One paragraph story... August 6 edition

Joey was telling me about Army Boots while we pushed our bikes up Conrad hill. How she had fallen in love with one of the American soldiers that had come to Rupert back in World War II. How he took her out dancing, and told her he would marry her, and be with her forever, and all that stuff. How she fought with her parents on being with him, and how everyone called her names for hanging with the Army men, let alone the Americans. How her Dad used to hit her, and lock her out of the house, and how sometimes she would be found asleep on the stoop of her house. She was sure positive this love was one of them movie loves, and soon she would be taken back to the U.S. and be Mrs. Whatever his name was. But once the war was over the Americans were gone so fast that she barely made it to the dock to see his ship set off in the harbour. Joey said he heard that she waded out in the chuck- she was gonna swim after him, she was sure he just got whisked away so fast that he just forgot, and once he saw her from one of the port holes he’d stop the boat and bring her on board. He never did. The other men on the deck laughed at her, called her names, and threw things at her like she was no one. Some guy, Joey said he heard, threw a pair of boots at her- shoelaces tied together. They hit her and she dropped in the water face down and someone had to jump down and lift her up. Her eyes were deep black and her sockets red with tears, and salt water. The story was she grabbed them boots that hit her, and with her dress clinging to her like skin, she walked home. She used the boots to smash the window on the door of her parents house, and never left. When we reached the top of the hill, Joey and I jumped on our bikes and coasted down, and turned on 9th Ave and he stopped, pointed at a small place, with a large fence. It was where Army Boots loved. He said she had land mines in her yard, and never came out- not ever. That she never loved again, and when her parents died, never went to their funeral, and just stayed home with them horrible boots that hit her sitting under her bed- waiting for that American to take her back. We rode off to to Henry’s B-Y Market for a Rocket Popsicle and I was sure I saw the curtains move. Sure of it as the nose on my face. I didn't tell Joey, though. He was already on to other pressing matters, and soon enough so was I- like how Darth Vader got burned, and whether the Dukes of Hazard would be a rerun this week. But I always remembered Army Boots and her story- even if it might not be true, I told it to everyone I know so maybe it could be. And maybe, I hoped, he did come back to her. Maybe.

James C.