A Piece that is Broken

This was the last prompt in last Wednesday group. I had no idea where I was going when I started and ended up with this piece. The prompt was ‘A Piece that is Broken.”


A Piece that is Broken

I can weave words together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. I can connect nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Thoughts just come to me, I start with a word than a sentence appears before you know it I have a few paragraphs in a blink of an eye a few pages are completed.

I started writing about the day my brother came home from Viet Nam. It was a very touching day. I forgot to breathe when I first saw him. He had only one leg, half an arm and half his smooth face was burnt beyond recognition. I was afraid to look at him. But he was . . . is my brother, could you imagine. He looked different, even acted different. Yet he was still the boy that left for an eighteen month tour with the US Marine Corps and returned ten months later, half a man.

To say he was angry, sad and full of hopelessness doesn’t even come close to describe how he felt. He hardly ate, rarely left his room. He refused to see his old friends that came to visit. He didn’t go out, not even to sit alone in the back yard. He just sat in his dark room, staring at his trophy wall from high school. Like he was trying to find the person he once was.

I’ll never forget that quiet night mom, dad and I were  sitting in the living room watching Laugh-in. The pop was loud, a distinctive sound it was. The three of us ran to my brother’s room. I will never forget the vision I saw. My brother took his service weapon and sucked a bullet into his head.

Now a week later I’ve been sitting here for the past few hours, with a fresh piece of paper and pen in front of me. Trying to write my brother’s damned obituary. I end up crumbling up  page after page. The words won’t come and when they do they aren’t good enough. How can I write about the happier times in his life when all I see are his brains, bones and blood splattered on his faded Jimi Hendrix poster?

13 thoughts on “A Piece that is Broken

  1. This was extremely hard for me to read once I realized what it was about. My fiance came home bought a new mustang I thought life was good one night he drove up to the Rosedale Arch and killed himself the same way. My oldest brother reupped and went back to ‘nam for a second tour he was over there eight months the first time the second time three weeks then he came home for good, he is buried at the Leavenworth VA cemetery, His name John Jenkins.

    1. I’m sorry this brought back bad memories. My brother did return from Nam. He had a metal plate in his head and was shot in his leg. He received the purple heart. He was never the same. He ended up with MS and died a few months before his fortith birthday. I think he stopped taking his blood pressure mere because he hemorrhaged. The story is fiction but I do remember the era well.

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