New Weekly Installment!!!

First, let me thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. I haven't gone through them all yet (Over 95 comments in a single day?? WOW!) but plan to give each of your blogs a visit and hello. :) I've really loved the ones I've visited already and can't wait to see where your blogging journey takes each of you!

If you haven't done so yet, go HERE to introduce yourself and tell me about your blog!

Welcome to [insert trumpet fanfare]...

The name of the game is "Make It Up Monday," and the rules are as follows:

Every Monday, I am going to post a picture that I have found somewhere on the interwebs.
Take a look at the picture - I mean really look at it - and write down in the comment form a response to it.
It doesn't have to be super long or anything (but it can be as long as you want), just a few words even will do.
I will post information about the picture, but it is up to you whether you use it or not. If you want to completely disregard  the info I provide and come up with something completely original, then go for it!
For example, if a person is in the photo, what is he or she thinking?
What was going on directly before the picture was taken?
What's going to happen after?
Or, if you like captions, write a caption for the picture.
Easy as pie.

My only request is that you keep it marginally clean. Nothing that is purposefully offensive or rude, s'il vous plait! I believe that every word in the English language has a place for use (including the 4-letter ones), but please don't use them gratuitously. Just in general be classy about whatever you write.

All games have winners, right? Well, this one is no different. I and a small team of super qualified judges (aka my awesome family) will look at all the submissions and pick out our favorite. Depending on how many people enter, we will pick between 1 and 5 entries, and on Friday at approximately 5pm I will post the winner(s) with his/her/their submission(s) and a link to his/her/their blog(s). Free publicity! Wooo!!!

I will also write a little something (to be added at the end of this post), but it will, of course, not be added into the list of entries to be considered for winning. I mean, what do I need publicity on my own blog for? hehe

The deadline for submissions is on Thursday at 5pm, so get to writing!

Without further ado, here is the picture!!
http://kottkegae.appspot.com/images/old-hero-of-gettysburg.jpg
I got this picture from Kottke.org 'a weblog about the liberal arts 2.0 edited by Jason Kottke.'
It's called "The Old Hero of Gettysburg" and features John L. Burns,
a veteran and sharpshooter in the War of 1812.
To see the Wikipedia article about his heroism, go HERE.

And now for my response...
Mr. John L. Burns was an intimidating man, one of robust character and a dominating personality. During his years serving in the war, he was the type of man to keep those around him calm and collected in spite of the bullets that whipped by their ears and tore into their comrades. He had a mission, and he was going to complete it, come hell or high water.
His rifle seemed to be connected to him as if it were another appendage, and his aim was so stunningly accurate that the men he killed never saw it coming. Death was instantaneous; there was no need to make anyone suffer.

When asked why he wanted so badly to take part in the Civil War at such an old age, he said, "At the end of the day, I was just fightin' for what's right. Who's to say I can't fight for somethin' I believe in?"
END

Love it? Hate it? Meh?

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think that, were I able to take this and work on it for a full week I could come up with something better (and longer, of course), but that's not the purpose of these exercises for me. I write for approximately 5 minutes, go back and do some minor editing, and that's what you guys see.

I can't wait to read all the great stuff you guys come up with!! Just remember: It doesn't matter what you write, just so long as you write.

Peace.
Stef.

