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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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Army

Mac’s Story – Part One

Join the Army they said

You’ll become a MAN

Little did “they” know

I became like a drop of water

In a pool of soldiers

Giving up identities

Losing our roots

Creating an everlasting bond

Running together

Thinking as one

We shipped out as a unit

To the jungles of Vietnam

Heavy survival packs

Weighted down with ammo

We followed orders

Though we didn’t believe

We ate little

We slept little

We had no baths

Why are we here

Go take the mountain

We moved as droplets

Seeing when the water falls

It doesn’t run clear. It runs RED

Mac’s Story – Part Two

I survived the mountain

And others after that

My comrades fell

Running red

I had the chance to love

Producing a beautiful son

Unaccepted by his grandfather

We were sent away

My survival was for him

Our own country turned on us

The caring lady Nan was not deterred

She loved us both

Shunning the scoffers

We opened our lives

Helping other veterans

Looking for no thanks

A vacation to Niagara Falls

One winter season

Went terribly wrong

Red lights shining on water

Sent my mind spinning

To horrible killing fields

I barely survived

I’m sorry. I hate waterfalls

Written in response to Charli Mills April 11, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, water falls. Where is the water coming from? How does it shape a story? Who does it involve? Go where the prompt leads!

Military Pranksters

Michael and Tessa were watching TV when Michael started chuckling after seeing a shoe commercial. Tessa was puzzled. “What’s funny?”

“Nothing. It reminded me of a Thanksgiving eve discussion between the vets about gentlemen’s clubs around the globe.”

“And?”

“Seems almost everyone there had been to or knew about one called Stilettos in Washington state.”

“Why?”

“The old-timers on the post made sure to encourage new guys to attend the extravagant midnight show.”

“Why?”

“It was performed by transvestites and some of the guys never caught on. It was a perpetual fun prank.”

Tessa harrumphed. “Soldiers and their pranks.”

Written in response to Charli Mills December 17, 2020, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features stilettos. Who will wear them and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Now I’m Living

I was a single military man

A lady here and there

Living the life

I thought of you

Even on the day I met the bomb

I lost my driver

I lost my legs

What’s the point in living

You wouldn’t want me

I met a fierce lady

She taught me to walk

I called her Clarice

She wasn’t you

I went back home

And by God, you did too

Twenty five years later

We’re together again

Today we held baby Emma

Her parents are moving to be near

Now I know why I have life

Four generations’ll do

Written in response to Charli Mills June 25, 2020, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story with the phrase, “I got life.” It can be told from any point of view. What meaning does it lend to your story? Go where the prompt leads!

What’s Hidden in Your Hutch – flash fiction

After exercising on stationary rings and showering, Michael sat staring at the hutch his sister had insisted he needed. The upper shelves displayed happy memories: pictures of him with Army buddies at reunions, his parents, and his sister’s family. The lower cupboards held a good stock of liquor. The center big drawer was like a safe deposit box, hiding tangible PTSD triggers: two purple hearts, medical records, dog tags, pictures of lost buddies and of himself with legs. He thought of baby teeth and hoped Tessa would have a grandchild to help him understand why such things were keepsakes.

Written in response to Charli Mills January 2, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something found in a hutch. It can be any kind of hutch — a box for critters or a chest for dishes. Go where the prompt leads!

Note: PTSD triggers refers to things that can cause a veteran to remember traumatic experiences, often during combat, or can refer to anyone who has suffered any kind of trauma in their life. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A Bereft Duffle – Flash Fiction

My son returned from the war in person, but his mind never did. It took me years to understand why he refused to take off that dirty field jacket. I would beg him not to wear it. I even hid it once when he was in the shower and I don’t want to tell you the fight we had before I gave it back and he stormed out of the house to walk the streets, his mind encumbered with the scenes of war. The day I found him hanging, the coat was folded neatly on his full duffle bag.

In response to Charli Mills July 26, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

July 26: Flash Fiction Challenge

Happy Birthday to Our Army

Formed from amateur troops of volunteer soldiers defending colonies against British tyranny, the oldest military force in the United States began before the U.S. formerly existed. Their forces consisted of mostly inexperienced militiamen commanded by independent colonial armies. According to battlefields.org, there were never more than 48,000 Continental soldiers at one time. Today, the United States Army consists of over one million active duty service members and an additional 800,000 National Guard and Reserves members. The enduring history of the U.S. Army means they have been integral to many of the United State’s military, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts.  Continue reading “Happy Birthday to Our Army”

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