Darling Marie,
Val Griffiths
Flash Fiction Winner

Darling Marie, The five weeks since I left you feels like five years! I hate this awful place – the unbearable, sticky heat; the constant drone of blood-sucking insects; the fear…the goddamn shit-in-your-pants fear! I've never know anything like it, Marie. It has a way of making time stand still like some deranged, fucked-up god's at the wheel. I'm sorry honey, I know you hate it when I cuss, but the niceties of home have no place in this godforsaken land.

I really don't know what I was thinking, coming here to fight this blasted war. The vile reality of this place holds none of the romantic notions of democracy and freedom which brought me here. A man died in my arms yesterday - if an eighteen year old boy is really a man. He died in a tangled mass of his own intestines and I swear, Marie, I showered four times since and I can still smell his blood and shit on me! And he was so scared, baby, this boy. So scared, he cried for his mother as he drowned in his own blood. It's all so pointless. So wretched!

It's rumored some of the guys are getting out by breaking things or shooting themselves in the foot. My God Marie if I'm not thinking of doing the same! I don't think I can take it much longer. God help me, baby.

I have to go. We're humping it to Dong Xoai and we're moving once more. More later…

First published: May, 2008
comments to the writer: doorknobs@iceflow.com