An indie novelist muses about writing, society, and the arts.
|Remember, it's first draft.
Abraham slung his backpack over his tired shoulders and headed down the dusty road leading to town. His father asked to take him. Begged, nearly. But Abe didn’t want his goodbye, which could be his final goodbye, to be at the train depot. He wanted it at home, on their farm, where he should be helping with chores. His father would manage. He always had. Even through the rough years of watching Abraham’s mother slowly leave them through the mind-dissolving dementia and then finally leave them for good, his father had managed.
Abraham hoped with every part of him he would return to the farm, to his father, and be there to help him manage during his own aging days. It would be soon. Father was showing signs of slowing. It hurt Abe to see it. It would hurt him more to have to watch his father watch him leave on that train, standing on the platform managing to control his sadness, his fear.
Kicking a rock out of his path, he figured the long walk into town would do him good, help prepare for what was to come. Not that he wasn’t prepared already. Constant farm chores without machinery to make them easier had built his strength and stamina well. Days of rising before the sun and sometimes before the roosters to take care of the crops, move lines in bitter cold air and in the hottest times of the summer, made him sturdy. He didn’t figure war would be much harder, physically. What he wasn’t sure about was how hard it would be to his mind. He didn’t mind fighting as needed. He was raised to stand up for himself and for those around him and would do so without hesitation. And now he was proud to do it for his country, as well. He’d never actually taken a life, though. He know how to stop before that risk.
Father told him to be someone else out there, to tell himself he was doing good and sometimes evil was necessary to prevent worse evil. His father told him never to let it feel bad about who he was, since his heart was in the right place and that’s what mattered. The heart. Protect the heart, he’d said.
as of Nov.3: 6,063 words