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The War Veteran

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The War Veteran is a 45 page, 11,000 word short story. For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day on Omaha Beach. But tonight, the flashback will be terrifyingly different. Tonight it becomes real. Tonight, Jacks seventy-year-old secret will come back to claim him. This story was written especially for an The War Veteran is a 45 page, 11,000 word short story. For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day on Omaha Beach. But tonight, the flashback will be terrifyingly different. Tonight it becomes real. Tonight, Jack’s seventy-year-old secret will come back to claim him. This story was written especially for an anthology, From The Indie Side that brought together the best and most talented indie science fiction writers publishing today.


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The War Veteran is a 45 page, 11,000 word short story. For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day on Omaha Beach. But tonight, the flashback will be terrifyingly different. Tonight it becomes real. Tonight, Jacks seventy-year-old secret will come back to claim him. This story was written especially for an The War Veteran is a 45 page, 11,000 word short story. For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day on Omaha Beach. But tonight, the flashback will be terrifyingly different. Tonight it becomes real. Tonight, Jack’s seventy-year-old secret will come back to claim him. This story was written especially for an anthology, From The Indie Side that brought together the best and most talented indie science fiction writers publishing today.

46 review for The War Veteran

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    *Thank you to Susan May for this free digital copy for which I have given a fair and honest review* If you're familiar with the author's work you'll already know that she is brilliant at creating breathtaking psychological thrillers, but who knew she could write a war story? Not only that, but this story is only 45 pages in length, which often makes it even more difficult to get a feel for the characters and circumstances. Well Susan May has pulled it off, and given us a really credible, *Thank you to Susan May for this free digital copy for which I have given a fair and honest review* If you're familiar with the author's work you'll already know that she is brilliant at creating breathtaking psychological thrillers, but who knew she could write a war story? Not only that, but this story is only 45 pages in length, which often makes it even more difficult to get a feel for the characters and circumstances. Well Susan May has pulled it off, and given us a really credible, harrowing and moving story. Jack Baker was right there in the maelstrom that was the D Day Landings on Omaha beach on 6th June 1944. Just 18 years old, Jack should have been doing what all 18 year olds the world over do - hanging out with friends/ girlfriends, but here he was, witnessing the most horrific sights that war creates. He lived to tell the tale but he's kept a secret from that dreadful day, a secret that still gives him dreadful flashbacks 70 years later. Now in his 80's he's widowed and has a carer, Claire. He goes out of his way to make things difficult for Claire, while she in turn does the exact opposite and tries all she can to help him. After years of terrible nightmares of that day 70 years before, something happens that brings it very much to life, and it's truly terrifying. This is a very clever little story, managing to pull the reader in right from the start. The D Day Landings are brought very much to life, and naturally it's extremely moving, but it was SO worth reading. Just read it, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    THE WAR VETERAN by Susan May is a forty five page short story that captures the vivid description of D Day, and the horrors of war through one veterans account. World War II veteran, eighty eight year-old Jack Baker suffered from flashbacks and nightmares to that day on the beach. He had been in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. He now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He hadnt expected to live. I was one of the unfortunates to land on that Normandy beach on June 6, 1944. Jacks wife had died THE WAR VETERAN by Susan May is a forty five page short story that captures the vivid description of D Day, and the horrors of war through one veteran’s account. World War II veteran, eighty eight year-old Jack Baker suffered from flashbacks and nightmares to that day on the beach. He had been in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. He now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He hadn’t expected to live. “I was one of the unfortunates to land on that Normandy beach on June 6, 1944.” Jack’s wife had died fifteen years ago. He now is cared for by Claire, a health-worker who cleans, cooks and provides company for him. “The memory of that morning was so vivid that I could still taste the salt of the sand in my mouth and feel the grit between my teeth. I lay on Omaha Beach, on June 6, 1944. I’d made it under the machine gun bunkers.” His commander told him: “I need you to go back down the beach, back to the landing crafts, and find Colonel Ryan. Tell him to stop the landings and retreat. This beach is suicide. He was asking me to die. Sending me to die, when I’d only just made it to safety…where I had a chance. Eighteen years old and asked to be a hero.” Many thanks to Susan May who provided me with a digital copy of this short story in exchange for this honest review. A glimpse at on person’s memories of the horrors of the war.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    At eighteen years of age, Jack Baker had been a young, scared participant of World War II. For the past seventy years, the hideous nightmares had been relentless every time he slept they were there. The blood, gunfire, grenade flashes and explosions; they were all real and tormenting. What would happen to escalate the situation one last time? The War Veteran by Aussie author Susan May is a very short story of the tragedies of a war that left an indelible imprint on the survivors. An interesting At eighteen years of age, Jack Baker had been a young, scared participant of World War II. For the past seventy years, the hideous nightmares had been relentless – every time he slept they were there. The blood, gunfire, grenade flashes and explosions; they were all real and tormenting. What would happen to escalate the situation one last time? The War Veteran by Aussie author Susan May is a very short story of the tragedies of a war that left an indelible imprint on the survivors. An interesting and imaginative rendition which shows what the mind can do – or can it?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    The War Veteran is a simple title for a short but complex story. It examines survivor guilt and enduring loss and fear caught up in a young soldiers experiences on D Day. We have slowly learned the realities for service personnel from recent conflicts, conditions which we termed as shell shock, combat stress or PTSD. What of those who came home and continued with their lives while thousands remain buried where they fell. A story set in the home of 88 year old Mr Baker points up to the vivid dreams The War Veteran is a simple title for a short but complex story. It examines survivor guilt and enduring loss and fear caught up in a young soldier’s experiences on D Day. We have slowly learned the realities for service personnel from recent conflicts, conditions which we termed as shell shock, combat stress or PTSD. What of those who came home and continued with their lives while thousands remain buried where they fell. A story set in the home of 88 year old Mr Baker points up to the vivid dreams and realistic thoughts that take him back some 70 years when as Jack he struggled to take a beach and survival was pure chance. Susan May takes simple ideas and they become dark thoughts of her own that twist and turn in her creative writing. A story you feel you are familiar with, and you’ve read or heard before, ceases to exist once you open her work and read her stories. Here she explores the role of luck, blame and shame on young men and the lack of peace for some who have never switched off, hostilities are still being waged in their subconscious and the guns have never fallen quiet. Even Remembrance Day fails to be a peace divided and an enduring silence as within their minds, the battle ensues and is re-lived. Many have spoken of a generation of men who never told or shared their nightmares. Yet many if not all carry scars from their time in war. It takes a talented author to bring these considerations into the open. This is not a deep factual account, but a simple story of a man getting older and his carer. A joy to read. An uncomfortable mirror to our own lives and motivations and the hope that courage is perhaps seen best when we face death and duty.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Netanella

