This is another story from the Short Fiction class that I took in the spring of 2012. It was a very short, short story assignment.
Corporal Jack Scott had been on the ship for nearly three days. Journeying across the North Pacific by sea wasn’t something he had ever expected to be doing. Just the thought of a listing sea ship made him wish he hadn’t taken last night’s supper. It’s one reason that he hadn’t joined the Navy. He wouldn’t have joined anything had he known about the war. It wasn’t the war that he had been sent to fight, but the one that came upon him–upon everyone–that left him so far from home.
Before the invasion, it took roughly twelve hours to travel from the Middle East to North America. After the invaders halted all air-travel, it seemed like no amount of time would ever bring him back home.
Communication had also broken down. While many local telephone systems still worked. All satellite communication had ceased and it seemed nearly impossible to get a message across the ocean.
Scott stayed with his unit for the first year. It still seemed possible that the government might come to some kind of accord with the enemy, but the enemy never even spoke to them. The humans were largely ignored by the invaders, when they weren’t being hunted and killed for getting in the way.
It was only when home seemed farther away than wherever these invaders came from that he had decided to leave. He spoke to his commander about making his way home and they decided to call it a communications mission. He convinced two of his army comrades to come with him and they started driving east. It took him nearly a year to reach Hong Kong and both of his friends were dead. He traded the vehicle that they had commandeered–his last item of any real value–for passage on this ship.
In just over two weeks, Scott would be back on United States soil, in San Francisco. There were rumors that the United States wasn’t as united as it once was, with at least seven independent nations replacing what was once the world’s only super-power. It might take him another year to get back home to Oklahoma, but he would get there. Whether or not there would be anything left of home once he arrived, thoughts of that would have to wait.