I haven’t been posting a lot of my “Book Bandit” work lately. Hell, I haven’t been posting any of it these days but at today’s meeting I wrote something that surprised me. We actually played twice today. The first time was three prompts, chosen blind and at random. Using those three prompts for inspiration you write for twenty five minutes. You can incorporate one, two, three, or none of the prompts. Then we share what we wrote and discuss. My initial effort, in my opinion, was a bit pedestrian and I won’t put it here today.
Then we played a second round because the group was small today and time was plentiful. The second round had only one prompt and we had only 15 minutes to write. I kinda surprised myself with what appeared in my notebook. I’m going to transcribe it now because I write by hand in this venue and if I wait too long I may not be able to read my own writing. We are pretty strict on the time limit so often stories go unfinished.
The prompt: Lost between the pages
G0 – you have fifteen minutes.
I lifted the old notebook from the box that had been shoved to the back of my father’s closet. It was a journal. It was his journal. I skimmed through a few of the opening pages and realized that it was from his time in the Navy. He had written about his ocean transit on the USS Fargo.
He wrote about his shipmates and how they passed the time at sea.
He wrote about the monotony of life at sea; endless days and nights working in the infirmary. He wasn’t a doctor, he was a Corpsman attached to the Marines. Doctors were few and far between but a Corpsman was just as good, for a jarhead with trench foot or the runs.
He wrote of landing and marching through jungles.
He wrote about the sights and sounds of guerrilla warfare, and of lost companions whom he could not help.
But also lost, lost between the pages, were the things he didn’t write.
He didn’t write about how what he saw, and did, affected him. His account was more journalistic, a simple reporting of events.
In the interim I have had my own jungle war and having had my own jungle war, I understood. I could feel; and had felt, the same things as he did long ago on that island – his island.
I was able to find the thoughts and feelings that he had hidden, or lost, between the pages.
I wish I had known these things when he was still alive, these things that he never spoke about. I understand them, and I don’t speak about them either.