He was in country four months when the letter came. He read it again out back of the radio shack. Down the hill afternoon sunlight glinted off the flooded paddies. They were everywhere and he wondered if he’d ever get used to the smell. He took a deep breath, tore the letter to pieces, and tossed it into the wind.
That night, after the bars closed, he missed curfew and bartered his wedding ring to stay in the village. Before dawn, on a pallet in a tiny hooch, the girl moved against him again. He felt instant rage.
“Don’t touch me,” he said.
Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country. He edits Camroc Press Review and is coauthor of Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II. His shorter work has been published widely, both online and in print. His latest flash collection is Wince.