You just figured out that you are a character in somebody’s novel: This is the prompt for a short story (500 words max) contest at http://www.tipsylit.com. It sounded like fun, so I entered mine. Read over it, and if you like it go vote! Enjoy!

The Satchel

Grandpa Tom passed away in his sleep. His grandson, Joel, being his only living relative was responsible for cleaning out the room at the nursing home Grandpa Tom had resided in for the past eight years. Which wasn’t a hard task, because the only belongings he possessed were a picture of his late wife in a red dress when she was young, a red fringed pillow cover that was embroidered with US Army in gold letters, and an old leather satchel.

Figuring he could get some use out of it, Joel looked over the satchel. It was worn, but still in good shape. Peering inside, he found a bundle of papers, yellowed with age and tied together with a string. The first page was titled Chapter One.

“We went out drinking in the village the night before the big day. Our platoon leader, Lt. Holmes bought rounds of beer for everyone. Even through the cheers and the smiles and the laughter, I knew we were just trying to forget what lay before us come morning. We had been training hard in England, and now events were gaining momentum.

Reaching in my pocket, I pulled out a photo of a pretty brunette in a red dress. She was standing on her parents’ front porch. My Esther. I vowed I would marry her if I ever made it back to Charleston.

The next morning we loaded up on the transport planes for Normandy. My stomach lurched as the aircraft lifted off English soil, and I wondered, “What in the hell have I gotten myself into?” One last look at the photograph of my sweet Esther, and I prepared myself for the jump.”

Joel having dozed off at some point while reading, awoke with a violent jolt. The rumble of the aircraft was deafening in his ears. “What the hell is going on?” he thought, as a soldier in front of him jumped from the open door of the plane.

“You’re up,” hollered the soldier behind him.

Joel felt the bile crawling up his throat. He had to be dreaming. He felt in his pocket, and found a picture of a brunette in a red dress.

“Let’s go!” barked the man behind him.

“This can’t be happening,” Joel yelled back at the man, sweat beading up on his face as he inched closer to the edge of the door.

“You’re not the only one scare, son. Don’t think, just act.”

Joel closed his eye and jumped.

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