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Thread: a story that has a soldier boy in it

  1. #1
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Northern California
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    a story that has a soldier boy in it

    Just wrote this...this afternoon. Happy Veterans day to all. This isn't about a veteram. but hope you will still enjoy it. Hugs to all

    The bench was older than it looked. It had been well kept by the city in which

    it lived. It sat a bit back off the busy side-walk, in the middle of a large clearing.

    The tree from which it had been made had been as
    happy and caring a tree, as it
    could be and so, the bench was as well. It hadn’t
    much time to be lonely. More
    often than not, someone made themselves comfortable on its surface.

    Almost every night Mortimer Jackson Alexander Jr., spent the night on it.

    He’d spread newspapers on the bench, lay himself down and cover up with more

    newspapers for insulation. He topped it off with two or three black plastic bags.

    Sometimes, a policeman would find him there and take
    him to jail for the night.
    Mortimer actually enjoyed those times, for he was homeless. The jail was warm

    and he was always served breakfast before he was released. He and the bench

    had shared many conversations over the months. At least the bench had held

    his silence, for what else could it do without a voice. Mortimer Jackson

    Alexander Jr. had christened him with the name of ‘Mr. Bench’ and told him

    the story of how ‘what he had been’ had turned into ‘what he had become’.

    Sometimes a layer of sadness seemed to slip down over his eyes and Mortimer

    would close them and be silent for awhile. The bench missed the gentle snoring

    and companionship when he was not there. In the early part of the morning, he

    would take up his ragged old back-pack holding his meager belongings and walk

    into the city, to see what he might find to help him survive another day.

    Here came Mrs. O’Shaunesy. She loved the peaceful bench with its calmness at

    the beginning of the day and, as soon as she’d poured and drank her cup of tea

    and had a crumpet, she came to sit on the bench. She’d arrived one day early

    enough to see Mortimer pat its surface and say 'So long Mr. Bench' and so, she

    began to call the bench by that name also. Her name might have been O’Shaunesy,

    but she liked the informality of being simply ‘Rosie’, so Rosie she became, in the

    old bench's mind. She told the bench all about her Mr. Henry O’Shaunesy

    and what a wonderful life they’d shared together. There were six children

    born to them scattered all over the map. Each had wanted her to come to live

    with them, when he’d passed away, but she’d smiled and said ‘no’. This was her

    home and it was here she'd stay. At last they’d quit asking and just visited when

    they could.

    The bench felt almost as if it knew each one, from the stories Rosie shared.

    Sometimes she’d take out a harmonica and blow a note or two from it. It had

    belonged to her Henry. She missed the happy tap,
    tapping, signals it had always
    sent into her old feet. Henry had been gone for a
    long time and sometimes Rosie
    got lonely. “Oh well, Mr. Bench, it’s happy I am, to be able to rest on such a fine

    bench as you." Some days she stayed long enough to watch the children arrive

    with their mothers, to play ball, or other games.

    It was then she’d pat the bench lovingly and shuffle away, giving up her seat

    to the mothers to visit on, as they watched their children play. The bench loved

    the laughter coming from the children and missed it when winter came and kissed

    the grassy surface beneath it with a layer of snow. That's when the laughter

    stopped, because the children played inside in the warmth of a roaring fire in

    the fireplace.

    There was Pete. The bench worried as much as a bench was able to, about Pete.
    It guessed it worried more about him, than all its other visitors. Pete had come

    there on a late afternoon one day almost a month ago. “Well, Mr. Bench, I just

    got done with my job and I don’t know where, or when, I’ll get another one.

    My Mary’s going to be having a baby and the doctors
    thinking it might be twins.
    What am I going to do? Just what am I going to do? What kind of man am I,

    that I can’t take care of my family?” A tear had fallen, as Pete had laid his head

    down on the beaches back and soaked into its fiber, followed by another and

    yet more. Finally, he’d drawn a deep breath, wiped his eyes dry and said
    good-bye to the old bench. “Gotta face up to it all and tell my Mary. Thanks

    for listening, Mr. Bench.” And, with his head still slightly bent from this new

    weight on him, Pete had walked away.

    He’d come back from time to time and shared more talk with the bench. He had

    apologized for the tears, thinking perhaps he had not been so manly to do that,

    but then he hadn’t felt like much of a man at the time. His Mary had suggested

    she could take on some ironing and maybe do a bit of hand sewing. Pete was sad

    that he couldn’t even get his sweet Mary an inexpensive sewing machine. He never

    stayed long, for he was tired, as day after day, he’s walked the streets looking

    for work.

