Skip to main content

Howard's Boys


     "Look!  It's a girl!"
     I felt my cheeks flush as the cry spread across the barracks.  But I held my head high.  I wasn't about to let a bunch of boys deter me from seeing my Howard.
     The rush of soldiers, running toward me like roaches away from a light, nearly changed my mind.  I rubbed my palms nervously against my dress and looked around for a safe direction to flee.  But the first boy reached me and screeched to a stop, holding out his hand like a gentleman.
      "You're Howard's girl, aren't you?"
     He caught my eye as he spoke, but it was his words that paused my flight.  Howard's name has some sort of power over me, like a password into my heart.  It has always been that way, since I first had a crush on him in the third grade.  So, instead of running, I slipped my little white hand into the big one suspended in front of me.
     "Jameson Whartead, but you can call me Jamie."  He introduced himself, shaking my hand at the same frequency as you would shake a doorknocker.
     The rest of the boys reached us.  I held my head even higher, feeling like a fawn surrounded by wolves.  But my mind grasped at the name offered.
      "Jamie..." I pulled my hand free of his grasp.  Suddenly the face in front of me connected with a series of wild stories.  My imagination quickly settled that this was the man who pranked every single soldier in the barracks.  "I believe Howard mentioned you in his letters."
     "Sure he did!  Howard and I are best buds!"  His grin spread from ear to ear, and from the twinkle in his eyes, I knew I wasn't mistaken in his identification.  He turned from side to side, nodding at the other boys.  "In fact, we're probably all in Howard's letters."  He threw his arm over my shoulder and spun me to face the crowd.  "There's Robert and Walt, Cranky and JimBo, Liam and Kenneth,..."
      The names were familiar, and I felt myself relaxing.  The faces surrounding mine were friendly.  These were Howard's boys.  The ones I had heard about every week. They were young, these boys.  If it weren't for the war, most of them would still be on their mama's farm or settled down with a sweetheart just down the road from where they grew up.  My heart yearned for them, wishing I could bring some taste of home to them.
     "Howard will be back an-y min-ute," Jamie drew the words out, punctuating them with promise.  "Now you just sit down over here, and we'll keep you company until he gets back."
     Two boys offered me their arms, and I took both of them.  "Thank you, boys."  I smiled shyly around the group.  "Now tell me about yourselves."
     "Oh, you don't want to know about us."  One of the boys pulled his cap off and placed it sideways on his head.  "We ought to tell you what a swell chap Howard is."
     "I already know that.  But you can if you like."  I took my seat, and the lot of them swarmed into position around me, close enough to suffocate a girl.  But, somehow, I didn't mind anymore.  They were as dear to me as my own brothers.
     Because they were Howard's now.
     My Howard's boys.

Comments

  1. Awwwww!!! Such a sweet story!! I have seen the picture before and I love this interpretation of it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Their camaraderie is so sweet!!! And "password into my heart" - I loved that part; I like Howard already and I never even met him :)
    Love this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this so much!!! Howard sounds like a swell guy. =)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I'm sorry I didn't have time to introduce him directly to you in the story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, another good story! It's really sweet, the relationship with Howard's boys. I like how you also gave hints of what Howard was like, without actually describing him, or having him appear in the story.
    In case you didn't know, you write really well. :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post by Emily!

Character Creation by Emily Ann Putzke
My character in Ain’t We Got Fun is Georgiana (Gi) Rowland, the older sister of Bess. Their family is struggling during the Great Depression, so Gi takes off for NYC to make a fortune and help them out. The sisters recount their adventures, joys and heartaches to each other. My co-author, Emily Chapman, and I wrote this story in letter form in January. Our characters are very different people! Here are a 5 things that helped me bring Gi to life, and give her a personality that’s all her own.
1.  Give Your Characters Flaws None of us are perfect, so our characters shouldn't be either. Gi is a fun, loyal, light hearted girl with big dreams. But she has a flaw that she struggles with throughout the entire story. Pride. She’s very stubborn, independent, and doesn’t want anything from anybody.
2. Use That Flaw to Stretch and Change Your Character Pride gets Gi in quite a few scrapes. Throughout AWGF, she’s constantly battling with it. Everytime she thi…

Is that a catastrophe happening, way over yonder?

The next scene in my story is meant to be an important one.  Readers get to meet the dwarves in their own evil lair.  My heroine is tormented for their selfish purposes.  Big scene.

     But when I started writing it, it looked incredibly detached and boring.  "Yeah, look over there.  See those dwarves by the table?  They are tormenting our heroine.  Very sad.  The cottage is cute, though."  The scene just wasn't working.  And my story has been sitting in stasis awaiting inspiration.

     Last night, I flopped on the floor to daydream and snuggle my dog.  For a while, I let my mind wander here and there.  But gradually I came to my senses and realized that the first thing I felt on "awaking" was the hard floor.

     Suddenly, I was Moriah, regaining consciousness.  Hard floor.  Noises.  Light.  Hands on my hair.  And the scene came alive for me.  I could hardly wait to get up and start writing again.

     So, if your scene is too detached, try lying on the…

Rooglewood Countdown: 9 1/2 weeks: Why Yours?

Yep, time is picking up speed.  Especially since I have other things to keep me busy.
     Here is my questions for you today: what makes your story special?  In the comments below, I want you to finish this sentence "It's a Snow White story, but..."  Did you change the setting?  Is Snow White the ugliest in all the land?  How did you swap out the elements of your story to make it unique?