Cold War Short Short Stories (100 words or less)
Navy Boot Camp, 1947
He was a Georgia cracker, a redneck. What could you expect? A nigger is a nigger and that is what he called him. Just recently the company commander had lectured about Truman’s executive order that said discrimination would no longer allowed in the armed services. Maybe the Georgia cracker didn’t believe that, but the nigger did and he picked up a bottle of ink and flung it, hit the cracker on the side of his head, knocked him dizzy. Then what happened? We never saw the cracker again and guess they told the nigger to be careful what he threw
The bus rolls to a stop, I get on, sit right behind the driver. I, the only negro in the class, just completed a year’s training to be an aviation electronics technician at the Memphis Navy Air Training Center. Being in the top ten percent I graduated as a petty officer second class. More passengers going to Memphis get on as it moves through the training center. The bus reaches the main gate. The driver turns and looks at me, says, “You have to move to the back of the bus now.” I move to the back of the bus.
Chosen Reservoir 1950
Damn, must be twenty below, so many cloths I can’t find my pisser and I’m still freezing. Chinese everywhere, small arms fire from everywhere. It should be getting light soon and the attack should end. I hunker down in my shallow hole. My mind wanders—ponders my escape from that Dakota farm; a world to see, to experience. There is a scream, “Medic, medic!” A mortar round shakes my hole! I hold the M1 in my frozen hands. I rise up; fire my rifle into the darkness. Maybe milking cows wasn’t all that bad.
War Torn City Recovers 1950
Two American Marines recovering from wounds wander a Tokyo market, a short break from the horrors of war on the Korean Peninsula.
Tokyo bustles, factories hum; making cigarette lighters out of GI discarded beer cans, half price Leica knock offs, the world’s finest china.
Two women stand out. One; a young woman, beautiful as many young oriental women are, a face like porcelain with fine features, a tiny but full body. Beside her: an older version of herself. Both are dressed stylishly in shades of blue.
The older woman approaches the marines, “You like daughter, only 3,000 yen, all night.”
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station 1951
Four Navy Patrol planes stopped at Whidbey Island to practice some ground control approaches before flying the northern route via Alaska to Japan. In the evening two crew members visited the enlisted men’s club, noticed quite a number of unattached women. They talked to a couple of them. They said their husband’s patrol squadron had just deployed for a six month tour in the Philippines. They wanted to know if the men wanted to go into town where there were some swinging bars.Said they enjoyed these deployments but the time seemed too short.
Did You Bring Any Mail?
A navy patrol plane based in the Philippine leaves to patrol the Chines coast. Its destination is Kadina Okinawa. They carry a package of mail for the Okinawa ground crew. Off Shanghai the plane develops engine trouble. They feather one engine and as they approach Kadina their good engine begins to lose power.
It is night and violent storms envelope Kadina. Ground Control Approach shouts:You’re low, Abort!!! Impossible, the plane can only descend. Somehow the plane bounces and stops on the runway and is towed to its parking pad where a ground crew member asks, ““Did Ya bring any mail?”
Copyright © 2015 by Alfred Wellnitz
All rights reserved. No part of these short short stories may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in these short short stories are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.