War Debris Excerpts

PASSING OF A SOLDIER

Calculating providence was a tricky deal and Martin might have agreed, but as fate would have it, Martin was dead. He was lying in the dirt about ten feet away. On second thought, Martin would not have agreed. He never agreed with anyone on anything. Martin was a prick and everybody hated him. But then we all hated each other: a perfectly functioning squad of American soldiers.

THE COLONEL'S LADY

An attractive middle-aged woman wearing dark sunglasses stepped outside, looked around briefly, and proceeded to one of the autos parked beside the house. She backed the car around to face the roadway and exited the property. On the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, the blue decal sticker identified the car as belonging to a military officer. A few minutes later, the door opened and a black man, dressed in civilian attire departed the dwelling. He proceeded to exit the grounds in the same manner as the woman before him. One slight discerning factor was evident. The decal displayed on the windshield of his car was red in color, distinguishing him as an enlisted man.

GOODNIGHT IRENE

From a dirty patch of ground, I observed the enemy hill mass directly eight hundred yards to my front and visualized a disturbing image in the day's fading light. The shadows descending from the surrounding peaks were stretching outward onto the lower ridgelines and appeared to take the form of dark clawing tentacles from some lurking creature. Pausing to consider the haunting apparition, I wondered if it might portend a menacing omen of what could occur. The position I occupied with my platoon was designated Outpost Irene.

ONE-NIGHT STAND

He is a divorced man of forty-three, adjusting to life accordingly. On the bed beside him a young woman sleeps. The early morning light is filtering through the draped windows and he glances at her army green jacket that has been casually discarded across the arm of a chair. Gold bars pinned to the shoulder epaulettes denote she is a second lieutenant. His uniform is hanging neatly in the closet. There is a wide disparity in their rank and age.