Perchance to Dream…A Short Story

Perchance to Dream


As he quietly watched her sleep, her slow breathing was suddenly punctuated by a tiny, feminine snore, something that had always amused him. On the north wall was her computer desk, with its tiny blinking lights. He had often wondered why electronic manufacturers included so many colored lights, even when their equipment is off. Maybe they just liked lights.

It was the same computer she had used to communicate with him while he did his tour in Afghanistan. It had a video camera built into the monitor, and he had been thrilled to see her face and that of the children all the way from his base. Her parents bought it for her when they learned about it, and without her asking. She was always too proud to ask, but her brother had let them know. She treasured it like a fine piece of furniture, and she was now using it to write. She had sold two articles to magazines, and her new enthusiasm made him smile. She needed that sort of thing, and badly.

Her red-gold hair fanned out over the pillow, while a stray, curled lock lay on her damp forehead. She had always perspired slightly as she slept, a trait she thought unfeminine. But there was nothing unfeminine about his Mary Jo.

He rose and walked down the hall to check on the children. He entered Jimmy’s room first, and his son was wrapped around Snuggles, his ragged and heavily patched teddy bear. At seven, he was on the borderline of deciding when to give up Snuggles and move up a notch in boyhood. But that could wait for later; there was no rush.

On the dresser was a model of an F-15 Eagle, the fighter his father had flown in Afghanistan, complete with the correct numbers and his father’s name in tiny letters. He smiled at that. He had wondered why Mary Jo had wanted to know those little details.

Mary was curled up at the foot of the bed again, but she was warmly dressed in her fuzzy, pink pajamas with feet, so it didn’t really matter. She had her mother’s red-gold hair, but it was curly, like his own. Her tiny lips were slightly parted, and a thin line of drool ran down her cheek and pooled on the sheets. She would be starting school in the fall. Where did the time go?

He glanced at the kitchen clock. Time to go, so he walked back to the master bedroom and stood over Mary Jo, watching her for one more, long sweet moment. Then he bent over and brushed her forehead with his lips. “See you tonight, my love,“ he whispered. For a moment, he thought he saw a faint smile cross her lips, and then he turned, padded down the hall, and out the door.

He stood silently with the others, rigidly at attention for the morning raising of the colors. Johnson was on his left as always, and Davis stood silently to his right. They watched as the flag was raised to the top, and then lowered to half mast. The line saluted in perfect unison, as always, and then he felt himself passing through the green grass, sand and pebbles as he settled into the restful quiet of his military issue coffin.

“Tomorrow,’ he told himself, “will be another night.”

Latest posts by Will Starr (see all)

Will Starr

Will Starr is one of the finest short story authors to be found. He has a huge following and his works are well-loved because they carry down to earth themes with emotive stories that will touch your heart. They also carry a spiritual quality that readers can identify with. Will writes with passion to produce high quality stories and sometimes ventures into poetry. Most of his stories are based in the Old West, with an occasional contemporary drama. Will writes from his heart and soul to give readers the best.

10 thoughts on “Perchance to Dream…A Short Story

  • May 11, 2017 at 12:37 PM

    Bill, your stories always touch my heart and this one is no exception. It portrays the beauty of family love. Great work as always.

  • May 11, 2017 at 12:37 PM

    That was classic Will Starr! Those of us who have not served in the military owe a debt that can never be paid to those who have. This is a perfect example. Great job, loved it!

  • May 11, 2017 at 4:48 PM

    Thank you Phyllis,

    I thought I was going to Vietnam with all my friends, but I was never called. However, I lost friends over there so this is dedicated to their memories.

  • May 11, 2017 at 4:57 PM

    Hi Ronnie,

    I too never served, which always results in mixed emotions. I never tried to avoid it, but with a wife and a son, I didn’t want to go either. I resent that war because the politicians never meant to win it and were willing to sacrifice all those young lives just to prove that we would fight a protracted war. That was LBJ’s plan, one of the coldest men to ever serve as president. Nixon never had the backbone to win it either.

    However, I backed our troops to the hilt and was involved in all sorts of top-secret military work that I still can’t discuss. It was my small contribution from a very safe place because no one was shooting at me. I was no anti-war protester. I despised them and still do. Most sided with the enemy, like Hanoi Jane.

  • June 13, 2017 at 6:57 AM

    This is a touching story, Will, and your endings never disappoint. I actually envisaged this one but it didn’t diminish it at all. I enjoyed it immensely.

  • June 15, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Will, this was so tender. Now, when are you going to write a book? I will buy the first copy if you’ll autograph it, and I will toot your horn wherever I go. People love your writing, and I am a huge fan. Think about it.

    your #1 Fan

  • June 15, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    Thank you Lori! What a kind thing to say. I have a couple of e-books on Smashwords (a collection of short stories and poems) but nothing in print and no full length book yet.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Our cookie settings are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. By continuing to browse this website you are accepting our cookie policy.