August 1941

August 1941

My Dearest Martha,

I wanted to find some letterhead but Fitzsimmons took the last one and said I didn’t deserve it because he beat me in darts last week. Anyway, I wanted to write to you one last time while I was still on American soil. It’s been quite a dreary couple of days. The clouds have come in and don’t want to leave. Fitzsimmons and I attended a motion picture called The Little Lady, starring Mary Pickford*. He wanted to see Straight Shooting, but I’m not one for Westerns. It was a good film, but featured the war, so that did little to ease my nerves.

I’ve been given a handful of supplies, but I assume more once we reach Europe. Things have been rather hectic here. It’s near impossible to get a straight answer from Corp. Winters. People are shipped in and out every day. Now that it’s my turn, I can’t say I’ve grown attached to the place. Men can be rather filthy and I miss the pristine touch of a woman. We could use a few homemakers to get things tidied up and organized. But as you know, war is no place for the fairer sex, and I’ll rest much easier knowing you’re safe.

There’s been something I’ve been hesitant to mention, but now that it’s about time to go I had better just come out with it. I want to marry you, Martha. Writing that just gave me pinch in the stomach like going up high in a ferris wheel. I’m sorry for not having the guts to say this to your face, but please wait for me. (Can you believe it, doll? 2 pages!) When I come back we’ll get married and get our own house. I’ll get a job and provide for us and make a flock of children. You’d make a wonderful mother, Martha. Fitzsimmons agrees. (That simp has been looking over my shoulder without my knowledge.)

So what do you say, Martha? When I come home, will you be my bride?

With much love and hope,


P.S. Tell lots of people to write.

* There is no movie entitled The Little Lady starring Mary Pickford. We believe the author of this letter meant, The Little American.

This is the first post of flash fiction week IV. Tomorrow: Matt Ellen.

Steven E. Athay is an aspiring story designer and connoisseur of all things awesome. Follow him on Twitter at @steveneathay, or read his blog Afflatus.


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