A Waltons Story
(The Waltons Fan Fiction)
By: Kristi N. Zanker
Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters, settings, etc. are the property of Lorimar Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. I, in no way am associated with the owners, creators, or producers of The Waltons. No copyright infringement is intended.
The neighborhood looked the same. It was as if he’d never left. Had it only been nearly a year since he began writing for the Stars and Stripes newspaper? Yes, only a year. John-Boy slowly walked down the street he lived on, trying to grasp everything. He wanted to surprise Daisy, who had no idea of his short homecoming. Lucky, he thought to himself. The men who hadn’t received enough points had to stay and train for war—again—this time in the Pacific. He felt blessed to have a week off from his assignment. He didn’t really know what his next assignment would be. The war in Europe was over. It had been over for nearly three months now. The August sun beat down on him as he stood at the end of the stoop, contemplating whether to climb the steps or not.
He thought back to the last time he stood before this building. It had been the day he left for his assignment overseas. The taxi had idled in the street while he captured a sentimental moment with his wife and Melissa. It seemed like an eternity ago. It had only been a year since he left. And yet, the world seemed to be a different place. Blue and Gold Stars hung in many windows on their street. People walked the streets just as they had before. Cars rode down like before, but everything was different. He didn’t feel like he did before he left. He felt like he was fifty years old.
Three little girls ran past him down the sidewalk, each pulling a jump rope behind them. One of the girls looked like Melissa. John-Boy didn’t say hello, he didn’t want to interrupt the fun with her friends. The curly blonde girl was slightly taller and her hair tumbled to her waist. A braid winded its way down her back, as she ran. He wondered if Daisy had fixed her hair like that. He took one step at a time.
After the first door shut behind him, John-Boy realized he did not have a key. He had given it to Daisy before he left. He rang the bell and then heard footsteps. He saw as his wife came down the stairs, with a flashing grin on her face. She opened the door and pulled him inside. Once they were up the flight of stairs, John-Boy gave her big hug, and then kissed her tenderly. They were so preoccupied with one another that they did not hear their neighbor say "excuse me,” for they were blocking the door. They both looked up and smiled.
“Was that Melissa out there playing
with those children?” asked John-Boy, as they entered the apartment.
“Yes,” Daisy said, closing and locking the door behind her.
“I’ve been gone so long I didn’t almost recognize her! She didn’t know who I was.”
“It’s okay. She remembers you! We talk about you and she knows who you are. She'll remember, I promise.”
He looked around the apartment, thinking that it was smaller compared to what he remembered. Still, it was good to be home.
“I know one person who would be very happy to see you,” said Daisy.
“Millie?” asked John-Boy.
She nodded as they both headed to her door and knocked.
“Praise God, you’re finally home!” She threw her arms around him and gave him a hug. “I’m so happy to see you!” Millie cried.
“Likewise,” John-Boy replied.
They sat down and talked for a while making up for lost time.
“What are your plans this week?” asked Daisy.
“Well, I’m thinking about
going back to the mountain, my home, but I’m not sure. I only have a week
off and I want to spend every moment with Daisy. I’ll call home for sure
but I know the second that I talk to my family they would be hurt if I didn’t
return to see them. I’m going to have to figure it out somehow,”
Just then, they heard a thunderous noise of children running up the stairs. Daisy excused herself and went out into the hall. Moments later, she came back in Millie’s living room with Melissa in tow.
“Melissa!” he said, as he held out his arms.
“John-Boy!” The girl ran up to hug him as well.
“I can barely believe my eyes, darling! You’re so grown up!”
“How about coming back to the apartment now and let me make some dinner for us? Millie, please join us,” said Daisy.
“Thank you, Daisy, but I think you should spend at least your first night as a family. But John, before you go back, please let’s get together.”
He stood up and gave Millie a hug again.
“You know I will,” he said.
As Daisy was cooking, he went through his paper work and tried to begin to adjust to civilian life. He put his baggage in the closet in their bedroom. That was when he noticed a tie and wondering when he wore it last. It was blue. He didn’t think he ever owned a blue tie. He then shook his head and laughed. Fussing over a stupid tie! He thought. John-Boy chalked it up as being a long year away for not remember his clothing.
