Part of a Scene That’s Getting Cut from My Novel

Should I still bother posting about writing now that I cut the ties to LiveJournal? Here’s hoping C06 is still in the house. I’m still (technically) working on my war novel, as I will be from now until I either finish it or die. Or just stop working on it. Came back across this scene and it still seems like a shame it’s getting cut. This is what I get for not knowing what my story is about before starting it.

Tja. Enjoy it maybe. I’ll miss it.

Dave shined his penlight on the mountain of olive drab sea bags piled against the storage bay bulkhead. He didn’t see his name, but his bag must be buried in there somewhere. He switched off the penlight and felt for a bag, grabbed onto it, then threw it against the far wall. It landed with a heavy sigh and he reached for another bag, picked it up, and threw it.

Dave’s clothes stuck to him. He took off his undershirt and listened for footsteps outside the hold: there was nothing but the thrum of the ship’s engines. He rolled up the shirt and wedged it into his pants at the small of his back, then grabbed another seabag off the pile and threw it toward the opposite wall. He picked up another and threw it, then another, which rattled when it hit the ground. Then Dave pulled his penlight back out of his pocket and waved it across the pile. Still didn’t see his name.

The room smelled like mildew and Dave’s own sweat, a drop of which dripped onto his upper lip. He blew upward at it until it flew off his face, then set his penlight onto the deck. He picked up the next bag and tossed it aside, then the next, then the next, then the next, then — there it was. In the circle of light he saw his name stenciled white in the mass of green: PFC. DAVID A. WOOLFORD.

Dave wrestled his bag out of the pile, then heard voices outside the hatch. He dropped the bag, fell to the deck, picked up the penlight, switched it off. He scooted into the pile of seabags, pulled his on top of himself, and waited.

First Voice: “…been gambling dirty since they been on board.”

Second Voice: “I’ll be glader’n hell to get their green asses off our boat.”

Their footsteps stopped outside the hatch.

“Don’t gotta say that twice.” The first voice paused and Dave smelled cigarette smoke. “But hell, much as I hate ‘em, them boys could all be dead tomorrow, y’know?”

The second voice had a soft drawl to it. “Well better them than us.”

“Ah, that’s low.” Dave imagined the sailor pulling a draw from his cig. “Some of them got mommas too, y’know.”

“The hell?” the second said. “Marines got mommas?”

The smoke smelled like Camels. Dave hadn’t smelled Camel smoke since New River and the scent left him yearning for the swamp.

“Well,” the first said. “Thems as got mommas, I’ll feel bad for. ‘Cept thems as’s been cheatin’ at cards.”

“I’ll drink to that,” the second said.

“Yeah? Whatcha gonna drink?”

“I got a stash o’ beers in engineering.”

“No shit?”

“No shit. You comin’?”

“Don’t gotta ask me twice.”

Their footsteps clanked across the steel deck away from the storage bay.

Likewise clanking,

bkd

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