My Teenage Idol and Strangers (short fiction)

Teen Age Idol

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

When young I was obsessed with sports. I came to admire Ohio State’s three-time all-American basketball player Jerry Lucas. At the time he epitomized what an athlete should be. He was a fierce competitor, but you never saw it. He played basketball emotionless and effortlessly. He was unselfish and seemed uncomfortable with being in the limelight.

If you wish to know more about this fascinating man I’ve provided some links:

Here is my short story for the day.


It was over and nothing remained, but fear. No rifle fire. No mortars. No artillery. Moans and pain rose from the ground like mist from a bog. Wind passed through the grass. Helicopters beat in the distance and becoming louder with each beat. There were the unintelligible tangled words and confusion of medics tending to the wounded.

Wade was lifted onto a stretcher. Blood covered him from head to toe. His head tuned to his left as the head of the man in the stretcher next to him turned right.

They looked at each other in total despair and helplessness.

“It looks like the war is over for us,” Wade said to sooth them both.

“My name is Glen Franklin,” he said to Wade. “I’m not going to make it. Find my mom and dad and tell them my last thoughts were of them and I’m not in pain.”

Wade looked away. It was his own life that he was unsure of. Than he looked back. “My name is Wade Simmons, neither of us are going to make it. We will die on the same day.”

Their stretchers were picked up moments later and they were medevaced to Saigon.

It was forty years later Wade was on a moving walkway at Chicago’s O’Hare. Next to him a moving walkway moved toward him. He looked ahead – strangers. There are faces one never forgets. The joy of a child. The smile of a pretty girl. The look of horror. The look of approval. The look of love, The look of hate. The face of man dying.

Coming toward him was the face of Glen Franklin. His eyes looked away and suddenly back to Wade. In an instant the smell of the residue of battle came to his senses and the sound of helicopter approaching.

“Wade Simmons,” Glen said.

“Glen Franklin,” Wade said.

“We made it,” Glen said.

As they passed Glen turned. “Thanks for visiting my mom and dad.”




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