He touched her picture once through his fatigue shirt pocket as he finished checking his gear, the plane’s engines lulling him into a state not quite sleepy, but not quite alert either. The last order of business was the freshly oiled and loaded Thompson that he unslung from his shoulder. He gave the weapon a once over before replacing it around his neck. His .45 automatic side arm was safely ensconced in a left belt holster. It was dark outside the Skytrain’s windows, the people below using their blackout curtains to their full effect.

The craggy and scarred face of his platoon sergeant broke through his reverie. “Five minutes to Drop Zone, LT.”

He nodded, standing up as tall as he could in the cabin. He swallowed hard, clearing his throat to get attention. “Troops, listen up. We have a job to do so let’s get it done. The sooner we finish, the sooner we go home.” The overhead lights blinked once, then twice. “On your feet.”

He gave his parachute one final check as his sergeant opened the plane’s door. A whistling wind entered the cabin, teasing them with promises of glorious victory…or agonizing defeat. He stepped forward and placed his hands on both sides of the doorway and took a deep breath. Now or never, Virgil, he thought.

He pushed himself through the doorway and into the black.


38 thoughts on “Prelude

  1. Mind if I ask what a fatigue shirt pocket is? I’ve never seen that word used in that context before.
    Awesome writing! Very powerful imagery. I love that you used the word ‘ensconced. “

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  2. Lest we forget. The hundreds and thousands of Virgils who took their twenty years of life with them to the battle. Many did not return. All of that young life lived just to get to that open door. Family, school, friends, love, joy and sorrow. We lose so many of that generation each day. Stories that must be told. “Band of Brothers” showed us a glimpse of it and now you have a good start on another. Go for it.

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