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  #1  
Old 01-29-2006, 08:47 PM
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As she lay awake in her bed, she looks over at her husband. She new it was only a matter of time before he would get the call. The war was just reaching its peak, and the US army needed as many willing soldiers it could get. The year was 1944, and the States were in the middle of all the action. Her husband seemed to be sleeping peacefully next to her, but she knew that he was dreading the call as much as she was. As the phone rang, she knew it could only be for one reason. Her husband rolled over and slowly picked up the phone, it was silent for a minute while he listened to what was being told. She let out a gasp as her husbands last words were "thank you sir" before he hung up. He rose out of bed and started to get changed into his uniform. She stayed in bed until he was fully clothes, but even then she had the thought that if she never got up, he never had to go. That wasn't that case at all. She forced herself to get up, tears were streaming down her face now. The first thing she did was leap into his arms and sob. For the next ten minutes he sat on the edge of the bed holding her. It was hard for a newly married couple to go through this, but he always told himself that fighting for his country came first. Neither of them said a word, there was nothing to say really. Five more minutes passed while they sat there, finally the horn of a buggy rung through the house. He stood slowly and walked toward the door with her. He placed a kiss on her lips and then a soft one on her cheek. He whispered something in her ear before exiting the house and getting in the buggy...

She sat on her window sill, hand pressed up against the window. Tear drops beat against the sill as she watched him drive off. She wished he could stay, but there was no way. She watched as he disappeared into the ealry morning fog. She closed her eyes and imaged his face as soon as he was out of sight. The tears were still rolling down her face. She wasn't only faced with her husband leaving, but she was also pregnant. She had not told her husband of that, it would worry him to much. She finally dragged herself away from the window after about a hour of sitting there. Her face was tear stained and her breathing was slower. The last words that he spoke to her would forever be in her head. "I will return to you..."

A year passed while her husband was at war. She had given birth to a baby boy. She named him Jake, after the dad. Every time she looked at the baby she remembered her husband. That gave her hope that he would return to her. They had exchanged letters while he was gone, but one letter would change it all. One rainy day she received the last letter that she would from him...Here is what was said...

My Dearest Madeline,

It has been 378 days since i last saw your face. Each day that i am not with you is harder than the last. It is nearing the end of the war and i will be discharged once it ends. In just over a month i will be home to you and Jake. There is one last battle to be fought, however, the men seem cheery that it will be an easy win, but i have my doubts. I don't want to alarm you, but i am on the front line. Tonight is the night before the battle. You will be on my mind the whole time, you will get me through it alive. I love you more and more each day. If i do not return, do not weep. I do not want your life to be faulted because of me. I am enclosing my cross, give it to Jake for me, to remember me by.

Remember, I Will Return To You.

You Are My Hope And Love,
Jake

Her heart sunk as she read what it had to say. She knew that he would not return in body, and she knew that he meant that he would return in spirit. She fell to her knees and cried. There was no father for her baby, and no husband for her side. She vowed to do as he wanted her to. She would go out and find someone new, but the memory of her husband would live on forever.

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Old 01-29-2006, 08:52 PM
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I would suggest cutting the line about the year being 1944. I think you can give the reader clues as to the time period - show us rather than tell us outright.

You have quite a few spelling and grammatical errors, but that's nothing that can't be cleaned up quickly with some careful proofreading.

The story has a vignette feel to it. Honestly, I find it a little cliche - wartime wives are a favorite in the media (including literature). There were many women with stories like these. I want you to help me care about Madeline's story in particular. What's so important about her? If you are trying to make a statement about WWII women, I'm not seeing it.

Thanks for your post, though. Keep at it!
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:22 PM
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This seemed pretty good to me, even though drama isn't exactly my thing. I enjoyed this, but I would recommend not telling the reader that he doesn't come back. Don't give them a sense of closure. Drive the readers crazy. Take this suggestion or don't, but experimenting with the end of short stories is a lot of fun.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:40 AM
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I agree with Zman's comment about the end of your story. I felt slightly confused as to how the wife knew he was absolutely going to die- how did she know? Is it because of his spiritual connection to her? Like solecistic said, we want to know her specific angle. You have a backbone we can recognize, a powerful image of a war tearing a couple apart. But what makes this couple powerful within themselves? The complexities of characters are what help us identify with them, and the conflict. Is there another conflict keeping this couple apart other than the war? He believes the war is more important than her, how does she feel about that? She keeps the baby a secret from him...does he know anyways? Or if he doesn't, how does she feel after she realizes he has died and never knew he had a son? There's so much to dig into in the story you're creating- good luck, and great job!
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:08 PM
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Some spelling errors aside, I found this read quite intriguing. I'm fairly new to writing short stories myself, but one good advice which I was already given was to omit an overly descriptive approach. While I feel you had a nice balance of descriptive depiction and space for leaving room for "imagination", I felt like certain details could've been indeed omitted - such as the specific date. I also think that you could've put in some more detail at some spaces, especially in the letter part. You concluded, as I think, rather abruptly in the sense that, although you outlined the prospective of Madeline and Jake, you didn't incorporate any allusions to this prior to your two, final sentences. I can see that it possibly be on a spiritual level. The letter is a great element hereby, and I think you could include some detail of Jake's "future" in it.
Overall, great work!
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