First draft Lives of the dead (1) (1)

A family happy and smiling and together its all

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joke. A family, happy and smiling and together, it’s all anyone wants. But I was not destined to have such a family; I was not blessed. Pain and suffering and charades, these were my family. “No.” “Well uh, I got myself a little girl. Her mother was sleeping around, ran off with some guy in a biker gang. She stays with my brother when I'm on base, that's where she would have been...” He was cut off by the loudspeaker announcing that we should report to barracks for sleep. Durey and I said goodnight as we walked to our barracks. I laid on the cot, in a room full of people cowering together like scared little rabbits, and stared out the window. There are bars on the window. I slept soundly. The loudspeaker says it’s time to wake up. I wake up. The loudspeaker says it’s time to eat. I eat. The loudspeaker says it’s time to work. I work. The loudspeaker says it’s time to relax. I relax. The loudspeaker says it’s time to walk. I walk. The loudspeaker says it’s time to work out. I work out. The loudspeaker says it’s time to read. I read. The loudspeaker says it’s time to speak. I speak. The loudspeaker says it’s time to listen. I listen. The loudspeaker says it’s time to think. I think. The loudspeaker says it’s time to love. I love. The loudspeaker says it’s time to suffer. I suffer. The loudspeaker says it’s time to sleep. I sleep. The loudspeaker tells me it’s safe. I am safe. The loudspeaker says it’s time to live. Each day for weeks, and weeks, this was my life. I was content; the structure was relieving, like a weight had been lifted from my mind. I talked to Durey about the world, about the fort, about what work duty I pulled from the lottery this week. Durey liked to talk about his daughter. The things she liked to do, the shows she liked to watch, the games she liked to play. He told me all about her. How they lived, and how he missed her. I was jealous of him. I realized I didn't even have that; you can't miss what never was. One day he came up to me, he was excited and nervous. “Meet me behind the south barracks
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after nightfall tonight.” I was a bit confused, “Why would we do that Durey?” “Please it's important please just trust me.” “Alright Durey, I'll be there.” I went about my day as usual, and when the sun set I met Private Durey behind the southern barracks. “So Durey, what's the deal?” “I need your help.” I was about to speak but he just shook he head, “Just listen, I got a call from my daughter. She said my brother went out to find food the other day but never came back. She found a cell phone in one of his jacket pockets. He must have turned it off to save the battery, no electricity out there. Well she turned it on and called me. She's at my brother’s house, and she's alive, we have to go get her.” “You mean leave the fort? Besides the obvious how of this insane operation, which I'm sure you'll address later, I have to ask if you even know what you're saying? Here we are safe and taken care of, we don't fear or want and you want to go out into that world? Besides let’s say we get out, how do we
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  • Spring '11
  • Benavides
  • Max, 2007 singles, If You Have to Ask, Private Durey

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Christopher Reinemann
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