Comments

Sara said…
John L. Burns was a brave and noble man, and was known as a good samaritan by those who knew him and those who had only heard about his triumphs. As "The Old Hero of Gettysburg", John was a sharp-shooting hero. His chiseled features and piercing stare sent shivers down the spines and caused the blood to curdle in the bodies of any who dared to face him.
The only person who had the ability to soften his eyes and his heart was his beautiful sixteen year old daughter. Her date to the county fair is approaching the house and being coldly stared down by Mr. Burns.
couchbarnacle said…
It's not so much that Mr. Jacobson was in love with his gun, but it sure was a lot more effective at killing raccoons than his wife. Took up less space in bed too...
naoma* said…
It was a rough summer the year of 1865. The sun would beat it's rays on the crops and they would simply wither. There seemed to have been an extremely long draught for this year, even more than the others. As the farmers would go and work the fields there was one particular man that had given up hope, Tom Wellington. It was the middle of August and the draught had lasted more than four months by now. He had given up hope, his younger boy and only boy had died a few weeks before. People were dying and giving up hope and Tom Wellington was part of that clan. Yet, there was still a shimmer of hope for him, he knew his duty was to protect his family, or what remained of it. So while his wife and two daughters were making dinner for that evening. He was sitting calmly on the porch trying to decided weather his duty or moral judgement was greater. He could become a robber, like Jesse James and his family wouldn't have to suffer like they had been, or he could try to work the land and pray to God for mercy on their souls. Albert Holbrook, the journalist of their small town in Alabama, shot this picture of Tom while he tried to make the most important decision of his life. When the picture was developed, Tom's mind was made up...
jacksofbuxton said…
John L Burns..."Hmm,I'm thinking of adding a little colour to the building.Trouble is,I've been glued to this chair and some bugger has nicked my boots.Still,if I sit here long enough I might end up on the cover of the next Seasick Steve album."
Foreclosure day. He sat on the porch watching, waiting. They couldn't take it away, it was his. He'd fought for it, suffered for it. Perhaps today, he would die for it. Men in suits! His lip curled with contempt, rearranging a face marked by the hardship of years, furrowed by the weather and determination. It was his farm. His and his alone. He could hold out - no need to hurt anyone - just the whistling of bullets past their heads should do it. Perhaps he could hold out for today, just today - and then tomorrow, he'd see... perhaps another day... just as he always had. One day at a time.
jnana said…
When contemporaries have gone, decades have passed, and you look back at the withered and yellowed pages of your life, you won't wish you had spent more time at the office.
Shauna said…
"Best be believin' I'll be ready when that shoe thief shows his face 'round these parts again. I recon there'll be hell to pay."
Madeleine said…
Jared Aterea was biding his time not keen to go indoors and face the meal his woman, Nina, had prepared for him. Trying to ignore the hollow yearning in his stomach that groaned a desire for good, wholesome food, he began reciting the names of his ancestors from way back to keep his mind from wandering to the present watery swill that awaited him indoors.

Madeleine
http://scribbleandedit.blogspot.com
Blessed Rain said…
Mr. John L. Burns having completed his time in war and had defended his country sat waiting.
He could hear the trickster in the bushes sneaking closer and closer.
If that old fox thought that he would be able to steal the chickens today he had better think again.
Mr. John L Burns is no stranger to the world of war. Like many others, he fell prey to the jingoistic war cries of politics. The epitome of such a victim, he sees no wrong or fault. Not even regret. Instead he gains an ostensible sense of pride for having participated in blood shed. His ego thrives from the nourishment of war-time propaganda. His pride soars with the service he has done for his nation, and the disservice he has done for life. War is a sad tale. And Mr. Burns came to tell it, unknowingly scathed beyond redemption.
Angela Baarz said…
Caption: This is my grandpappy John L. Burns. We took this picture when I was a child of about 9 years of age. He's staring out into the woods near his home wishing he could go hunting. But alas, his leg was injured by a bull earlier in the week. Now he just sits and waits for the leg to heel so he doesn't need those "darn crutches" as he always called them.
Whitney said…
This man has seen rough times and is careful to protect and care for what he has. If I had to guess, I would think that his daughter has started seeing someone and that young man is coming to the house. Pops is waiting for him. With a shotgun.
Nay said…
"The Old Hero of Gettysburg". Mr. Burns says "Who you callin' old?!"
Tortured Genius said…
John L. Burns was a great man. "The Old Hero of Gettysburg". But does anyone remember him now? Towards the later half of his life, he lived alone in his ramshackle house with his rifle as a loyal companion, always by his side. He did not want pity or sympathy, he was above that. Companionship maybe? Yes, but who had the time to sit and talk to an old man with his war stories? No, he was alone. With his rifle by his side. Watching. Waiting.
Lynd-Z said…
J.L Burns sat in the rocking chair that had been part of his family for generations. He was too old for this. He thought he raised her right, but guess thinking is what got him in this situation to start with. She thought she'd make a statement, prove to her daddy she'd be just fine going to town on her own. He remembered the conversation very clearly in his mind.

