Solemn Mysteries

This memoir is about fulfilling the trust a broken veteran put in me, and how I needed to trust someone as well. The photo is of a certificate I received after undergoing the Order of Neptune ritual while crossing the equator between Singapore and the Sunda Strait aboard the USS Ticonderoga.

“Welcome back,” I said.

His eyes reddened, and he gave me a strained smile. “Thanks, I guess.”

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Figment of Reality

This complex short story is “a muddle of memory and metaphor” I’ve been trying to birth for years. The photo, by anonymous, shows flares, Cobra gunships and assorted noise looking west from my barracks at Da Nang Air Base. It was nights like these that inspired this story.

“It had to be OK because Figment of Reality imagined these tales of life and death again and again: of armed teenagers afraid and unable to understand; of more nights of rockets, machine guns and terror; of again running to warn my comrades who work on warplanes in the black night; of a flare popping above; of shadows under the wings dancing like fits of death.”

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