#2 The Soldier

by Janice D. Soderling

The M-16 poised, he kicked the door open. On that street it was the eighth door, maybe the tenth; he wasn’t counting. He kicked the door open. In a blue easy chair sat an old woman, eyes closed, holding a little stick from which hung a strip of white cloth like a deflated balloon. He kicked the door open and she opened her eyes. He shot her because she was unexpectedly there, unexpectedly alive when he kicked the door open. He regretted it later, but there were worse things, laughing at the child’s head positioned in the tree cleft, anyway she was old.

12 comments:

JRVogt said...

Such shocking brutality in such a short read.

Flutterby said...

Wow. This has such a punch.

Sam Knight said...

I agree with JRVogt. Quick punches in your story. The repetitive use of kicking in the door made it more immediate, I felt.

Ian H. said...

Great story; Very strong; Grammar, be damned. The kicking in of the door resonates like a 3-round burst from an automatic weapon.

Dean Clayton Edwards said...

This felt raw. I think you really captured the moment. I was there, seeing things that you hadn't described.

Rachael Dunlop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachael Dunlop said...

SORRY, PREVIOUS COMMENT REMOVED DUE TO HIDEOU TYPOS!

Here's what I said:
Very immediate - I was with him, kicking in the doors. The only place where I stumbled was on this phrase: 'In a blue easy chair sat an old woman, eyes closed'. It's so passive, compared to the direct language of the rest of the piece. Maybe that was deliberate - she is passive while he is active. But it took me out of the story for a moment because it broke the rhythm.

But otherwise, no complaints!

Marybeth Rua-Larsen said...

Very tight writing, Janice. That last image, of the child's head, took my breath away.

Sarah Laurenson said...

This was so powerful that I would've loved to see you use a few more words and fill in a little more sensory info. I thnk that would've taken this to an amazing level. Still pretty awesome as is.

stacy said...

Very engaging!

John Riley said...

Powerful, writing Janice. I wish it wasn't a realistic scenario. You've captured it brilliantly.

Janice said...

Thanks everyone--for reading and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.