"Pa I'm 18 years old I'm gonna go into town, & find me a nice dress so that I can convince a nice boy ta' marry me." said Evangeline.
"Evangeline, you ain't gonna do no such thing, you gonna stay right here & no arguing this time." he replied.
"Pa, it just aint right. How did you meet ma'? I suppose she just showed up on your door step one day, all dolled up and said I'm here to make you a wife?"
"Well as a matter of fact...and JL Began to tear up at the thought of his late wife..."
"Pa I'm sorry I didn't mean to bring up Ma, but whats a girl my age gonna do to support herself, when yall are both gone?"
" Alright Evangeline take the ole' horse to town, but you best be back here no later than noon. Ya hear?"
"Yes Pa. Oh Thank you so much."

JL, teared up again thinking about his wife. He remembered the first time He saw her, and the way he'd pursued her. She was everything he'd ever dreamed of in a woman, & Evangeline had grown up just like her ma'. She was a fine young woman & he knew She would make a man a good wife, but He'd never have told her the real reason he didn't want her to find a husband. He didn't think he ever would. JL Burns knew that when his daughter found a man, he'd be left alone, in his broken down home, with nothing but his gun for comfort. He didn't know how to part with her. She was the only thing he had left of his wife. The only thing he had left to live for. So he sat in the old rocking chair, and watched his daughter, his reason for breathing ride away from him, and as the sun climbed higher into the sky, JL burns closed his eyes, & saw his wife again...
Chris said…
"She's going to get if it's meatloaf again"
e.gajd said…
Hero. What means that, hero? Here, now, hero is just a word of what once was but isn't anymore.

And even that is wrong. Why 'hero' at all, ever, to one able and willing to kill? As I approach the end of my crutched days, rifle beside me, I am afraid of what I cannot shoot, of what I cannot flee. At one time, the rifle soothed my fear, allowed me to sleep soundly.

Hero? No longer!

Now, when I dream at night in those rare sleeps, even there I cannot flee the ghosts of those unnamed and faceless dead I laid to rest. When I dream, the rifle that I once bore with a light heroism grows heavier and heavier in my frozen hands until the weight of it feels as if it will crack open the earth below my booted feet. And no matter how hard I strain I cannot move my fingers, let the rifle go, even as I hear the footsteps around me rustling the grass, cracking the twigs, rumbling the pebbles of a nearby scree. Then my lungs begin to burn for air, air that I gasp for before waking with a shock.

Hero! I keep my eyes open for the enemy that abound, even though I have become aware that these my enemies are unseen ghosts that I cannot shoot even though they walk the earth in the guise of men eager to be the hero's friend, helper, conscience.

Hero. What fools we men are.

It looks like rain.
Lizzie said…
This week on RENOVATE THIS, we'l be making an old cripples dream come true...
Trudi said…
"Just come on back..I'll be waitin'."
Nicole said…
John Burns had seen things during his life that he wouldn't have wished on any man, no matter how evil his deeds may have been. Yet the rejection he received of his request to serve in the Civil War broke his heart. Still on crutches, the shrapnel wounds were almost healed, and by the time he was assigned to a cavalry, he would have been fine and fit for duty.
His superiors assured him it was not his injury, but his age; and had he a son to go in his place, he would be well taken care of.
With no heir, Burns hung his noted 'peculiar' garb, removed his boots, and lay his Winchester by his side.
Just in case.
Laura R. said…
My first thought upon seeing the picture was It wouldn't have looked as nice if it was in color... That is supposing they had colour cameras back then.
My second thought was that it must be dangerous to hold a gun while being on crutches, because the gun would be pointing at your own toes.
Finally, I dwelled on the fact that the house needs some serious repairs.
Alissa said…
Nothing says America like a gun, a rocking chair and a crotchety old man.
Mr. Burns sat on his throne, starin' down Susie's new boyfriend, takin' extra time to shine his rifle the night prior.
Just Me said…
John waited outside his front door. He sat in the rocker he had built for his beloved wife just two years before. Her crutches still stood against the wall behind him. He couldn't bare to move them, he couldn't bare to move any of her things. Everything she had owned was still in the exact same place she had left them.

