Jefferson Causley had blown out of town like frost on a fallen fall leaf taken along for the ride. So today sitting staring at a large cup of coffee of grandiose nature some forty years later it came as a peculiarity to him that the life he had led until today suddenly was nothing more than mere drizzle on a greyhound bus window slipping away in a fog. His thoughts cemented in focus and unwavering on that one leap of faith he had taken all those years ago. The day he left town; unannounced, unwanted and unnoticed. He had departed without any hold him downs. No special sweetheart. No family longingly looking out of windows of a cherished homestead lamenting his departure. Had he died at almost anytime since; say in combat or murdered in a bus station. Had he been discovered in an unmarked grave alongside the road there would have been no window for a gold star, no doorstep to read a telegram upon or dentist knowledgeable enough to compare dental records to. Let alone a person’s memory to jog regarding the boy who used to live behind the library on Oak Street. So hours later when he found himself getting off of a bus in his long lost hometown the feeling of apprehension was not because of who might see and recognize him but of the fact he was sure no one would. He had read once you can never go home again, but the fact he had no home to go back to made him feel that anywhere he wanted to go would be a new place; ever never home again. Beginnings and endings are hopelessly tied together with middles. Little middles make for closer relationships to the past; longer ones of course do not.

The daily meeting of astrological signs came to order and once properly aligned according to their stars each were passed out their daily horoscope. Aries who arrived grumpy and all full of airs felt a bit better after reading hers; you should have no problem living out your fantasies today, a helpmate was in her future and she was tired of going it alone. Taurus as bullish as ever was urged to keep his feet on the ground and not give an inch so he took Virgo’s croissant without asking. Gemini eyeing for a fight saw the whole thing but held back; contemplating what would happen if he did. Cancer discovered she was about to join a new group and excited; it had been a while! Leo was down because as usual he had been rearranging furniture on a sinking ship. Tomorrow looked better but not by much. Virgo was on a spending frenzy and needed to real it in even though those new shoes did look so pretty. Libra was playing games again and the jig was just about up so she was thinking maybe a little social networking might be in order. Scorpio was feeling the need to be a little creative and tired of the same old stuff. Sagittarius needed to get more organized or reap the consequences of being all-over the place. Capricorn was in a rut. New friends were on the verge of showing her some really far out stuff and as usual she was somewhat apprehensive about their proposals. Aquarius was confused after learning some new facts that she felt made her weary of some steadfast truths gone wrong. Pisces was beside herself; worried that her newfound enthusiasm might get her in trouble with old friends. The meeting ended with a big bang.

Bowie Crawford was soaked down to his skivvies. His uniform weighed at least thirty pounds more wet and thankfully he carried on him a wet dry pouch for a couple of letters, his lighter and smokes so they were still dry. One of the letters, “ the just in case letter,” had gotten caught in the zipper when he checked the pouch for moisture but the little tear on the bottom right corner was no big thing. Sitting down on his cot he pulled off the wet uniform pants and untied boots and saw two engorged squirming blood sucking pieces of shit leaches on his ankle and quickly burned them off with the lighted end of his cigarette before smashing them with his boot. Lying back across the dry cot his mind drifted away from jungle patrols to picket fences back on the farm. Home sweet home is never sweeter then when you are in a place like this. “ Crawford, get your goddam ass off that cot!” shouted a voice from the barracks doorway. Immediately rising to attention Bowie came back to reality as the voice boomed, “ Mail call in twenty. If you got em smoke em; we move out in two hours. “ The thought of going back on patrol turned his stomach. He had heard rumors and he had heard so many as of late that the war might be over soon. No one wanted to be the last one left over here and staying put was the safest thing for any of them. Reaching into the pouch he pulled out the one letter he never wanted to be sent home and just starred at it before tapping his left leg with it. “ You stay in the pouch. Show you to my grandson someday!”

 

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Geo 299's are works of fiction all in just 299 words. Most stories are stand alone, but sometimes three or four are linked together by a topic that has more story to tell. Feel free to comment and share with your friends. grantman
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