Drought and Guadalcanal

Richard looked out the window at the clear, blue sky.
Sixty percent chance of rain according to the news.
To look at the cloudless sky, one would never know it.
Under the window, the cat grabbed for his feet.
Velour paws tickled his toes and he gently pushed them away.
“Why don’t you take care of the mice eating all the dog food?”
Xena simply meowed in response, rolling over for a belly rub.
Yucca plants and cacti withered in the severe drought.
Zero measurable rain fall in over fourteen months.
Authorities had a ban on any kind of fire; official or otherwise.
Better safe than sorry was their current, droning motto.
California was in no better shape.
Deserts were dry but he’d never seen it this bad before.
Eighty years he’d lived in the southwest and he couldn’t remember a time this dry.
Four of those years had been spent in the Marine corp.
Guadalcanal.
He was lucky to have made it back alive from that one.
Intelligence his unit received had almost gotten him killed before they stepped on shore.
Japanese soldiers waited for them everywhere.
Kamikaze planes constantly buzzed overhead.
Leagues of ocean expanse separated his unit from their now burning transport home.
Men died all around him.
No air support arrived; the ground unit left unprotected.
Only two survived from his unit; himself and Porter.
Poor lad survived Guadalcanal only to die a few months later.
“Quit daydreaming Richard” he mused; “the plants won’t water themselves”.

This is my winning entry in the “10,000 followers” writing contest held on the A Place for Writers blog. I am honored and truthfully shocked that I won first place in this category. I didn’t even know what an Alphabet Story was until I decided to submit. I never would have found the website if Shelli from my writer’s group hadn’t challenged us to write a flash fiction story for one of the prompts. For those who don’t know (which included me prior to two weeks ago), an Alphabet Story consists of 26 lines with each line starting with the next letter of the alphabet. The prompt given stated the writer start with ‘R’ and end with ‘Q’.

Writing this was one of those divine inspiration moments. I was writing something else and the idea literally pulled me out of what I was doing and I had to get a piece of paper and write this story. I did a few minor edits, but the submitted version isn’t much different from the first draft. The only thing I can tell you is a few weeks ago I watch the History Channel when they were showing previously unseen footage from World War II.  They also went over the Pacific campaigns which included Guadalcanal. The drought, well, here in Texas it’s looking pretty bad. Supposedly this drought is the worst one since 1895 when they started keeping records (according to research done by my husband). I was born and raised in the Mojave Desert in Southern California and miss the sands and rocks. And Richard was my dad’s name. He missed fighting any major conflicts but did serve two years in the Navy.

Here’s the link for the rest of the winners. There’s some good stories on there.  Also, the rest of the entries will be posted later in the week.  Go check it out!

http://aplaceforwriters.wordpress.com/

Melanie

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