Rocking chairs….a small piece of fiction writing. *Unedited*

“Where is Marcus, boy?”

I look up from my novel and shift in my rocking chair. Seven men stand in the yard, drunker than Cooter Brown. “This is all I need. Seven drunks looking for trouble.”  They glare at me and I return their blank stare with one of my own. “That’ll show ‘em!”

“He ain’t here.” I go back to my reading my novel. The crunch of the men’s footsteps tell me they can’t take a hint. I peer over the top of my book and watch them approach the porch. To my right lies the pump action shotgun which is loaded with rock salt. “You boys need to head on home. I’ll let Marcus know you stopped by.” Instead of making things better, my statement is akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.

“Who do you think you are boy? How dare you talk to me in such a way! I’m Roy, Erik’s dad.” Roy is a giant of a man. Towering over six feet, hands the size of scoops on backhoes, he is not going to be easy to put down if trouble kicks off. I stand to my feet, my right hand clasps the shotgun, just out of sight of the seven men. “Oh yeah? Maybe you didn’t hear me, Erik’s dad. I said he ain’t here. I don’t suggest you keep coming this way. Go on home before there’s trouble.” My words of warning does nothing but stir the man’s anger soup.

“How about we throw you a beating old man, and then burn down Marcus’s house. How’s that grab ya?” I shake my head in disgust. “Look idiot, it’s obvious you ain’t gonna listen, so before we do this dance, let me explain what’s gonna happen. First, I’m a soldier. Well, a retired soldier. I am trained by the US Army to kill people like you. For the last time, go home before I spank you.” Cursing, Roy and the six men start toward me shouting about how they are going to tune me up.

Without a word, I lift the shotgun and aim in the middle of the men. Half smiling, I pull the trigger and the shotgun bucks in my hands. Five of the seven men hit the ground screaming in pain, as the skin is torn from their upper torsos. A hammer lies at the edge of the porch, and I grab it as I leap to the ground. With a shout, Roy charges me. He seeks to annihilate me by swinging wildly, but I slip to the side and bust him in the jaw with the hammer. The remaining man stands watching the chaos, too rooted by fear to be any use to his fellow drunks. Spitting his broken teeth out, Roy leaps to his feet and comes at me again. Fueled by rage, he throws a hook with his left hand to punch me in the body. I slip to the side and his momentum carries him past me. I drive the hammer into his back, and he hits the ground gasping for air. “You don’t seem to understand Roy, you’re trespassing on private property. It’s in bad taste to burn a man’s home down. Stay down or this is gonna get ugly.” I turn and look at the man who is still holding down his spot in disbelief. “Oh my God, you killed ‘em!” he shouts. I sigh heavily and tap the drunk on his shoulder. “Hey dummy, call 911 and tell ‘em what happened.”

Time…

Time is a funny taskmaster, today is the day when time marks me one year older. I creep ever closer to the half-century milestone. I suppose, I should be proud of making it this far. Many folks predicted I would either be in jail or dead by 21, so here I am marking time until my next birthday.

I will write more later.

Freeman

15 February 2020

Travel urges….

As I am scrolling through my timeline on Facebook, I have come upon a photo of Switzerland. This small village is nestled in the valley, with high cliffs surrounding it. A waterfall plummets to the earth off one of the rock faces at the back of the village. To me, it is a beautiful area. A place where one can find tranquility from the problems of the world.

I wonder how long that feeling lasts.

It makes me want to travel. To put miles on this old body of mine and go places I have never been. Judging from this photo, the peace one may find here would be fleeting. After all it’s a village, which means neighbors, town councils, and government. Any tranquility would surely be taxed into oblivion.

Still, I want to go.

Perhaps, I should invest the rest of my life becoming the middle-aged Johnny Quest. My knees don’t work, I suffer from migraine headaches, and it takes forever to get going. However, when I get some momentum built up, watch out!

There is so much to see and do in this great big world of ours. I am waiting for the weather to warm up on a consistent basis before I call an end to my hibernation. While my winter nap is in effect, I want to invest in a camera. When spring arrives, I will go on an expedition in search of old bridges. Hopefully, it will be the first of many trips this year.

I was once told, “life is meant to be lived.” Well, it may have taken me some time to grasp the concept, but I have finally received the memo. It is time to throw caution to the wind and see where the road will take me (as soon as my power nap is over!)

Until next time,

Freeman

14 February 2020

Happy Valentines Day!

PSA: Today is Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is set aside as a holiday to express affection, love, or some other gooey emotion to our spouse or significant other. In some instances, it would be spouses or significant others. Either way, it is a day to buy flowers, candy, jewelry, or some other token to express the measure of love in our heart.

I will stick to writing, it’s cheaper.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the holiday. If anything, I think we should have the same attitude the other 364 days of the year that we have on this day. “Love one another,” is a command given by Jesus.  Thus, our life should be spent showing love to one another; we should be lifting one another up, not putting them down.

Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.

Until next time,

Freeman

14 February 2020

Chunk's antics….

Agitated, Chunk tugs and pulls at the maroon blanket. Pausing to listen to the aggressive manifold of the truck passing our house, he resumes smoothing the blanket to lie upon. The pelting of the rain causes him to cease his work and he burrows his head in response to the deluge. Ears erect like the Eiffel Tower, he cleans himself, as if the rain has reminded him to bathe.