He put his things away and then joined the girls in the living room. He sat on the couch and talked with Melissa. She was chattering away about the school she went to, her best friend Annie and the boys in her class. He sat back amused thinking about his sisters and when they were young. He decided that he needed to call his family after dinner. They would be hurt if he didn’t at least do that.
After the dishes were put away, and while Melissa did her homework in her bedroom, the two of them sat in the living room having a cup of coffee and tea.
“Do you want to go home?” Daisy asked.
“When I call them, I know I have
too. I know that they’re going to want me to return back. I’m being
selfish but I want you all to myself this week. I don't know, I just don't know.”
Daisy went into the kitchen and got another cup of tea. John-Boy turned to her as she sat back down.
“Where did you get that blue tie in the closet? I don’t remember seeing that,” he asked.
“What blue tie are you talking about?” asked Daisy.
“The one in the closet,” he repeated.
She took a sip of her tea. After setting the cup down she said, “Oh, that tie. Well, I went shopping one day; it was on sale, so I bought it for you. I figured you needed a new tie by now.”
“I was trying to remember when
I bought that and I thought I was losing my mind because I could not remember.”
That old gnawing feeling of distrust reared its ugly head. But the way he was
feeling right at that moment overwhelmed the bothersome aspect. He felt like
nothing could spoil his mood.
John-Boy was shivering. It was so cold. There was snow all around him. He was running, or trying to. It was hard to run in nearly waist deep snow. He heard a voice yelling to find a foxhole. He couldn’t find one. He couldn’t seem to run fast enough. Shells burst around him. He had no weapon. He was a sitting duck. Then, he found one. The other two men pulled him in. They continued to yell something at him. He couldn’t hear what they were saying.
“John! John! Wake up!” He heard Daisy’s voice now. The soldiers were gone. The snow had vanished. He heard cars honking out of the window. That’s right; it was in the middle of summer. His heart pounded and he was soaked with sweat.
“John, what’s wrong?” Daisy asked.
“Nothing,” he said. “Just a bad dream, that’s all.”
It hadn’t been his first. He lay back in bed and tried to think things through. These had started in the spring. John-Boy thought they would fade away once he returned home. He guessed a part of him was still in the war. To him, it sure felt that way.
The next night, he was able to sleep peacefully. During the day, however, some of the war came back. Daisy came up behind him and gave him a hug. She had startled him. Instead of hugging her back, he whipped around and shouted at her, immediately apologized afterward.
“It’s going to take some used to be being here, after being over there,” he said quietly and went to their bedroom.
On the third night he was home, he tried to write. He couldn’t. The war kept invading his mind. It was all he saw. He tried to think about other things, but a spot in his mind reserved itself for the war. While sitting at the kitchen table, he set his fountain pen down for the tenth time that night and closed his writing tablet. Daisy had gone to bed two hours ago. She told him earlier that day that Melissa got up every Saturday to listen to her favorite radio program Let’s Pretend.
John-Boy sighed as he took his pen and tablet with him as he switched off all of the lights before turning in. For some reason, Daisy had left the light on in the front closet. He stepped in and pulled the string causing the bulb to darken. That was when he saw it. The same men who pulled him in the dream he had had the other night were right in front of him. Only it wasn’t cold this time.
“Medic! Medic!” the soldier shouted at him, as he held up his hand that was barely hanging on him.
“I’m not a medic,” John-Boy said while his throat closed up at the sight. Just like him, the medic did not carry an M-1 rifle. John-Boy gasped. Did he say that out loud? Did anyone hear him? “I’ll go find one. I’ll find a medic for you.” He had to run to find one, but he couldn’t move. The darkened closet enveloped him. “I’ll find one for you. I’ll find one for you,” as the men slowly faded away. The war in his mind was over for now. He found himself sitting in the blackened closet, with sweat pouring down his face. He got out and stumbled over to the couch. He collapsed on it and put his hands over his face. Then, he shook his head back and forth, trying to get rid of those thoughts. After all, he did not want to disturb Daisy. He had done that for two nights already, so he lay awake until he heard Melissa turn on the radio. It was late morning.
Copyright © 2011 by Kristi N. Zanker
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Copyright © 2011 by Kristi N. Zanker
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