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string of pearls

string of pearls

1942, a young man is sent to Hawaii, while there he is faced with many challenges and makes a best friend along the way.

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Literary fiction


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gerald stalter (United States)


Fog took over the window from our breath. The room seemed darker than ever before. The only noise you could hear was the rain dripping down onto the outside window. Tension hit my muscles so hard that you feel pain. My biceps were plunging next the seams of my olive green shirt. My skin fever was so hot it made the chili peppers scream that sat in the fridge. My blood swimming through my veins like a school of clown fish swimming in the ocean. My heart beating like a nail getting hammered into a piece of wood. Senses glued to a knife sharp blade. My jaw could keep my mouth shut even though I tried. Sweet running down our faces faster than a man can run around the track. My legs just laid there I had no feeling in them. She left an impression on me of her hands on my bottom looking like a really bad sunburn. As I looked down to the most loveable girl the thought stood out to each brain cell it touched, each neuron gotten a chance to recharge. I could read her face like a book. Yeah she’s cute. Who cares what they might say. Tonight I left my boyhood behind and became a man. It was the first time for the both of us. All night I hoped it wouldn’t end. Nothing was stopping us that night. We know what we were doing. An hour passed quicker than ever before. Time sure goes fast when you’re having fun, I just laid there staring out of the window as she went into the bathroom to take a shower. She was chasing away the evidence from her body before going home. I might not come home in the future as 1942 sang her sweet song. Put on my uniform the next day as they shipped us out to Pearl Harbor. It was hard to say good bye, but I know I’ll see her face again.
The sound of a phoebe bird filled my ear drums. Her sweet song made me feel more at peace. The smell of good old cooking came in as the mess hall worked away. Didn’t see nothing but the insides of my eye lids as I stood taking everything in. the soap ran down the flesh of this twenty three year old body. My chest acting like a shield to the drops of water so it didn’t bleed through. The air kissed my firm bottom as my hands rapped around the manhood getting him all nice and clean. The touch of the sand under my feet was sticky, like bathing in glue. Singing a song that sat in my head from the other day listening to the radio. Boy that singer from Memphis sure knows how to sing. Ended the shower letting the water run down my face. There was a knock on the door short after the other man wanted to get in. my hand gave the shower its final bow. Towel hugged my body dry cleaning the whole thing, like a nice bear hug. The olive green underpants hid the gift I was handed down by the last generation.
Knock, knock, boy was someone waiting for a shower. I like to take showers for a long time myself but I can wait my turn. Knock, knock yelling at me to let him in, there were plains overhead. I didn’t know what to think. The air filled with loud noises. The ground shook making the shower head make a sound. What was going on? It was as if a giant was walking and everything was all over the place. Let me in, let me in. He said. Do I save myself or do I save two souls? What do I do? I swallowed my pride and opened the door. Thinking to myself he was trying something. I don’t like to be manhandled. What do I do? Kept my eyes to the ground dint want to let him see meat first, but I needed to know if he was on my side or not. His feet where covered in mud, as I started looking up I saw the black leg hairs that lead to a scarred young man wearing nothing but a white t-shirt that showed off his muscles, and white briefs. Shacking like a leaf. Green eyes popped as the black waive hair was going crazy with the wind. His chest was breathing very strong as his chest didn’t stop. He didn’t move kept telling me not to step any more. Then I saw it. The one thing that changed history forever. As I walked out of the showers there were plains lining the sky as dots were coming out of the end of them. There were too many to count. There were also a strange looking man standing in front of me. I didn’t understand his language it sounded alien or something. We both were frozen in fear.
He stepped tore me I step backward. The man with the green eyes stood still like he saw a ghost. We repeated the steps until we both saw the whites of our eyes. He smelled like a bad skunk. I didn’t know if it was female or not as his hair was pinned up. Was I scared? There is no words to say how I was. It was like I took myself and replaced it with a braver man. He put the tip of the gun onto the side of my face. I didn’t have a chance with all those planes guess this was the next best thing. Was I ready? Two others joined him. Forced me on my hands and knees, and stuck the tip of the gun where sun should never shine. I made a sound that you could hear over the noise of the plains. Just closed my eyes waiting for it all to end. Before he could pull the trigger the green eyes man made a Nosie distracting them. One of them pulled the gun out from where it was on my body, boy did that hurt, but I had to survive. The gun put a bullet in his leg. My eyes watched him watched as he feel to the ground. I rushed them. Just letting and doing the moves I was taught to do. They were passed out in seconds and I was able to get then gun.
He was heavy but I tried to drag the green eyed man in the showers until I could think of something else. Put my arms under his arms it was like those dummies we practiced with but this one breathed. But my hands on his chest as I was checking to see if he still was breathing. My feet tried to run backward and the curve of his back kept making me trip. It took some time but my ears could hear the sounds of feet out side of the building. Didn’t stay long however. I tended to myself, the pain was the worst of it, there was no blood, but I had a hard time sitting. He saved me a man who until that moment didn’t know who I was saved me. Took the towel and torn it with a piece of glass from the window that the plains had shattered. Took the pocket knife that was left here from one of the other men and dug the bullet out from his leg. Tied the ton fabric around his leg. Thank goodness the shower still worked to wash my hands. I gotten ready to shut as there was noises once more in front of the door. Until I heard the voice looking for living Americans. I knew I could trust it as I heard it before. I showed myself to them with tears in my eyes. Everything was going to be okay. Sat near his bed side, refused treatment until he opened his eyes. He saved my life the least I could do is make sure I saved his. When he finally woken, he told me how there was no family waiting as he was an orphan. With open arms not only has my family gotten an addition, but I gotten a best friend. The two of us returned home shortly after there was her face waiting for just l knew it would be. We both went into business together in a restaurant. Gotten married, and raised our kids. We were brothers nothing was going to change that. Freddie and I gotten a medal pinned on our chest later on in the years. Made me say something, but I didn’t do anything. So I thought about it and came up with.
“Those boys I know where thinking before death, mommy I don’t like this. They died believing in a greater tomorrow. Let’s remember the good not the bad.” That was the hardest thing for me to say.


Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1

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Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • There needs to be more balance between narration and dialogue. Avoid overdoing the narrative and remember that dialogue can diffuse long claustrophobic text.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Main character
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing!
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals and conflicts were clearly conveyed.
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.