Creative Writing Contest Winner: October

And this month's winner is.....


Her story is awesome! I think I actually cried when I read it! Give her a round of applause!!

"The Traveling Soldier"

~A Short Story Inspired by Dixie Chicks' song: "Travelin' Soldier"

It was only two days past turning eighteen, the young man was clothed in his army greens. He was waiting for the bus, but found no joy in the anxiety surrounding him. He stood from the bench and entered into a nearby cafe. He stepped in, the bell chiming to the newcomer's entrance. He glanced to the bell above him, thoughts twirling through his mind. He sighed, shook his head, then seated himself in a booth by a window. He toyed with the sleeves of his uniform absentmindedly.
His eyes glanced to the outside world, taking it all in. The streets were quiet, as it usually was. The small hometown was nearly always quiet. It was a peaceful town. One found pride in calling it one's hometown.
Reality kicked him in head when a soft voice asked what he would like. He gasped lightly, looking up to the unexpected pair of eyes before him.
The sweet gentility of the light blue eyes, softened his heart somewhat. He took to notice the exact appearance of the lovely young lady. She had wavy blonde hair, softly brushing the tips of her shoulders. There was a small pink bow in the girl's hair, identifying her from the other waitresses in the cafe. The young girl managed a comforting smile to the shy young man. He glanced away from her, embarrassed ever so slightly.
"What would you like, sir?" she asked again, somewhat softer than the first time.
The young man stuttered. "A...a cup of coffee, perhaps?"
The waitress smiled, and returned within a matter of seconds with a mug of fresh, strong coffee. She set the mug before the man on the table, and smiled once again to his shyness. Before the girl turned to walk away, the man stopped her.
"Would you mind sitting down for a while and talking to me?" he didn't know what suddenly came over him. "I'm feeling a little low."
The kindhearted girl smiled affectionately. "I'm off in an hour," she replied. "And I know where we can go."


The two sat down on the pier silently. The young girl managed to order her smile to remain upon her face, in attempt to bring one out upon the shy young man. As the two sat, the man in the uniform hesitantly came to the point of the conversation.
"I bet you got a boyfriend," he said softly. "But, I don't care. I got no one to send a letter to," he confessed.
The young girl smiled genuinely. "I don't have a boyfriend," she admitted in that soft, gentle tone of voice.
Hope filled the soldier's heart. "Would you mind if I send a letter back here to you?" he asked.
The young girl chuckled lightly. She then reached forward and held the man's hand tightly in hers. "You can send me as many letters as you want. I'll read each and every one. And, I'll reply to each and every one, I promise."


Letters came in from an army camp in California. By the dozens, the young soldier wrote to the beautiful young waitress with the simple bow in her hair. The two wrote to each other as frequently as was possible, never wanting to forget one another.
Then, within a few months, the letters began coming in from Vietnam. The soldier wrote the girl of his heart. Told her that he thought it might be love. He told her of all of the things that he was scared of. He poured out his heart and soul to the young little girl with the bow in her hair. Told her nothing but truth, and confided in her with all things. Through letters, the two became as close of friends as ever thought possible.
The young waitress read the newest letter over and over again, speaking the words which the soldier wrote. "When it's getting kinda rough over here, I think of that day sitting down at the pier," he had said.
Memories flooded in like a terrific wave. Sweet memories of a relationship formed by a young girl's smile and a young man's shyness. When the young man confessed his having no one to write to, and asking if he may be allowed to write her. The young girl was more than willing to be a friend to the soldier. For, kindness was always in her heart. And she was insistent on treating the soldiers with utter kindness and friendliness.
Her eyes glanced back down to the paper, continuing to read what was left of the short handwritten letter. "And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile." The young waitress blushed. "Don't worry, but I won't be able to write for awhile."


Months passed by, and still no letter from the young man in the army greens. The young waitress continued to write short letters to her soldier. Whether or not he could respond, he could perchance read hers. She was a patient young woman, bearing the cross of loving a traveling soldier night and day. She smiled through the comments of her daily encounters. Nearly every last one of them seemed to be against her love for the kind, shy army soldier. They told her that she was too young for him. Told her to stop waiting for him.
But, the waitress turned a deaf ear to them all. She waited, nonetheless.
There would be nights spent in tears, lonely for her soldier and fearing what may have caused his long absence from communication. But, after each sob, she would reprimand herself, calm herself, then reassure herself. Convincing herself that all was fine, the sobs would cease.
She had made a promise with the young man earlier on in the year, promising that their love should never end. She made a promise to wait for him to come back home. No matter what, to always be right there waiting for his return.
She convinced herself to the idea of no longer being alone. For, soon enough, she told herself, there would be a letter saying that her traveling soldier was coming back home again.


It was a Friday night, cold and dark. The town had appeared for the football game of the year. All were in utter excitement for the game to begin. But, before the game was started, the Lord's prayer was said. The Anthem was then sang from the hearts and souls of each and every body present.
A man's voice rang through the air, echoing over the loudspeakers. "Folks, would you bow your heads for a list of the local Vietnam dead?"
Crying all alone under the stands, was a piccolo player in the marching band. One name was read, and not many seemed to care.
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair.
She cried. 
She felt utterly alone. Gone was her soldier, gone forever. Never to come back home again. 
A weight fell to her shoulders, stronger than anything she had ever experienced before. Her breathing became hard. Her eyes stung with the pain of the tears forcing themselves free. It was too sudden...Too unexpected. She tried desperately to not believe it. She couldn't believe it. It was impossible. Surely, her traveling soldier would return one day. Surely, he would come back home to her.
She made a promise then and there to never hold the hand of another guy. "Too young for him," everyone told her. Yet, she continued to wait for the love of her traveling soldier. "Our love will never end," she reminded herself of the promise softly. She waited and waited for her soldier to come back again. For the day when she would no longer be alone. Waited for the letter to say her soldier's coming home.



  1. Replies
    1. I did even think that it was that good. I honestly didn't think I'd win. Wow. Thanks, you awesome girls, you! :D

      @Farm Lassie, I'm hoping that's a good sob. :P

  2. That is so sweet and sad! Good job, Emily!


Post a Comment