Sunday, May 28, 2006

Central Time

Here's a short story set in 1966. It's the closest thing I've ever written to a war story. With this weekend's reflections in mind it's about a sailor's trip to basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois. Below is a sample of "Central Time."

"...Stepping off the train, Roscoe was two hours from another train ride. This one, aboard a local commuter, would finish the job of transporting him from Richmond’s Fan District - with its turn-of-the-century townhouses - to a stark world of colorless buildings and punishing grinders: Great Lakes Naval Training Center was his destination. In the last month Roscoe had listened to plenty of supposedly useful yarns of what to expect at boot camp. Concerning Chicago, he could recite facts about the White Sox, the Cubs and the Bears; he had seen the movie about Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and the big fire; he thought Bo Diddley was from Chicago. One thing was certain, Seaman Recruit Swift knew he was further from home than he’d ever been."

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