Short Fiction, short story, six sentence story, writing

The Strength of Hope and Faith

Photo by Disha Sheta on Pexels.com

This is my Six Sentence Story, a continuation about Clarabelle and Shandy, which has been a running story for a few weeks. I have not decided if this is the end, but I will see what happens as the week goes by. Perhaps the other story members will call out to me and ask me to tell more about them. Thanks to Denise for putting up with my attempt at serializing this story and for being less than concise. Yes, I push those six sentences to the limit, guilty as charged. So, are you thinking you want to join Denise’s Six Sentence Story blog hop? Well, hop to it by going to this LINK

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The Strength of Hope and Faith

Shandy continued with her story about he husband, away, serving in Vietnam, “Clair, I was so religious about writing to Marcus and it would be spurts where I didn’t hear from him, before I would be several letters in one day, so it was just the way it was where he was serving, he was on the front lines and I couldn’t really expect instant letters every day,” Shandy paused, starting to tear up, Clarabelle reached over and patted her hand, and poured another cup of tea for Shandy, “and then the letters slowed down, real slow, sometimes for weeks, and I got really worried that there was something wrong, and then I got a letter from him that there was a bad storm and it was more than difficult to get letters out, so he was okay and, well, I was surely relieved, a lot of the letters he had ready to mail, ended up in a mess of mud and they pretty much had to plow through all the muck to get to a clear path, so those were long gone.”

“Oh, my dear girl, that must have been quite the ordeal for you, as I remember how it was for my family, it sure could be hard to get those letters back and forth, I suppose wars have a way about making it hard, too bad there was no easy way to make a phone call.”

“That’s just the thing, Clair, I did get a phone call from Marcus, he sounded so distraught, and said that he had to take some time to sort things out, and in the meantime, he was put on medic assistance duty, so he could clear his head, although, I will tell you that in a war zone, it’s hard to clear your head in a medical camp, so it was hard for him, but he took to the work, and he did so well with it that they kept him there for the duration, so, you see, that worked out; and when he came back home he decided to pursue medicine and went to school for emergency medical technician training, not really wanting to be a doctor, but an emergency worker, since he found out that was where he did his best work,” pausing to catch her breath, Shandy sipped her tea before continuing, “while Marcus studied, I worked as a waitress, because I was good at it and was not ready to consider going to school or start a family, not until he was solid with his job, so I was able to bring in a lot of tips, because that’s where waitresses make their real money, and we managed well, even if it was tight, but we had our love and it all worked out.”

“That’s an adventure you have had with learning to be patient and survive what must have been one of the most difficult times of your life and look how you came through with helping your husband do well and pursue his goals, for the best of both of you.”

“Thank you, Clair, it was nice, like a real-life honeymoon in a way as we just worked well together, like a team, so after he graduated and was working full-time, I was able to think about my own goals, and that was when I got pregnant, not really planned, but not unwanted either, so there I was pregnant and that’s when things changed, and not for the better, mind you, and I finally got it out of him about his experiences in Vietnam and things he saw, and how he was afraid he would not be a good father; of which I assured him that such a kind soul could be nothing less than a great dad; but he started pulling back, became less affectionate and the nightmares he had were more frequent, they were always about something to do with the war, and I was so afraid for him, knowing it must have been painful to see things and not forget, but I was always there for him, no matter what, and we gradually worked on things with a counselor, I mean, he was invested, for sure, and the counselor helped us get past these things, and when we had our little boy, he was the best father to him, always careful with handling him, and affectionate, like all his worries went away,” pausing for a tissue, the wells of pain flooded and Shandy shook, trembling and collapsed in Clair’s arms, eventually, with the comfort of Clair, Shandy was able to go on, “Marcus was the best father to our son, Gerald, and loved him until his last days, as, Marcus had a heart attack while he was working on a run and he did not make it, and it turned out he may have had a heart condition, but at that point, we just knew that he was gone and Gerald and I carried on, as best as we could, Gerald was 19 when his father passed away and he is doing well with college, but when he decided to go away to school, I decided I needed to get away from all the memories and moved to Iowa, so while the war did not ruin us, life had another plan, and I rely on the presence of his spirit to keep Marcus alive, but, to tell you the honest truth, I just could not longer live in a town where we made many happy memories, so just like my dad live after he lost mom, I moved.”

“Sweetheart, life surely does turn things around unexpectedly, but it looks like you are a get on up and get to it kind of person, look at how you have done with your life, you serve others, you are compassionate, you have a strength which is calm, yet mighty, and I certainly do understand the desire to move to new memories, as I had to do similar when I lost Herbie, I could no longer live in the house we made into a home, so I made a move to an apartment, and now, my dear Shandy, I have a beautiful, inside and out, friend, and we are not that much different, just in age, but not much different in clarity, we will plow through life and find that at the end of the road, is a heap of  heap of muck, but that muck is what we have to go through to find the treasures.”

17 thoughts on “The Strength of Hope and Faith”

  1. Some of the finest friendships are built upon commonality, not necessarily linked to being of the same age. I have enjoyed learning about the two.
    Love “but that muck is what we have to go through to find the treasures.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat and I must be on the same wave length, as the line that captured me was the ‘plow through the muck…’ that she cites.

    Excellent use of the prompt word*

    I would continue to read of these two people.

    In my own experience, the serial format is both an aid and control (at least in my own practice of wordifying)… it forces us to find the most evocative of phrases and sentences, which does nothing, if it does not demand more from our characters.**

    Engaging Serial Six

    *subtle, yet critical to the narrative
    ** characters becoming ‘real’ is the first step, one that we understandably greet with joy and gratitude, however (for some of us) the more real, the more mindful they become and, it seems, less inclined to take our direction…. “Now come on, just tell us what happened! Did I say we have only Six Sentences to do that? If you behave, I promise a further installment!”“***

    *** seriously! I’ve gotten into such arguments with characters! lol

    Liked by 1 person

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