    On day a soldier had come and sat for a bit. He was just passing by and saw the

    bench in the clearing. He’d been hitch-hiking his way home. He was on leave

    from his assignment in a far away country. The bench made him think of home and

    a park much like this one. The bench listened respectfully as the young man spoke

    with such love about his family. “Sure love this country” he’d said. He’d taken a

    few steps to one of the medium sized trees that surrounded the clearing.

    Taking out a pocket knife, he’d carved ‘God Bless The U.S.A.’ on it.

    He smiled upon his work and gave it a salute, before returning to sit a few

    moments more on the bench. He rose saying “Hope others enjoy time here as

    much as I have. I have to get going. Traffic has picked up and it might be a

    good time to catch a ride.” The soldier also patted the benches surface and

    walked away. The bench wished it might see the young man return some day

    to visit again. He wished he had the ability to have given him a hug and wished

    him well. Could the bench have done so, it would have smiled, for no sooner

    had the soldier left, then along came Shaun McDonald to visit a spell.

    The bench enjoyed Shaun for he always wore a smile. Unlike Rosie who could

    not play a harmonica, Shaun McDonald could and often spent nearly an hour

    talking and playing, before going on to whatever passed for him ahead.

    You never knew when he’d show up, but the bench looked forward to having him


    Pete was back. This time he wore a smile. “Can’t stay long old bench.

    I have spent so much time in the comfort of sitting here and being able to talk

    about everything, that I had to share the good news with you. Mr. Matthews,

    down at the general store, told me about a construction business opening up in

    town. He’d heard they were looking for workers. Gosh, Mr. Bench. They hired

    me. It’s at least a forty hour a week job that pays good and has benefits.

    They’ll pay the insurance for the babies when its time for them to be born.

    Yes, Mr. Bench. We are having twins. Isn’t that wonderful? Mary’s going to

    be so happy. I can’t take her out to celebrate, but when I get me that first

    paycheck, I’m taking that pretty wife of mine out for a fine meal.

    I’m a happy man. I have to go, Mr. Bench. I’ll be back. I’ll keep you up to date

    on everything. Maybe one of these days, my kids will be coming here to play

    catch with me and you can share it all. I won’t forget you! Bye.” As oftentimes

    happen, Shaun and Rosie happened upon the bench at the same time and began

    to share conversations. Shaun would talk and laugh and play the harmonica.

    Before you knew it, they’d joined together in an older persons version of an
    Irish-Jig. The bench wished it could join in, but try as hard as it could, it was

    unable to lift itself up off the ground. It
    could enjoy the sight however, and
    enjoy it, it did.

    Shaun McDonald took Rosie by the arm now. “Come on, old girl. You just hang

    onto me and we’ll have ourselves a nice walk this lovely afternoon. Bye, Mr. Bench”

    Off they went with barely a backward look. It didn’t matter to the bench.

    It knew they’d be back. It was a good thing to be a bench and even though it

    could neither walk, nor talk, it knew it was a part of things that somehow made

    life better.

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  2. #2
    Super Member sewellie's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Southern Idaho
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    So nice!!! Never though much about a bench, but I think I"ll watch for one. Happy thoughts to you Ms. Word.

    It takes real skill to choke on air, fall upstairs and trip over completely nothing .... I have that skill!!!

    My plate may be full, but my cup runneth over with blessings.

  3. #3
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Northern California
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    Thanks dear sewellie, and I'm glad you liked my story. A friend sent me the picture and it inspired the story. Hugs to you and yours.

    Vickey Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by sewellie View Post
    So nice!!! Never though much about a bench, but I think I"ll watch for one. Happy thoughts to you Ms. Word.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Huntsville, AL
    What a beautiful story. I could see it all in my mind; lovely characters.

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Oct 2011
    dallas tx.
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    I always enjoy your stories so much. You are very creative. nice

  6. #6
    Senior Member nana20010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    selmer tn
    that was a sweet story like to read the story's u write

  7. #7
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Northern California
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    Thanks so much for those wonderful replies. A friend sent me the picture of the bench and it inspired me to write this particular story. Any of you that want to be on a list my friend keeps for me (she adds graphics and music to my words...sending the finishing version of my writing ... out as an e-mail. Her name is Ann ) just contact me with a request and I'll send your request on to Ann. She's always happy to add a new name to my 'friends of Vickey' list for my writings.

    [email protected]

    Vickey Stamps

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