The Tempest

–A Time Of Letters, Love, And War

The tempest was moving across the sky like something evil, dark, volatile, and dangerous.  The winds were hurried and swirling across the deserted railroad tracks shaking the car as if it were a toy the wind would play with and then discard.  She met a soldier at the café she worked at in the mornings.  He flirted with her and told her she was beautiful.  With that uniform and the bonus that he was a captain, she was interested.  They had agreed to meet in this desolate place, a place the world had forsaken to waste away.  It was a lone stretch of dirt road that ran from highway 501 to the Dunes Cove.

He was from Boston and she a quiet southern girl raising her brother and sisters for the last few years.  She worked three jobs just to buy food and clothing for the lot of them.  She had made the hard sacrifices when there was no one else. The girls were older now and working, her brother found a farm for sale and moved back to the country, got married, and had a boy and another one on the way.

Her brother was not happy with the man she was dating. He came from a well-off family from up north.  Boston was a place that he could not even imagine.  Jacob was stationed at the base in town training and waiting to go to war in the pacific.  He was an officer, and she was totally enchanted with him.  She put on her best white summer dress and hitched a ride to the abandoned set of tracks behind the base by the old dirt road.  Jacob had hired a preacher to marry them, and it seemed that the tempest would mark her wedding; a sign of things to come yet nothing in her world was more important now than becoming his wife and having someone take care of her.  She would embrace the tempest.

The dark skies had finally unleashed the rain in a torrent mixed with blowing winds and lightning.  It was as if they had awakened the gods giving their blessing, but in the end, they would ask for something back.  They spent a single night together a lifetime of love squeezed into twenty-four hours and then she would not see him for almost two years.  The goodbyes were painful, and the tears were unstoppable.  He reaches down and takes her hand and kisses the ring, a diamond-like none other she had seen in her sheltered life. He took her hand, and he kissed the ring saying I will come home.  I will find my way back home, back to you.

They did have many good years after the war.  They lived for a while in Japan, and she was the most beautiful officer’s wife he had ever seen.  She used to dress up when she was a child, and her sisters would always ask where are you going?  She would smile and say I am going out dancing.

Later in her life, Jacob would put on some Glenn Miller and they would dance the night away.  In the end, she had a good life.

I found this letter in a desk that my aunt left for me when she passed. It was dated 1944 and I never knew who it was that she met that dark stormy night, but I learned so much from her, no matter what life gave her she considered it a blessing.  She changed what she could and embraced the things she couldn’t change but knowing her she would make some adjustments. The memories of someone’s life will always have lessons to give us. It was a time of letters, love, and war.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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