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The Musician

An excerpt from an unfinished/abandoned story:

I made a mistake about him.

The musician doesn’t want to live. In fact, he wants to die. But I wasn’t wrong in knowing I’d be free if I stayed close to him.

“Do you have someplace to go?” I ask him as the line of workers disappear.

He nods, then looks at me out of the corner of his eye. “Do you?”

I shake my head, but he says nothing. Machine gun fire rips through the air. My heart thuds against my ribs, my adrenaline soars. Mattress feathers cascade through the open apartment windows like a fresh snow. Someone screams.

“They’re still emptying this section,” I say, eyes darting for a place to hide.

I half expect him to run toward the gunfire, to give himself up, but there’s still some survival instinct left in him. He runs like mad toward an alleyway. I’m on his heels.

“Go away!” he hisses over his shoulder.

“I don’t want to die today,” I call, running harder.

He skids to a stop as we near a pile of furniture thrown from the evacuated apartments. He dives in, covering himself with tattered clothing and blankets. I slide in behind him, a baby pram hides me from view. The wheels are cracked, the casing rusted. A quilted baby blanket lays over the side, a blanket that once warmed an infant.

Where is that child now?

“I wish you’d leave me alone,” his dark eyes bore into mine as he rakes a hand through his sweaty hair.

I don’t like him. I gave him too much credit in my imaginings. I ignore his comment and stare past him instead. An SS officer marches past, his gun wedged in a woman’s back. Her long black hair lays in tangles over her shoulders. More people pass by, caught just when they thought they were free from the roundups. The train whistle screeches. The SS push their victims faster and harder.

Our breathing is loud in my ears. Suppose they can hear our desperate gulps for air? I cover my mouth until they pass. The musician is running his hands over his face.

“They’d want you to live. Your family, I mean,”  I whisper.

He lifts his head, throwing a vicious glare at me. He looks as if he’s about to say something, then changes his mind and simply shakes his head.

The musician and I are different, I can clearly see that. He doesn’t have anyone or anything to live for.

I do.

He pushes himself out of the blankets and stands up, wiping his face with the back of his hand before dashing down the alley, as if the devil was on his heels.

I swallow, watching him.

I realize the deadly truth in that single thought.


I'm currently reading In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers by Larry Alexander and I'm really enjoying it! Here's one of my favorite parts so far:

There was also Floyd Talbert who, Guth recalled, underwent intense ribbing due to being deathly afraid of anything that crawled. "We were always putting something in his footlocker or in his bed," Forrest remembered with a chuckle. "We even put things in his ammo belt. He'd go wild."

It's amusing to think about a young, strong, brave paratrooper being deathly afraid of bugs! (Not that I blame him...)

Veteran Interview | Eric Lundberg, U.S. Navy

I recently interviewed my favorite Navy veteran, Eric Lundberg! He was stationed on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt and USS Erben during the Korean War. You can listen to the interview below:


Jacob | 5th Ranger Battalion, Easy Company

This is the ninth interview in my WWII reenactor interview series:

Zachary | 325th Glider Infantry Regiment
Josh | 502nd PIR and 5th Rangers

1. Why did you choose your impression?
I chose my impression because I have been a WWII history buff since probably kindergarten. I went to D-Day Conneaut in 2015. One of the head staff helped me get the information I needed to get into this hobby. Major James Martin of the 101st Airborne 506th is the Airborne commander for the event and has been reenacting for 30 years or more. I went on field with him on the Foucarville and La Fiere bridge battle. I thought it was pretty cool but the next day, I watched the main D-Day battle and I was very impressed by the entire thing, especially the authenticity. 

2. Can you tell us about your reenacting gear?
My gear is Corcoran boots, M1937 or you can use the M1941 wool shirt, M1937 wool pants with a belt, M1923 cartridge belt for my Garand and you can also use it for clips of M1 carbine. It holds 10. I chose the Garand over the carbine since it is one of my favorite weapons of that time period. Really cool design, too. The blanks are not too expensive and one of my officers can make them for me at a great price.