Anticipation

March 17, 2013

Scribbling

Closing his eyes in the darkness, the sound and vibration of the C-47 in its rapid decent reminded him of the row crop tractor they had finally been able to afford when he was a young teenager. With this many nervous men packed into heavy machinery, the smell was getting familiar too.

He pondered, in his recently more detached way, how the pace of his life moved so much faster in the past year than any of the 18 before it. All starting with a train ride down out of South Dakota that began rowdy enough before becoming more tempered and daunting as it took him further from his family’s farm than he had ever thought to dream of.

The sticky heat had been the worst part of the initial training; the food had been the best. At the time, he wasn’t able to grasp the implications when the very erect standing older men had sized him up as a strong, scrappy farm boy and mentioned something about being “airborne”. He was just excited and nervous that it sounded like it had something to do with airplanes.

Soon enough, he was on another, longer ride. The big ship had also become far less exciting as the days across the Atlantic toward England droned on…

It had all moved in a whirlwind fever dream. So many different looking people speaking the same language in so many different sounding ways. By design, the demanded focus of regimental training had effectively prevented any opportunity of over-thinking it and becoming overwhelmed.

He thought of her. He relived the memory of their walk down to that last train ride away from her. How she had looked at him. How she had always looked at him, seeing not just him, but the future with him in it. How she looked so worried about him and that future when he left. He suddenly understood how he had needed to stop thinking about the future in recent months. Focus on the task at hand.

His sense of immediate awareness returned just as the small transport plane banked sharply left. On cue all the packed together men began their own personal inventories of what was strapped to them, and what was within them. He heard whispered prayers and loud bravado before the Sergeant began barking out sounds that no longer needed to be understood to know the meaning.

The trained focus returned as the door to heaven and hell flew open, and he took his turn jumping into the dark summer sky of northwestern France…

PHOTO BY AP / U.S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS

PHOTO BY AP / U.S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS

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This is written for the always fun to participate in (when I feel I can), weekly theme challenge hosted here: http://viewfromtheside.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/weekend-theme-97/

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12 Comments on “Anticipation”

  1. 68ghia Says:

    Nicely done.
    Good to see you’re still around!

    Reply

  2. kateshrewsday Says:

    Very atmospheric piece, Brett. I was right there.

    Reply

  3. Eden Says:

    When you write from the heart, it shows… It showed.

    Reply

    • Brett Myers Says:

      Thanks, Cam, I think. 🙂 It’s a start of a different, fun direction. Now if I would just sit on the things I write for a few days, I think I could learn how to flesh them out into bigger things.

      Reply

      • Cameron Says:

        You think? Psht. It was really well done. And there’s no one stopping you from fleshing it out even though you’ve posted it. Now is there?

        Reply

  4. SidevieW Says:

    Great one. Anticipation not just excitement.

    Reply

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