So congratulations to Lawrence A. for his winning flash-fiction story that we at RvD have decided to call "American Soldier Dance Shoes," unless you have another title in mind. Please contact us at rvdchicago[-at-]comcast.net with your contact information so we can get you your $5.
We the committee members would just like to add that it was an extremely close competition, and we must heartily recommend the two finalists, Gamer18548 and Margie for their highly entertaining and literary entries. To read all the brilliant entries, click here.
We now bring you Lawrence A's winning story:
"American Soldier Dance Shoes"
“Gettysburg? Goddamn cakewalk. Antietam? Weren’t nothin but a high school dance. Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Now. That there was hell, son.” With that, Gramps was gone. His last breath lingered in the air, smelling vaguely like Grace’s shoes the day Dad shipped out for Pusan.
Funny how you remember those details. Never saw him again; just some black and white photos, and a few postcards. He lost both feet at Incheon; ended up staying there; shacked up with a nurse named Soo Kim.
Guess he couldn’t face life without war; or maybe it was war without him he couldn’t face. Or maybe it was me; his first born son, run off to Magill to sit out Vietnam teaching Hemingway and Faulkner in Toronto, he couldn’t face.
Starkmoor men lie rotting under crosses in Margraten and Omaha Beach, or were forever lost off of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. Whenever Uncle Sam needed foot soldiers, we, no, they were there. Even my brother Ulysses S. came back from Viet Nam with medals for valor at Phouc Long and Loc Ninh, and a dragon tattoo and a fatal taste for heroin was buried in Arlington. That’s why I had come back. To see him buried. All those brave Starkmoor men. All dead. All so I could read Faulkner or sit in my underwear and think about the smell of Grace’s shoes while I wait for the bottle of demerol to put me out of my pain.