Corporal Alice Power

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Please just enjoy the story. Do not take it as any type of statement or hint. I like doing what if stories, and this is a what if story. No more no less.

Submitted: October 24, 2007

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Submitted: October 24, 2007

A A A

A A A


Corporal Alice Power

By

Glynn Scott

 

It had been a mistake for the six man patrol to try an ambush on a night so thick and black, that Corporal Alice Power felt as if she could peel away pieces of it.  The enemy had been waiting, their enemy footsteps muffled by the splattering of June bug size raindrops hitting and rolling off the wide leaves of the elephant plants that guarded the jungle like green centurions.  The patrol managed a mile before the sky turned white.  In the brief flash of bright light, Corporal Alice Power saw a shoulder fly pass her, thin strains of flesh and tissue floating and waving in the air like confetti.

The dark glows, fades to black.  Screams.  Branches crack.  The sound of running feet.  Reload.  Shoot again.  Two separate languages, angry voices of those she does not understand.  The cries of those she does.  Run.  Hide.  Then the silence of war.

 The offices of Military Problem Solving and Resolution are located in a small square building.  Branching off from the main building and down a narrow hall way is the office of the commanding officer, Captain Copleston.

Corporal Alice Power takes little notices of the private standing outside the captain’s office.  They are all the same: the privates, tall, handsome possessing an unnatural military bearing.  The private’s voice is cool, even, like water slipping between two stones.  “Your appointment slip, corporal.”

Alice wiggles deeper into the mud, trying to hide.  The enemy moves in behind

The morning light.  Alice knows the others are dead.  War is instinct.  The voices closer now.  Alice strains to understand the twisted syllables, searches for an understanding that will not come.  Her mind drifts to the beginning.  The talk of war had been slow before picking up speed like a bicycle going downhill.

Removing the card from her purse, Corporal Alice Power feels that there isn’t anything in the military that is not dipped in rules and regulations.  Nothing that is not washed in discipline and self-control.  The private glances at the card, but does not take it.  “The captain is expecting you,” he said, holding the door open, and then slipping away like mist.

“Corporal Alice Power reporting as ordered sir.”

“At ease solider.  Have a seat.  Take a load off your feet.  I suppose a woman in your condition needs her rest.”  The captain moves to the front of his desk, pushes aside a few papers, lifts his small body onto its surface.

“I’ve decided to have the baby,” said Corporal Alice Power, glad that the words were out.  She feels as if the words are spinning around the room, bouncing off the walls.  She sits still, waits for them to come back to her.

“You are married, correct Corporal Power.  Your husband, how does he feel about your decision?”

“I have not told him about the pregnancy yet.”

“So you have lied to him.”

“He knows about the rape,” Corporal Alice Power said, memories trapped in teardrops fall onto her blouse.

“You must abort this child.  It it’s in our best interests.  The best interest of the military and the country.  We cannot allow you to give birth to the enemy’s baby.”

Alice could almost touch the sound of their footsteps.  Remember, name, rank, serial number only.  Alice feels hands reaching for her, holding her up.  A tall black man, wearing a “Free O.J.” t-shirt, pushes her against a tree.  Rifles are pressed against her head.  Alice closes her eyes and listens to the increased excitement in their whispers as they discover the truth about her.

She senses someone moving closer to her.  His smell is musky, sour, like ants trapped in a jar.  Water is poured over her head.  Large black clumps of mud fall from her face.  Underneath the mud her skin is the yellow brown color of rusty railroad tracks.  Her hair is thick, black, curly.  Her pink lips and small nose are the last thing people notice about her.  The water inside her shirt rushes over her small breasts, pools in her navel, spills onto the waist band of her panties, moves down her legs, collects in her boots.  She wiggles her toes, squashing mud between them.

“We…,” the Captain paused, waved a finger between the two of them as if they were the only one involved, “are losing this war.  If the military lets you have this baby, it’s as good as conceding defeat.  We must resist the enemy on all fronts.  Refuse to give in to his desire to cripple our will to fight.  By having this child, you will be giving aid and comfort to the enemy, allowing him to gain a foothold in our society.  If we begin giving our hearts to their children, children conceived through rape and perversion, then how long will it be before we lose our souls to them?”

“Thank you for your time and patience.”  Corporal Alice Power stands and

salutes.

“Inform us no later than the end of the week so we can make the necessary arrangements for your comfort and to smooth your transition back into the military.  Use this time wisely corporal, whether you chose to inform your husband of this decision is strictly your affair.  Our concern is for your health, and the continuing maintenance of discipline in the ranks.  Your choice today will always be remembered as having contributed to our eventual victory over the enemy,” he said as he listened to the sound of Corporal Alice Power’s fading footsteps filling the empty corridor.

Corporal Alice Power walks across the street, taking a seat on a park bench.  The sun’s impending departure divides what is left of the day into two halves: what is in the shadow and what is not.

Behind her, nestled between two trees, a couple of teenage boys sail an orange Frisbee.  The strong smell of roasted onions coming from the hot dog vendor down the street reminds Corporal Alice Power that she needs to eat, to feed the life inside her.  Corporal Alice Power doesn’t want the world to stop for long, only an hour or two, long enough for her to put her thoughts together.  She feels pieces of her mind drifting away like a tiny helium filled balloons.  She knows life isn’t about standing still or preventing the rotation of the earth’s axis.  Life is more like a game of tag, a duck and cover mission.  Everyone hoping that trouble will never find them, and if it does, seeing how quickly you can pass it on to someone else.  She stands, holding onto the back of the bench until her head clears, before walking back to the car.

Corporal Alice Power lifts herself onto the hood of her car.  The air is cool, and

there is the faint smell of orange blossoms.  She understands her pregnancy will change things, the way sickness and death change things.  John, her husband, will accept the news without screams or shouts.  It is not in his nature to raise his voice.  They will ooh and ah over the black and white sonogram pictures, pictures that will look more like Vaseline-smeared sunglasses, than pictures of a baby.  The doctor will point to the dark area of the pictures that is supposed to identify the gender.  He will ask if they would like to know.  They will lay, her and John, and say they do.  John will be her Lamaze partner.  They, John and her, will hold hands, laugh and giggle at the silliness of it all.  The baby will come a few months

later.  John will pass out bubble gum cigars, accepting congrats and back slaps like a kid with a pocket full of candy.

 A pair of lips brushes against her cheek.  Someone tugs at her belt, pulling off her trousers.  A knife cuts away her wet underwear.  Her butt stings, small pieces of her skin are torn loose by the rocks she is pressed against.  Her blouse rips, a button pops.  Alice feels the mud her butt as they lay her on the ground.  The tongue in her mouth is wild, crazy as it moves across her gums and the bottom of her teeth as if the man is searching for something he lost.  Tongues between her legs, soon the first climbs on, there are others but she barely notices.

 

 

The days will pass, one day moving along no quicker than the one before.  It will start slowly, John’s questioning.  “How many were there?  What about your rifle?”  Skipping around the question he wants to ask.  “Did you enjoy it?”  Soon it will start to bother him, looking into that small brown face and not seeing his own.  Then will come the silence before the leaving.

 

 


© Copyright 2017 glynn scott. All rights reserved.

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