He lost her just two months before to the infection that had spread through her leg. Elly had twisted her ankle and cut her foot in a fall. That's all it took, one little cut and now she was gone.

Ever since the day Elly died John spent his days in her rocker with his rifle close at hand and waited. Waited for a sign... A sign from above. A sign from Elly. A sign of something that would help him find away through his pain or end the conflict with in him over what he had in mind for his rifle.
carmar76 said…
Jedediah missed that old hound dog. He swore not to move from his chair until ol' Blue came back. His wife, Magda, realizing that some critter would probably come upon him before Blue returned, made sure Jed's rifle was shined and ready.

Blue returned 3 days later, to a feast of possum and squirrel piled up at Jed's feet.
Clipped Wings said…
An eternity was flashing through Joe's mind in the space of a second. Egad! Don't move. Can hardly breathe with this blooming cold. Doggone! DON"T MOVE A DANG MUSCLE! Should I go for the gun? Go for the door? Is my knee going to hold up? Drat! I blinked my eye. I can't believe I blinked my eye! If the wind changes I'm a goner...if it doesn't change I'm a goner. Drat...I can't believe I put the rifle there instead of across my knees. What was I thinking? Why didn't I leave the rifle across my knees like I've done a thousand times before? What were you thinking you blasted idiot. Drat! Drat!! Drat!!! The crutches...what's wrong with me? Can't remember where I put the darn crutches. I brought them out with me. I think I brought them out with me. Oh, man...think of something, dad-blame it, think of something! Drat!!! The wind's shifting. I'm grizzly food tonight.
honja said…
John L. Burns, the old hero of Gettysburg. He wouldn't have expected to end up being a hero. He was trained to be the enemy's secret weapon. His parents were his trainers, his teachers, his masters. Growing up he was perfectly disciplined, perfectly modified. He did not have a soul.
But Gettysburg changed him. For the first time his heart was filled with warmth, saved the people, and became a hero. the end! haha
~ I'm not really of a writer type.. :) but it was fun though... I it's the first time in a long time since I started telling stories about a single photo. :) awesome blog!
"Peace amidst the ruins of a lifetime"
Numbskull said…
The Lion in its Den, and at rest.
Becky said…
There once was an unshod old man,
Who did not have much of a plan
But to sit in his chair
And enjoy the fresh air
With crutches and musket on hand.
Duncan D. Horne said…
After a hard day's shooting and a severely cramped hand, John puts on a brave face as he reflects on the corpses heaped up in his garden. His missus had super-glued him to his seat, making him stare at the dead bodies, the works of his merciless hands. "If I've told him once, I've told him a thousand times," she commented. "He ain't gettin' no mercy from me!"
David Holmes said…
"It's said that to kill a man is a feeling like none other. It's like killing a part of yourself. Now I ain't saying what we did in that war was right, but it had to be done. You never forget their faces, some of them were even boys, must of been none older that 15. Now they all said that those boys were the enemy, but they lives too. Just like you and me. Sometimes a man will commit an act for which he cannot be forgiven even by god all mighty. The burden of guilt never dies. I'll tell you, having to live with those memories is torture enough. I ain't no hero." - John L. Burns when asked his view on the battle of Gettysburg.
Connie Owens said…
"Ain't nobody gone steal my crutches," claimed the old man kicking back in his chair.
"Ise got my gun right cheer and I'll shoot any dadblamed varmit who tries to take'em. They's nary a man in these parts who can take'em frum me."
"I'm a real good shot, too," he said reaching over to touch the butt of his gun. "I ain't never missed."
Retrospect said…
The years hadn't been so kind,
Nowadays he's deaf and partially blind.
A stagger in his step, crutches in his hand,
Heroes like him are now out of demand

