Daughter of Mars

Fiction By Bridget // 1/27/2011

 

Please understand, I did not write this to be un-American.  I love America very much, and have considered joining the military myself.  I wrote this to show how someone might feel after an event like this.  Also, I realize that the title and the meaning of Neria's name are at odds.  That was intentional.

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Neria stared down at the flag that covered her father’s coffin.  Her mind was filled with rebellious, painful thoughts.  What did it matter if he had served his country faithfully?  He was supposed to serve his family faithfully.  America should have been nothing in comparison.  But it wasn’t.  He had always put his country first.  And while most at the funeral were praising that, Neria was silently cursing her father for abandoning them.

Elise felt tears brimming, threatening to drip out the corners.  She would not let them.  She would be like her daughter, Neria.  Cold as the wooden coffin her husband was enclosed in.  Oh, she loved him.  And he was a good man.  She knew she’d brought this upon herself, by marrying a man who was already married to the military.  But she shouldn’t have brought this upon her daughter too.

Neria wondered what her friends would say when the funeral was over.  Would any of them know that she had loved her father, silent and untouchable as he was?  Would they know enough not to tell her it was for the best, for America?  Would they know that she would now hate America as long as she lived?  She looked over at her mother.  She saw her fight a battle with her tears.  She saw the tears win.  And she saw her mother slowly, slowly kneel down and sob.

Elise knew now that if she was a warrior’s wife, it was by pure technicality.  She felt herself on the ground and wondered how she had got there.  She felt Neria’s hand on her shoulder.  Dear Neria.  Named after Nerio, wife of Mars, god of war.  Back when she believed being married to a warlike person was a good thing.  She needed to get up, not force Neria to be the strong one.

Neria felt her mother shift onto her feet.  She stood aside, to allow her to stand up again.  Was she wrong in feeling that she was the stronger one?  Yes, she was.  Of course this wouldn’t cripple her like it did her mother.  She barely knew her father.  But, oh, she had wanted to.  To listen to stories of skirmishes, of soldiers pranks, to learn special moves that would disable an opponent in moments.  To be her father’s daughter.  That was something she would never have now.  And so maybe she had lost more than her mother, because her mother had at least gained something first.

Oh, Neria, forgive your father, Elise thought.  Her body was still weak; her shoulders hung limp and her knees were threatening to give.  Neria, Neria, please, be stronger now.  For him, for me, for yourself.  I need you now.  But she didn’t need to tell her daughter that.  Right now, Neria was holding onto her elbow, silently telling her mother she was there.  Elise could only hope that Neria didn’t need as much help as she did, because she was not capable of giving help at the moment.

Neria watched as the entire funeral party saluted.  She did not raise her arm.  She felt rebellious; defiant of the country that her father had died for.  She watched the two Marine soldiers, in their polished and ironed dress uniforms, fold the flag covering the coffin into a triangle.

Elise received the triangle, tears gone from her eyes.  For a moment, they had left her in peace.  She looked at Neria.  Neria was looking straight ahead, refusing to acknowledge the soldiers.  She turned back towards them, saluted as they saluted her, and tucked the flag under her arm.  She watched as the coffin carrying her husband was lowered into the ground.  Then she turned and walked away.

Neria stayed a moment, looking at the casket that held her father.  Her father, the Marine.  Her father, the one she wanted to know, the one she never would, the one she would cry over tonight.  Then she turned and followed her mother.

Comments

Wonderful emotional

Wonderful emotional expresion. I felt like I could relate, even though I have never been in that situation. Very clearly defined thoughts, with good transitions. Excellent end!

little woman | Thu, 01/27/2011

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
-G. K. Chesterton

Very emotionally charged. It

Very emotionally charged. It flowed between viewpoints excellently and never felt awkward.

Sarah | Fri, 01/28/2011

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Thank you both.  You guys

Thank you both.  You guys don't think that Elise was a little too dramatic, and Neria too cold?

Bridget | Fri, 01/28/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Excellent

 This is an excellent piece of work. I agree with everything Sarah and little woman just said, and think you did a very good job with the characters.

Anonymous | Sat, 01/29/2011

Wow. This was good.

Wow. This was good.

Erin | Sat, 01/29/2011

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

wow, like amazing.

 No, I don't think Elise was over dramatic, or Neria too cold.. I could really relate and feel their emotion. 

Renee | Sun, 01/30/2011

I agree with everyone on here

 I agree with everyone on here, and think this is an incredible piece!

Kathleen | Sun, 01/30/2011

Thanks to all of you; I'm

Thanks to all of you; I'm glad you like it.  :-)

Bridget | Mon, 01/31/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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