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by Alonzo
Rated: 13+ · Assignment · Activity · #2080328
An online course writing exercise
Writing Fiction 1.4 Fact and Fiction exercise
Draft 1

The Russian skipper did not heed the call until the American destroyer captain warned him that a shot was to be fired over his bow. The message carried the implication that a second one would follow, and then, the destroyer would blow off the leading body of the ship with a 5-inch shell. The skipper complied. He cut his engines and brought the big cargo carrier to a stop, and awaited the boarding party. Five armed sailors and two officers stepped off the gangplank joining the two ships. A Turkish crewman glared at them with hostile intent, and ran his thumb along the biggest knife Gerald had ever seen.

The fact: the Cuban missile crisis.

It seemed that Dan slid deeper into dementia with each passing week. He had taken a liking to reality television, and every weekday we watched Jerry Springer and Maury Povich break up fights and announce paternity test results. The disease had taken his ability to control his eye movements, to walk, to speak in coherent sentences, but he could still hear the raucous antics of low-brow "entertainment." He was once a vital, robust man; a provider, a man of action, a thinker... now reduced to reliance on the kindness of friends and family to feed him, dress him, lift him in and out of his wheelchair. He was once my drinking buddy, my brother-in-arms, my assistant troublemaker. We once spent hours talking about life, meaning, and beautiful women. Now, I spent my days in retirement watching him die.

The fiction:
His name was not Dan.
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