Friday Fictioneers challenges us to write micro-fiction (<101 words) prompted by a photograph supplied by one of our colleagues. It’s all teed up by our friend, extraordinary artist, and fabulous leader, Rochelle. Click the prompt photo to see her blog page with all the skinny. It’s fun.
Today’s picture has a two-level outhouse indicating politicians up top and voters below. I recall seeing this arrangement in a military cartoon with officers on top and enlisted below.
In the Viet Nam War, officers and radiomen were preferred targets of the North Vietnam Army and the Viet Cong, which is why soldiers did not salute officers in the field.
Genre: Military Fiction (War Story)
Word Count: 100
Title: FNG* Down
The new Lieutenant ordered me to be his radio man. Our platoon leader was callow, yet confident and eager. A stickler for rules, he risked soldiers’ lives needlessly. A poor listener with a gung-ho, know-it-all attitude.
He chewed me out in front of my squad and gave me extra guard duty. Bad enough I had to hump the motherfucker’s goddamn radio.
In the jungle one day the lieutenant ordered me to step back, I yelled, “Yes, Sir,” stepped back and saluted him. The crack sound of the AK-47 made me dive for cover.
Our next lieutenant was a big improvement.
Be aware of enemy presence and men with guns.
Mind the gaps, make more friends than enemies, and keep your powder dry.
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.
*FNG is military initialism and jargon for fucking new guy.
I’ve noticed within you
dormant dark ironic
aroused by stress,
fueled with fear,
ushers in you a strife
emblazoned with virulent rancor,
etched with vitriol and venomous
words more harmful than
of your frantic painful sputum.
like a cornered dog
or captured snake seeking vengeance
without sense of reason, cause, or goal,
neither coherent illumination nor purpose
tempers or dulls your slashing fangs.
Let lost conscience be not your guide,
nor grief and guilt become your
Count to ten. Then count again.
Nothing can be unsaid,
unheard, or unfelt.
Look both ways when emotions rise.
Seek the mindful gaps of calmness and search for love.
Prompted by: ‘Smoldering coals of fury with which oppression always fires the soul.’ (1862)
Anger burned like acid surging through his body,
deadly rage ran unfiltered with each breath
as in shame he hid and buried his anger
as it called out for vengeance – for satisfaction.
He felt the scalding physical pain of revenge withheld.
He felt how the inhumanity man can deal to his
fellow man is without comparison.
Only man hates his own. As only man can
kill without reason and crush his kind
without purpose or cause, leaving no real hope.
He felt helpless as despair hardened him.
His broken mind and heart pleaded for him to let loose
the righteous fury growing inside as hours, days,
and years passed in the agony of painful misery,
hatred pounded his chest to be loosed
as his purposeless worthless life festered.
He spoke to his anger about the promise
of a better life, but not for him.
His was to live into his dream
of revenge and retribution with the fury
of the spurned prisoner held within him,
but for not much longer.
Soon he would defeat their world.
Soon he could kill them all,
and his hate would feast on their flesh.
All the pain and suffering would be avenged.
Then he could die in peace,
with honor avenged, pride returned,
his life’s purpose satisfied.