Without a wife to speak of he dwindles away his days,
Out in his rocker, catching some rays.
A monotonous life, devoid of colour
For the old war veteran, How could life be any duller?
Alessandra said…
As he was sitting in his rocker, John kept thinking:"I fought them Spaniards, I fought them Indians, that wanted to scalp me and my family; then I fought them rebels that wanted to destroy my country. Who else have I got to fight now? I might be old and decrepit, but I can still shoot you down with one eye closed....who's next?"
Murray said…
John L. Burns was not like most men.He found comfort in the oddest of places,his heart rate was
only steady when a gun was in his grasp,His hands only steady when blood smeared his face and His fears only removed when he knew he had a purpose,a belief to fight for.
John L. Burns the soldier,the fighter,the man.
Summer Ross said…
Caption:
Bullet 1.00, Funeral arrangements 3000.00, convincing others not to trespass- priceless :)
Jewels said…
John. L. Burns, despite the injuries aquired on the battlefield, refuses to give up possession of his house to looters after the war. Unfortunately, due to previously mentioned injuries he can not make the necessary upgrades to his home, but he fought for this land, his freedoms, and there is no way he is giving up without a fight!
The way John sees it he's already been through hell and after watching his friends die in war, and often wondering how he made it out with only a few injuries (a bum leg and frostbitten feet, if you must know), he has nothing left to lose.
John sits on his porch most days and nights protecting what is his...a forgotten hero with a war weathered pride in his country and an ever present love of the land.
Yvonne said…
Determined and ready for a fight, he sat and waited. He had nothing left to lose, having lost all that he held dear to his heart. The only thing remaining was his home, and he was not about to give it up so easily.
Ms. Maggie '46 said…
I am absolutely amazed that you found the only existing photo of my great-grandpappy John, taken just after the landslide buried half of his house! You can tell he was generally angry about the whole situation, and to top it off some smart-ass photographer who claimed to be from a newspaper in Philadelphia showed up. He told Grandpap he wanted to "make an emotional statement" about the whole landslide thing. At first Grandpap thought he would just shoot him, but the guy had a way with words, and talked this mean old codger into posing. If you could see your way to sending me the photo, my family would be forever grateful! Ms. Maggie '46
Meg said…
As I can see it, he is one brave man, not only physically but mentally. Though he is in the outside having strong personality he has, I guess, a caring heart and pursue what he believes in.
Monica said…
John L. Burns is still a hero to himself. He fought for his country and now he will fight for his home. His crutches take their place behind him while his rifle sits proudly next to him. You can see that he has alot of pride in his face and eyes. He may not be able to stand tall but he will sit proud.
A.K.A. Humidity said…
We will get to the photo in a moment, First the man who is Known as a National Hero. John Lawrence Burns. He was an original thinker. He saw the worldfor what it was, he saw wrong and he saw right. Yes he entered the war at an old age but I believe he knew it gave him an advantage over others, remember he was smart enough to stop and ask the wounded soldier for his modern rifle. He was a man who did not like what the Confederates had done in the south and knew that the North needed experienced soldiers to protect the honor of the Constitution, That why "President Abraham Lincoln" onle went to Gettysburg to dedicate "The Soldiers National Cemetery" and deliver the "Gettysburg Address, Our President Linolnpersonaly requested to meet Mr. Burns. Yes Mr. Burns was wounded in the war he was shot in the arm and leg and had several minor ones in the breast. He was a true Hero. Now to the picture. In the picture he is dressed up yes he has a little pride in him because what he did was for his contry. So he has on his best outfit. Look at his face it is showing both shame/disdain and he is also trying to show his resolve, Let me explain the shame /disdain is because though he knew he was Justified in the war, I believe it hurt him to the bottom of his soul to kill those people,look at his gun if he was proud of killing those people and they did not cause him to loose sleep he would be holding the gun and he would have a face full of pride, I am sure the man who took the picture asked him to hold it or at least lay the gun over his arms, Now for the resolve I mentioned, at the time he was a man beyond repute. The entire contry was looking at him look how he holds his left arm he is in pain not much but a constant reminder of what he had done in the war, but he holds it and he is sitting straightnot slouching, that shows me pride in that he knows he did what was right. Look at his left foot how it covers the right root look at how tight his pant leg is roled up now look at the right leg see how loose it is? He lost his right leg, look at the 2 cruches behind him almost hidden from view. to me that is not an act of shame but pride he hides both facts or tries to because when you stand for whats right in the world you don't tell the world "LOOK AT WHAT I LOST! no you boldly say "LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE DONE!! He did not want pitty, nor did he worry about what the man taking the picture thought. I believe that in this picture he is telling everyone that everyone has inside of them a Hero, a part that knows wrong from right.

