I will not reveal the part of the story this teaser is from, but here is a sneak peak of one of the novel projects on my list. A suspense/drama about a female combat veteran fighting her psychological war, as she tries to keep her relationship with her father alive. Hope you enjoy it!
A middle-aged man clusters half-packed boxes together in a bedroom. There are little children’s drawings on the sides of two boxes and another one that’s got a rip on a flap on the top of the box. The fourth box is ducted-taped shut. The man seems flustered with what to do with the dolls in the boxes. The man, known as Joe Sydney, stands about five foot nine inches. He picks up a faded and raggedy doll, with a missing button eye. The main gazes at it, with his pierce blue eyes, like it’s showing him a video of his daughter from when she was ten in its one eye. A flashback.
A tan, Caucasian hand knocks on the opened door of the bedroom. The entrance of the doorway reveals Joe’s brother, Victor.
“Are you okay, Joe?” Victor asks.
Joe responds while being still being in a trance with the doll.
Victor continues, “Sure feels like yesterday.”
As Victor steps closer to help with the boxes, Joe snaps out of his trance and back into reality.
“Huh?” Joe replies short.
“Oh, yeah. You are right, Victor.”
“She has grown to be a great woman.”
“Eve will always be my baby girl in my eyes, Victor.”
Victor examines his brother, as Joe returns to his frantic situation of getting the room together for Eve’s return from her tour of duty in Afghanistan. However, Joe isn’t fooled. What he fears most is change.
“Joe, war changes people. We learned this through dad. Just don’t let it get the best of you or your relationship with Eve. You are all you two got since Mary’s passing.”
“You are acting like you aren’t family anymore, Victor.”
“You know what I mean, big brother.”
Joe smiles and chuckles a bit at Victor. Victor returns with a sigh and a smile. He tosses a stuffed animal that he picked up during his conversation with his older brother. Victor then walks out of the bedroom and into the kitchen to help himself into the refrigerator. As he grabs an apple and heads to the island in the middle of the kitchen, he notices a military newspaper with the headlines, “First Female in Front Line Unit Returns Home.” He picks it up to notice Eve on the front cover with her Army fatigues on, dirt on her face, a 9M on her hip holster, and a M4 at the low ready and loaded for any event to exploit. Victor takes the newspaper back to Eve’s bedroom where Joe is still packing the childish objects.
“Joe, what the hell is this?!”
Joe looks up once again at Victor to wonder what he is addressing, and widens his eyes as if he’s been guilty of something. Joe takes a deep sigh as Victor continues integrating his brother.
“Is Eve asking for a death wish with this new task? Why didn’t you prevent her from signing up for this?!” The intensity grew in Victor’s voice as the protective uncle trait reveals itself in his questions.
“Victor, calm down. I may not agree with her decisions, but they are hers to make. She’s 21 now. I can’t control her choices, as much as I would like to.”
“I am not sure if I should be calm or concerned about your collective approach to this discovery.”
“Trust me, I already went through my grieving and unacceptance process with her before she left for basic two years ago. She has become one of the best soldiers the Army has ever experienced with.”
“Well, I am glad you feel that way.” Victor’s reply was short and sweet, but his voice still revealed a bit of anger for Joe’s secret. There was an awkward pause before Joe insisted a drink or two to ease the tension.
“Let’s head to Frankie’s Bar for a couple rounds. I will explain more once you ease yourself a bit.” There was a pause as Joe moved the last box to the closet to organize a bit before he and Victor left the house. Joe continues, “I am surprised you aren’t taken this better than I. I thought I be more of the protective parent for Eve.”
“I guess I am more disappointed in you keeping the secret from me. We use to tell each other everything when we were kids, Joe.”
“I’m sorry, Vic. I’ll make it up to you. I’ll buy tonight. All rounds.”
“I can’t refuse that offer.” Victor smiles. “Alright, you are forgiven.” Vic pauses. “This time!”
The guys make their way to Joe’s red F150 Ford truck that is parked in the driveway. Joe climbs into the driver side, as Vic climbs on the passenger side. The truck is started up and starts driving out of the driveway and down the road.
The house seems to sit just on the outskirts of a small city, population of about 15,000. Enough people to make an honest living in Oregon. The town, Coos Bay, sits on the Pacific coast for an extraordinary view for the ocean front property. It’s a perfect time of year for the scenery as the trees reveal through the color changes of mid-Autumn.
“SGT Sydney,” yells the commanding officer in front of the formation of soldiers in an outdoor environment. The environment is mixed with mountains, sand, brushes, burbs, barbed wire, and guard towers. It’s a forward operating base in the midst of Afghanistan. A couple of apaches fly over the formation towards the mountains in the distance, as Eve runs from her place in the formation, as squad leader for the fourth squad. Eve stands about 5’8” with brown, medium hair and blue eyes. She stands at attention in front of her commanding officer, Captain Forester. A tall, 6’0” male, brown hair, brown eyes. Eve salutes, as the commanding officer salutes back.
“Attention to Order! The Department of the Army has awarded Sergeant (promotable) Eve J. Sydney the Army Commendation Medal for outstanding service during Operation Enduring Freedom while being the first female to serve in Alpha Company, 10thMountain Division, in combative missions. Her dedication to the unit’s mission, superior performance, and leadership greatly add success to the deployment. Sergeant Eve J. Sydney’s actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army, bringing great credit upon herself, Alpha Company, the 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army,” scripted by a fellow soldier in front of the formation.
As the commander finishes pinning the award on Eve, the rest of the formation applauds in sync with one another, along with a few whoops and hollers from Eve’s team. Captain Forester hands over the certificate of the award with the left hands and shakes with the right, as he exchanges a few words with Eve.
“Proud of you SGT Sydney. You’ve been through hell and back, but you are one strong bone.”
“Thank you, sir. It’s all in the job.”
Once the hand shake ends, Eve salutes once more in a professional manner and returns to her spot in the formation.
“At ease!” recalls the commander. The formation rests as Forester continues to speak.
“Soldiers, I cannot thank you enough for the outstanding job you have done to complete the tasks requested by our government. I could not ask for any one better than the person you all see when you all look into the mirror every night before you lay your head to rest. Regardless of everyone’s religion, I have prayed day and night during our mission here for all of you guys. God must have heard them, because we are blessed without any casualties so far in this deployment, but do not let this factor put your guard down. We still have one week left before our asses are on a plane and get the hell out of here, so please stay alert until we are up in the air and heading home.”
The captain adjust his standing to attention, then the commander continues his demands.
The rest of the formation stands at attention and replies, “Hooah!”
“I’m proud of each and every one of you. Keep it up.”
Forester looks across his soldiers left to right before revealing his last command, “Fallout!”
The commander turns around and heads to his tent in the distance. The company falls out as six of the soldiers surround Eve and congratulates her for her award. Eve returns with smiles and high fives.