I know, I have been so so quiet on the blog. But I am alive and well and wanted to share a bit of my work in progress, my tour de force, my opus.
The following is from chapter eight. And one of the things I like to do as a writer is take the gruesome, the tragic and turn it beautiful. The writing here has been slow going. The following scene, three short paragraphs, took weeks of research and even longer reworking phrases, words, close attention to verbs.
What do you think?
I asked Grandfather about the war once. He sat on the couch. He rubbed his muddy boots against the white carpet. He stared at the TV, hollowed himself out, and became a ghost. “We walked out of those boats through the coldest water I have ever been in. Bodies floated face down in the ocean, and you walked through.” Face upturned to the forever sky to keep from drowning, to keep breathing. Clinging to the boat sides, moving forward with the tide’s pace. The boat drifting. The coxswain dead, torn apart from crown to torso. The sea filled with blood. Bodies strewn like waste across the beach. Crawling across sand. Ripping off packs and helmets. The smoke the dirt the noise. The impossible noise. Shells singing screeching above, the cacophony of machine gun fire soldiers shouting Get off the beach! Get off the beach!
At the hill’s brow, he lay still. He has been shot in the shoulder, the ankle. He cowered in the long grass. A pillbox within arm’s throw in front of him. He grabbed a grenade, pulled the pin.
One one thousand
Two one thousand
Three one thousand
Threw the grenade in the hole. After the explosion, he went in. Slumped against the cracked cinder block wall, wrapped fresh bandages around his wounds, looked to his left, and saw half a body all waist and legs sitting beside him, intestines mangled and hanging.