So I say to everyone commenting what do you stand for?
Keres said…
When I look at this picture, I remember the members of my family I have researched. The picture is elequent in its simplicity. It says all that the comments do and more--life, value, pain, and joy are mingled here. I'm glad I stopped by today.
Linda said…
The shutter on my camera snaps with its familiar electronic sound. “Good one grandpa!” I yell. ”I’ll send that one to Mom.” At least there is one truth in what I’ve just said. It is a good photo. It captures him in his usual pose, slumped in the old rocker, his scrawny hands clasped round his thin frame as he squints, not at me, but at the view of the dry, dusty pasture that lies between the ramshackle old house and the road. This is where he seems to spend most of his days, just rocking and occasionally fiddling with his old rifle. Gout makes it too painful to walk about much. But he isn’t my grandpa and I’m certainly not going to send the photo to anyone’s mom, let alone mine. He is my perfect victim, picked out from the archives of the local newspaper, and yet another lonely old man whose daughter went missing some twenty five years ago. When I turned up six weeks ago and announced that I was MaryAnn’s son, he just said, “You’d better come in”. And that was that. He’s got money stashed somewhere, they all have. I wouldn’t even be surprised if there was some gold. A few more weeks of being the perfect grandson and I’ll be back to the city with a well-earned “inheritance”. He can’t take it with him anyway. “Yeah, Mom will like this one, Grandpa. You never know, she may see her way to coming out here to see you again.” I feel bad about giving him false hopes, but it keeps him sweet. He looks at me now and I detect a different look in his eyes. Amusement, perhaps? A sly, evil grin spreads over his weather-worn face. “I kinda doubt that, son”. I feel a stab of anxiety in my chest and my throat tightens. Has he cottoned on to my con-trick? “You see,” he went on, “MaryAnn ain’t never gonna come back because she’s buried out in that yon pasture”. I want to run. “And I know,” he chuckled. “’cos it were me that buried her…” Think, think! Did I see him load that damn rifle?
Rachael Melody said…
"As the oldest remaining survivor of the War of 1812, how do you feel? Is it true that you were shot in the legs by a total of four lead musket balls? Did you knowingly kill anyone? What did it feel like to fight against your own country after fighting against England so long ago?"
When the young reporter, suavely dressed in long-tailed coat, top hat, and all the finery and frippery of the Victorian age, finally stopped for a breath, John spit tobacco into the weeds and stroked his sharpshooter's rifle.

"It's a good day for huntin' squirrels."

"Sir?"

The cravated man never received an answer. John had spoken his last words.
Super Chloe said…
For a man of such classic integrity and pride, John L. Burns obliviously let the walls twist and crack around him, with loneliness perched on his furrowed brow, and guilt balanced unsteadily on his last bullet. What is revenge if it isn't for the world? What is revenge if it isn't out of love? So the over-sung hero rots in his chair, an echo of the man that once was; a shrine to the stuff of his remorse and says goodnight to another forgotten day.
lolamouse said…
There was something he was supposed to remember. There was something he was supposed to remember, but he was darned if he knew what it was. John tried to focus his thoughts through the soft sweater fuzz that seemed to cover his brain. What was he supposed to remember? It was on the tip of his tongue, like the bitter taste of this morning's coffee. He hadn't had a decent cup of joe since his wife died a week ago. No, that wasn't right. A month ago? Maybe a year. That woman knew how to make coffee.

John looked around him at what was once his proud home. It was really starting to show its age, like him. He glanced down at his feet. Where were his boots? Who had taken his boots? He needed his musket by him all the time now, to protect him.

