A Hard Decision
by Westley Thomas

"So, as the thought remains in your mind, you are also dead."

William and Zera Dickenson are newlyweds with their future ahead of them. They are expecting a child and are ready to build their lives. However, William is soon shipping off to Vietnam, and Zera is understandably nervous. Steve Rogers is an American serviceman being held in a Vietcong prison, where he has attempted numerous escapes. He views his captors with intense scorn. After being shot down during a mission, William faces similar circumstances and peril. The unknowns as to William’s whereabouts lead to the military declaring him killed in action. Zera is distraught, but soon her grief is compounded upon suffering another loss. Time goes on, and Zera must move on with her life. She is living a pleasant life with her new family when the past comes knocking on her door.

The narrative of this affecting and often gut-wrenching story unfolds as a play. The marriage of William and Zera, filled with hope and love, is soon fragmented by the hellscape that is the fog of war. The interrogation scenes between the Vietcong soldiers and their American captives are harrowing, and the implications of impending violence are brutal. The action of the story is seen through the eyes of various characters, and the emotional impact changes with each one featured. Zera emerges as the center of the story, her life altered by a divisive war thousands of miles away from home. She is enveloped by tragedy, but her resolve keeps her moving forward. This is a powerful story where the consequences of war are laid bare, as is the power of love and family.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home