look on her face, but couldn’t see her face behind the mirrored visor of her helmet.
He flexed his armored fingers on the grip of his rifle. “Yeah, sorry… just lost in thought.” He was glad she couldn’t see his face behind his own helmet, but was concerned that his voice would give away his uncertainty. The yearning inside of him to be done with this life was a preoccupation he had tried hard to overcome as the end of his enlistment drew near. Continue reading Maxwell House