    The book I read included the short story "The War Veteran", as well as two additional works, another short story titled "Do Us Part", which I read, and a multiple-chapter sample of one of the author's novels. I did not read the sample. "The War Veteran" is excellent short fiction horror. It speaks to the horrors of war through the sufferings of a WWII veteran, now 88 years old and still suffering from PTSD. His flashbacks of storming the beach at Normandy on D-Day become longer and more real, The book I read included the short story "The War Veteran", as well as two additional works, another short story titled "Do Us Part", which I read, and a multiple-chapter sample of one of the author's novels. I did not read the sample. "The War Veteran" is excellent short fiction horror. It speaks to the horrors of war through the sufferings of a WWII veteran, now 88 years old and still suffering from PTSD. His flashbacks of storming the beach at Normandy on D-Day become longer and more real, until they begin to have an impact in the real world. This is a war story that will haunt you. "Do Us Part" is another short story featuring the elderly, this time an old couple with the distinction of having celebrated 70 years of marriage together. The story is written from the point-of-view of the husband, who comes to the realization that his marriage's foundation was not quite what he thought it was. 4 stars for both stories - they were really good!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paula Adams

    A WWII Veteran who relives Omaha Beach because of some thing that he did on that day. The descriptions are quite realistic. A short story well worth the read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I'm not really a fan of war stories but I really liked this one. I recently did a course and had to read some World War One poetry and the descriptions used in Susan's book seemed very similar to those used in the poems which were written by a soldier. I'm glad I got to read this and thank you Susan for the copy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Susan May finally puts to rest the idea that women can't write war stories. How's that for an argument starter? May, a brilliant story teller in the realm of not only Stephen King and Rod Serling but Shirley Jackson and Richard Matheson, too, delivers yet another knock out short story this time on war and the long lasting effects of that horrible experience (and it's always horrible, no matter what John Wayne and Hollywood would lead you to believe) even when it happens 70 years ago. A WWII Susan May finally puts to rest the idea that women can't write war stories. How's that for an argument starter? May, a brilliant story teller in the realm of not only Stephen King and Rod Serling but Shirley Jackson and Richard Matheson, too, delivers yet another knock out short story this time on war and the long lasting effects of that horrible experience (and it's always horrible, no matter what John Wayne and Hollywood would lead you to believe) even when it happens 70 years ago. A WWII veteran, living in an assisted facility constantly relives his experience as an 18 y/o GI storming or rather stumbling the beaches at Normandy. Even in his sleep, his deepest, darkest secret allows him no respite. Reliving the gore, flesh tearing from bone and tendon, legs, arms, heads exploding right before his eyes has made his 70 years beyond D-Day a truly living hell. And there is only one way out of that hell. Like always, it's the truth. I spoke of May as a great story teller and how women were not viewed as such because they never 'experienced' the horrors of war. Well, that argument goes all the way back to Stephen Crane and Ambrose Bierce and before that, too. I hope May's creativity finally put an end to that silly argument.. May is Australia's national treasure and she has chosen to share her talents with the world. Read The War Veteran. Then try and get some sleep.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    The War Veteran is the story of Jack Baker who at 18 years old was one of the men to be on Normandy beach June 6th 1944. Mr. Baker now in his 80's has PTSD and also suffers from fugues do to the massacre he witnessed. The fugues take him back to the 1966 when he was on Normandy beach causing him to suffer the horror repeatedly throughout his life. His wife has passed and a nice lady named claire comes to his house to help care for him. But in this story nothing is as it seems! Something happens The War Veteran is the story of Jack Baker who at 18 years old was one of the men to be on Normandy beach June 6th 1944. Mr. Baker now in his 80's has PTSD and also suffers from fugues do to the massacre he witnessed. The fugues take him back to the 1966 when he was on Normandy beach causing him to suffer the horror repeatedly throughout his life. His wife has passed and a nice lady named claire comes to his house to help care for him. But in this story nothing is as it seems! Something happens that changes everything! But what? Telling any more detail will give away too much. It is a great story and will help people who have not experienced war know how it can destroy and mess with a persons mind. It is exciting, haunting and full of events that will keep you reading until you get to the end. You will not be disappointed, you never will be if you read anything written by Susan May.