My dog is skittish. Whether it be rain or gunfire, Chunk, at his heart, is a coward.

His black eyes look around the room, scanning every item as if to memorize their place. Then he lays his head upon the maroon blanket, resigned that the rain is not going to cease anytime soon. There is movement on the couch, and Chunk appears to the right of my seat. Front paws down, Chunk looks at me attentively, seeking some form of affection. Butt in the air, stub of a tail wagging furiously back and forth, Chunk is convinced it is time to play.

Sternly, I tell him no. I am busy writing, he must wait until I am done before we can snuggle. Like a petulant child, he wanders back to his blanket, and begins to snore. He reminds me of a friend who visits me sometimes. Both remind me of permanently exhausted pigeons. He is back, standing close to see if there is room on my lap for, he and the computer. There isn’t. He walks back to the blankets for the last time, and like a spoiled child, proceeds to snub me.

I can’t help but smile. Chunk is my faithful companion; he is Watson to my Sherlock. Regardless of how my day starts or ends, I know I am loved by Chunk. For now, that is all I need.

Until we meet again,

Freeman

12 February 2020

The hunt for knowledge….

Today, I find myself on a hunt for knowledge. Specifically, a search concerning the breadth, and the style of short stories. As an avid reader, I have read short stories before, however, as a writer, I have no idea how to start or finish one.

Some of my favorite writers have penned short stories. Twain, Faulkner, and Hemingway are just a few that cross my mind this morning. I sit in the Iuka library, surrounded by the knowledge of writers both past and present. Surely, finding a short story should be a simple task in such a well-read place.

The library is well lit, I place my glasses on to improve my declining eyesight, and I start my search by asking the librarian where the short stories are housed. She goes to a computer to pull up the section, and while she searches, I look at the books for sale.

“Sir, do you know how to use the Dewey Decimal System?”

“Yes ma’am, I know how to use it.”

“Look in section 808.3 SOR.”

Armed with this information, I head off to my aisle in search of the book which will show me the format needed to guide me on my quest to be an author.

It’s missing.

My search is foiled, however, the morning is not a complete waste. I have found several books to purchase, to name a few: The Pilgrim’s Progress, Death of a Salesman, and An Angels Story.

Plus, I am out of the rain. All in all, it has been a great morning. Now, I press onward to another venue to search for the knowledge I am missing.

Until next time,

Freeman

12 February 2020

Professional soldiers and the importance of silence regarding the Office of the President….

Warning: This post will deal with politics briefly. However, it is written from the perspective of a former soldier. I will not be harping on the Democrats or Republicans.

There is an important rule in the military regarding the Commander in Chief while serving on active duty. It goes like this: You don’t have the right to criticize the president.

Recently, I have been in touch with friends from my Army days, many who hate the current president. While most of us are retired from active service, a few of us are not. When I was a fresh scrubbed private (E-3), I was caught in the motorpool discussing the current election. “Will Bush be able to get re-elected?” As we were discussing it, some of us rather loudly, an NCO from the S-1 shop overheard our conversation. He broke up our heated discussion and told us we didn’t have the right to discuss politics because we were soldiers.  We scattered and continued to prep for our field exercise until the end of day formation was called.

It was Friday, and we all could not wait to get off for family time.

Just as we were about to be dismissed, the NCO lifted his hand and called us out. Then he proceeded to rip into those of us that had been in the motorpool discussing the election. “Your job as a soldier is to follow the orders of the Commander in Chief, regardless of whether he is a Democrat or a Republican! You don’t get to criticize the President of the United States!”

And just like that, my weekend plans were demolished. I spent several hours in a sand pit doing a variety of exercises in the hot, Texas sun. It was a lesson that was imprinted on my soul, I never forgot it. So, imagine my surprise when some of my friends not only disagreed openly with President Trump’s acquittal but went on Facebook and took issue with some of his policies.

I haven’t been in for eight years, but it still seems like it would be a no-no. If anyone is wondering why Col. Vindman has been removed from the White House, it would fall under this type of action. “You wear the uniform of your country; therefore, the president of your country is your boss. Hence, he is your president! You do not take sides; you do not usurp his authority.” I bet none of my active duty friends sent back that 3% raise they got at the first of the year. “I’m sorry, sir. I disagree with your policies and I can’t accept this money!” Yeah, I promise you that didn’t happen.

Here is a prime example: As a Sergeant in 2008, I did not vote for Obama nor the Republican version of Obama. Yet, when asked what I thought of Senator Obama, I maintained my silence. When President Obama was re-elected and we came down on orders to get deployed, I trained and prepared to go to war for my country. If I had been given an order I disagreed with, I would have followed it to the letter as long as it was lawful. Why? Because that is what a professional soldier does. They don’t take to social media to bad mouth the president.

There were many things I disagreed with when Obama was president. I retired from military service in 2012. When I got out of the military, I let loose on how much I didn’t like President Obama’s policies. However, as long as I wore the uniform of my country, I kept my dislike to myself. It’s high time we got back to this standard.

Until next time,

Freeman, L.

11 February 2020