“Across the Divide,” published online in Wraparound South, spring 2020 issue, describes a young soldiers journey thumbing across Carolina backroads to see his girlfriend during the Vietnam War era. The story is a creative nonfiction prequel to QL 4.
“The Outpost,” was published online by The Smuggler’s Den, Issue 12, March 2020. I began the first draft of this story during the early days of the Iraq War, based on a dream I had in which a soldier in a smoking jeep with flat tires speeds across a rise in a desert landscape. I realized that the U.S. was embarking on another long war in a country and society it did not understand, especially the historical conflicts between Sunnis and Shiites. The setting in the story is loosely based on Algeria in the mid-1950’s during that country’s war for independence. Influences include my experience in Vietnam, my stay in Saudi Arabia for several weeks with a Saudi Aramco/Texaco joint venture, and a French movie, “The Battle of Algiers.”