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    In a word ...wow. This is an important story to read. We take freedom for granted. The description of D Day was so vivid I was actually frightened. I think I'm going to be haunted by this story for a long time. This story should be required reading by every one who has the benefit of the sacrifices made that day. I know it's fiction but it captures the essence of that day. On a personal note my uncle Ern Webb was there that day. He was one of the "lucky" ones. He would never talk about those In a word ...wow. This is an important story to read. We take freedom for granted. The description of D Day was so vivid I was actually frightened. I think I'm going to be haunted by this story for a long time. This story should be required reading by every one who has the benefit of the sacrifices made that day. I know it's fiction but it captures the essence of that day. On a personal note my uncle Ern Webb was there that day. He was one of the "lucky" ones. He would never talk about those days, not even my father who also served. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Susan May continues to surprise me with the skill and finesse she yields in her stories. This one a touching and eerily revealing story of the trauma one man experienced over and over in his dreams to the point of not knowing what was real and what wasn't. His nightmares haunt him and the detail provided makes you share in his terror and his pain as you find yourself immersed in the story. Chills ran down my spine and i felt myself falling into the story and emotion of his trials. Wonderful and Susan May continues to surprise me with the skill and finesse she yields in her stories. This one a touching and eerily revealing story of the trauma one man experienced over and over in his dreams to the point of not knowing what was real and what wasn't. His nightmares haunt him and the detail provided makes you share in his terror and his pain as you find yourself immersed in the story. Chills ran down my spine and i felt myself falling into the story and emotion of his trials. Wonderful and haunting. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kaila

    I am not a huge fan of war stories but this one was gripping and very well written. She went into the mind of Jack and pulled out every nightmare and everything he went through and wrote it into this amazing short story. It was amazing and the writing was superb and wonderful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Seamus

    Brilliant story dealing with the long-term extreme / f**ked-up side effects of WW2 on a war veteran, which is also included in the highly recommended From The Indie Side compliation.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jesena

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pamela (bookworms_corner_)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  17. 5 out of 5

    Momzi

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kasper

  19. 4 out of 5

    Idella

  20. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alec

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cait

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jane Ono

  24. 4 out of 5

    SA

  25. 5 out of 5

    K

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan May

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steven Atwood

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Red

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fenia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary and Jon Delorme

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  32. 4 out of 5

    GEORGE A.

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  34. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  35. 5 out of 5

    Sean Peters

  36. 4 out of 5

    Ansley

  37. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  38. 5 out of 5

    Adamus

  39. 4 out of 5

    Aya

  40. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  41. 5 out of 5

    Janeandjerry

  42. 5 out of 5

    Debra

  43. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Mccarthy

  44. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

  45. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  46. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

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