The first line of the first story was my first initial take, though initially I had the second story sort of in mind. Then I wrote the first story and posted it. Done. Then I thought, why not pursue the first idea with a second story. That’s my story. Take two.
“It was the first war that was viewed at home on television,” she explained, her hand on her husband’s knee, looking at him while addressing the grandchildren. “It was just awful seeing the footage, seeing the appalling happenings over there and the horrible events here in the states.”
“Granma, what was so horrible about people here protesting for peace, speaking out against the killing?”
“Men like your grandfather deserved a better homecoming than the one they got, they deserved a country more grateful and thankful for their service.”
“Ha, listen to her go on, like she’s forgetting how she met your ol’ Granpa.”
They both grew silent as they remembered how their friends and families had protested the relationship that blossomed between the returned soldier and the outspoken young woman who had demonstrated so passionately against the war he’d been called to serve in.
“The first Iraq War, with the first Bush president… your grandfather was over there and I was here, watching those scuds and night raids and fires on the television.”
Her granddaughter listened, rapt, but her grandson was wrapped up in his phone, playing a scaled down version of his favorite video game, still sulking that he was trapped in a house that didn’t have gaming devices.
“I’ve seen some of that old footage, it’s not very realistic,” the boy offered, obviously listening after all.
“How can you say that, you idiot, it was actual television footage, filmed live for goodness sake. Granma, I don’t understand how the world could see a war on their televisions, right in their own homes, and continue to have wars after seeing that.”
Unblinking, her grandson snorted derisively at his sister’s naïve comment, not once looking up from his phone, his thumbs clicking wildly.