John closed his eyes and tried to remember. The effort made him sleepy. He leaned back in his chair. He had been a hero once. He knew that much.
John L. Burns sits outside the front door of his humble shack of a home. No one ever comes around, unless it is an unknowing salesman. Burns might not look like the most agile old man, but his reach is plenty long to reach that rifle and point it at an offending intruder within seconds. 'His sharpshooter' status in the war, proves that he has keen intellect and excellent aim. This lonely old man, bitter at the murder of his family in the war, sits in his rocking chair, rocking the time away. As the rowdy neighbor kids gallup their horses up and down the road, Burns mutters under his breath, "Dirty, good for nothing.... I swear I am going to.... just a little closer! Just a little closer!"
John L. Burns sits outside the front door of his humble shack of a home. No one ever comes around, unless it is an unknowing salesman. Burns might not look like the most agile old man, but his reach is plenty long to reach that rifle and point it at an offending intruder within seconds. 'His sharpshooter' status in the war, proves that he has keen intellect and excellent aim. This lonely old man, bitter at the murder of his family in the war, sits in his rocking chair, rocking the time away. As the rowdy neighbor kids gallup their horses up and down the road, Burns mutters under his breath, "Dirty, good for nothing.... I swear I am going to.... just a little closer! Just a little closer!"
Patron said…
As Ed Jennings waited for his daughter to come home from sparking, he thought, "I hope thet boy don't realize, I ain't got no bullets!"
Emma said…
He couldn't remember her face.  Usually, it never troubled him too much.  There were other troubles to distract him, arthritis being the loudest these days. There was a preacher down the street who bellowed on and on about transubstancia...something complicated, something godly men shouldn't question. 
 And then there was Abby's wedding to arrange; even he, calloused and worn, had swollen with some mysterious emotion close to pride at his youngest daughter's happiness.  Margaret would have been tickled with the whole thing; half the town had crowded in their backyard.   Abby gathered friends as adeptly as she had wildflowers when she was young; she was the belle of the town.  
Though John chucked to himself when he pictured his late wife's reaction to the lace embroidery Abby's dress, which tore on a nail in the porch.  She would have screwed up her full lips into a sour pucker and puffed her cheeks in an effort to keep her forehead smooth, lest her eyebrows betray her horror.
No, hers he could see, though she had been gone six years now.  There wasn't a face he couldn't, when he closed his eyes and squinted.  The grocer two blocks down, though he packed up for california twelve years ago.  The first man he met who carried a gold pocket watch. The baker's wife, who he had only glimpsed once- rumor had it she was disturbed and kept hidden.
Emma said…
Oh no! My original was too long! ...too much fun. Here's part 2!
And the boys...all young, flushed, doe-eyed, scratchy in their uniforms.  Oh yes, he could remember every one of them.  Even the ones he had killed.
But hers? Never. Glimpses of chestnut hair, sparse lashes, a nose with an unfashionable bump she would finger self-consciously.  But never a face.  
He remembered telling her goodbye, how he wanted to kiss her, how she shielded her eyes.  In the end, he has just shifted in his boots. "don't you worry," he smirked. "They wont know what hit them."
She hadn't said anything in response. 
And they didn't know what hit them.  It was easy,  easy as picking off cottontails.  It wasn't so much that he was a war hero as he was a legend; immortal, untouchable, above it all.  His rifle was as a part of him as his eye, or his arm, or his trigger finger.  Or her. 
But with each shot, the color of her eyes faded.  And now, he couldn't see her at all.
His rifle...well, he set it outside two years ago today.  Hasn't touched it since.   He kept hoping it would fade away too- that maybe, if he gave it up, she would come back.  Just for a second.  A glimmer.  
He never knew what happened to her.  He never promised to come back, and he hadn't.  But what he wouldn't give now, to see her face again.  How could he have forgotten? Why her? 
He never knew what hit him.      
"If that woman asks me to watch the cows one more time, I'm gone kill the sons a bitches my self. What 'n hell am I supposed to do if a big damn pack a wolves decides to tear into em?? This gun's older n' dirt. Hmph.. I'm gone sit right here, take my shoes off, an hope she says somethin. Where's that no 'count son a mine when you need him..

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