Characters: Bruce, Nick, Walter
Rating: PG-13 for subject matter and language (swearing).
Summary: Three letters from home, three different reactions.
Notes: Sort of a continuation of this drabble. Canon, and can be considered spoilery as you learn where the boys are and what they're up to for part of the war.
Word Count: 786
Private First Class Bruce Thorne looked up from the typewriter he’d been sitting at for the past few hours. Sitting in headquarters in Washsimton typing his days away was not how he’d pictured his war contribution when he’d enlisted, but his family name and connections had afforded him this relatively safe position.
“Thorne,” the company clerk said, handing Bruce a small stack of letters.
“Thank you,” he replied, setting them next to his typewriter.
“Not going to read them?”
“Not right now, no. I’ve got to get all this,” he gestured at the stack of papers to his left, “done before I can afford myself that luxury.”
The clerk shrugged as he moved past Bruce, continuing to call out names as he moved down the row of desks.
* * * * *
Corporal Nicholas Bradford splashed his face with water, and wiped it dry with his shirttails. It had been a long few hours for him and the rest of the staff at the aid station just a few miles from the front lines. The latest push had sent a steady stream of casualties their way for the past few hours, but they had packaged their last wounded soldier up and shipped him off to the hospital not too long ago. Nick was thankful for the break.
He walked back into the abandoned barn they were using as their shelter, and was greeted with a cup of coffee from one of the other medics.
“Thanks,” he replied, accepting it. He quickly gulped it down; he’d learned a long time ago that if you didn’t eat fast, he might not get to eat at all.
The sounds of a truck approaching caused everyone in the building to groan; trucks usually meant more wounded. “Come on,” their colonel said. “Let’s see what we’ve got.”
Outside, they were met not with the sight of full ambulances, but with a very welcome supply truck. Moving quickly, they unloaded the boxes and crates containing medical supplies, c-rations, and other essentials. The driver then went to the cab and pulled out the most welcome item of all – a large sack, full of mail. The men all cheered when they saw it, and their company clerk made quick work of passing it out.
Nick waited patiently, and was rewarded with a thick stack of letters. He recognized the handwriting on all of them; two from his father, three from his mother, one from Dotty, and seven, seven, from Alice. He checked the back of the envelope; Alice had taken to putting the date she wrote them on the back flap of the envelope so he could read them in the order she wrote them. Finding the oldest one, he hungrily tore it open and began to read.
* * * * *
Sergeant Walter Gavigan pulled off his helmet as he entered the old warehouse that was serving as his barracks. He was tired. After a long night of making sure the GIs stationed in Simdon behaved themselves and made it back to where they belonged by blackout, all he wanted was a hot shower and a few hours of sleep.
At first, he’d been upset with his father for using his political connections to get him into the MPs and then stationed in a rather cushy location. In some ways, he still was. But he knew that once the invasion of SimFrance happened, whenever that was, he’d be going along too, and even though he wouldn’t be on the front lines he might get a chance to shoot a Simman or two, and that thought made him happier.
Upon entering the room lined with bunk beds, Walter straight for his footlocker to pull out a clean set of clothes. Sitting upon his pillow was a stack of mail, and Walter let out a whoop.
“What’s got you so excited, Sarge?” one of his roommates asked as he came in.
“Mail came while we were out.”
The man broke into a smile. “Think your girl sent you that picture you’ve been asking for?”
“She better have,” he joked, ripping into a letter from Shirley. “I’ve almost forgotten what she looks like.”
“Tell me again why you didn’t put a ring on her finger before you shipped out?”
“Because I’m a fucking idiot,” Walter replied. He pulled her picture out the envelope, and laughed when he saw the bright red lipstick kiss on it. “Leave it to Shirley.”
“Wow, she’s a looker.”
“Yeah, she is. But she’s mine, so look elsewhere. Now scram so I can read my letter in peace.”
Walter sat down on his bed, the shower and sleep forgotten about, a happy smile on his face.