?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
30 December 2004 @ 11:27 am
[fic] Street of Dreams 1/1 (Band of Brothers, gen, Guarnere-centric)  
So, the authors of Berlin by Christmas have been revealed. I was right, Leigh did write "Dead Men and Dreamers"! Yay for me, I win. ^_~
(Just the title alerted me, darling. It was a Leigh title. Also, no one writes Lipton like you do-- no one could actually crawl inside Speirs scary brain. You have slain me with the beauty of this story, honestly. I promise to comment as soon as I get home from the movies. I have to have time to savor.)

My own fic was "Street of Dreams", written for abyssinia4077. (I have way too many fics with the word 'street' in the title. *bangs head*) I struggled with a vague idea for the story for about a month and then, about two days before the deadline, I just sat down and wrote it. I think I was possessed-- I honestly don't remember getting the words out of my brain and into my fingers. X_x So, without further babbling on my part:


Author's Notes: Written for abyssinia4077 as part of the 2004 Band of Brothers Fandom Secret Santa, 'Berlin by Christmas'. I don't know you all that well, Miss Abyssinia4077, but I enjoyed writing this for you. ^_^ Thanks go to the ever-spiffy and helpful Amber, who pointed out mistakes in my canon and generally help my sanity together whilst working on this piece. You're a real sweetheart.

"I was praying,
you'd be staying,
on this lonely, lonely, lonely,
street of dreams."

-Lindsay Buckingham, "Out of the Cradle"


===========================
Street of Dreams 1/1
by Meredith Bronwen Mallory
mallorys-girl@cinci.rr.com
http://www.demando.net
===========================




The night before his brother dies, shot in the sands of Casino, Bill Guarnere dreams of him. They are young again, he and Adam, perching like careless monkeys on the fire-escape outside their tiny, cramped apartment. They have to be quiet-- on Saturday afternoons, Ma teaches piano lessons for a little extra money. In the dream, Bill is staring at his hands, small and boyish, yet unmarked by basic training, or practice scuffles in the English countryside. They are puppyish hands, retaining some baby fat, with big, clumsy knuckles that make him think briefly of Bull. Then the dream comes over him fully, clinging as close as skin, blocking the future. He's just six years old, lazily peeling an orange as he stares at the alleyway three stories below. What he wants to do is throw the meat of the fruit, hear it make that satisfying 'splat' on the pavement-- or better yet, see if he can angle it just right, and sink it in the dumpster on the corner. For a moment, he turns the lopsided sphere over in his sticky palms, contemplating it as one would a baseball, but he senses Adam's eye upon him and looks up. His brother is four years older than he, close enough in age to be a friend, but removed enough to retain some small authority-- Bill ducks his head and bites into the orange loudly.
"Wasn' gonna do nothin'," he grins, mouth full. Adam snorts, turning back to his book, legs dangling, swinging in the wind. Adam always seems to be reading-- big, thick books from the Public Library, where he can linger for hours, fingering spines and pages while Bill kicks the table to see how long it takes for the librarian to notice. Sighing, Bill wipes his hands on his trousers and cranes his neck to look down the alley. Through the lens of his borrowed binoculars, he can see down across the street and into other side roads, where Philadelphia is riotous with autumn. The leaves move in the streets like small animals, skittering red, orange, yellow and brown, and from this height the city is really a maze, streets like perfect rivers. He says something like that-- about seeing the city from the sky, and Adam moves closer.
"Look," he motions, turning a page, "there is a city with rivers for streets. Venice, see?" He tilts the book around, so that Bill can see it right side up. Bill watches his little-boy hands reach, draw the tome into his lap-- but something is wrong.

For a long while, he just stares at the red; red like thick paint sold at the hardware store. Red, shining and new, covering the whole page. Its on his hands, too, coming off on him, oily, endless and bright. He looks up at Adam-- Adam will know, that's what he's there for, to be annoyed by his little brother, to teach him how to pitch, to pull him out of trouble. Adam's mouth is red too, though-- a big red 'O', bright as Easter tulips, blooming like the palms of Jesus nailed to the cross. A disturbing sense of doubleness clutches at his shoulders, yanks at his spine-- he's looking at the sanctuary of St. Andrew's Catholic Church, at Adam's First Communion, when he spilled just a little of the wine-- Christ's blood-- down the front of his pristine white shirt. A jarring, a jolt; it's just Adam again, Adam on the fire escape, red and screaming. Except he isn't screaming, only trying-- the sound gurgles, and the red is blood and Adam is dead, right there on the chill black iron bars.
"Bill," says Adam, without moving his mouth, "Bill--"


That's a lie. That's not what happened. The truth is that Bill Guarnere never dreamed at all. On the night his brother died, felled by some Kraut in the cold desert empty, Guarnere was sleeping with a full belly, warm in one of the stalls converted for barracks use. He was snoring, swaying lightly in his hammock with his boots on, while Joe Toye and Johnny Martin argued over cards. That's real, and that's also the nightmare, the thing that wakes him up the night before the drop, shaking and shivering and looking at his hands. Adam is dead, shot at Casino in North Africa, and his last letter is there in Bill's footlocker, calm, crisp, real as each breath he takes.

"Sounded like a bastard." The voice is smooth baritone, breaking the stillness with casual ease, and for a moment Guarnere feels shame, like blood, curdling in his throat. He raises his hands-- scarred, heavy, thinned out with work-- to his face, but he hasn't been crying, just gasping. Just tossing in his hammock, swinging in the void. He rolls over carefully, eyes adjusting to the darkness; there's Joe Toye, narrow chin titled up as he smokes a cigar.
"Yeah," says Bill, shrugging-- as if he's just been picked for KP, or lost a hand at cards. The roll of his shoulders says 'wanna make something of it?' Joe rolls his eyes and hands Guarnere the cigar, embers glowing red to yellow to orange, like Philadelphia autumn. He takes a grateful puff, then another, and hands it back without looking. For some time, he is silent, listening to Joe tell some dumb-ass joke about a green corporal and a French nurse, until Toye's voice fades off. Dissipating smoke.
In the stillness, Guarnere stares up at the ceiling-- beyond which is the sky, beyond which is God. "Bastard," he says, hatefully, drawing out that word. "A real bastard."
Joe Toye is the first and only person he tells.


Telling and hearing are two different things. It is the Army, after all-- and Bill isn't surprised when Winters approaches him the next morning, silent, but with compassion in those distant, rain-cloud eyes. Guarnere grunts something, bangs his tray around as he makes room for himself on the bench, and Winters finally withdraws, back towards the too-bright window and Nixon. Unable to summon the energy to be angry, Bill just stares at him food, gathering his strength, willing himself to sneer at Winters and his well-meaning, not-drinking glance.
"Quaker," Guarnere mutters distastefully, under his breath. He's almost pissed-- he's working up to it, settling into it like a tall glass of beer, like an old coat. By the time the officer comes to the fore of the mess and informs them that the jump is on, Guarnere is steaming, like a bull in the spotty nickel cartoons, smoke coming out of his nose. Joe can see it-- they all can. Perconte gives him space on the bench, refraining from commenting on the food, but Bill hears him lean over to Luz as he walks away.
"Ol' Gonorrhea's on the war-path," he mutters, nudging the other man with his elbow. Luz makes a crack-- in the dull mess light, the two look like brothers; dark, irreverent, Perconte just a head shorter than Luz. Guarnere chews harshly, mouth screwed up in a merciless twist-- he's sure to shove Perconte, just a little, on their way to formation.


This anger carries him through the rest of the day; through the briefings, the final drills, until he is at last cramming things into his duffle, minutes slipping away to carry them all away. Europe, he thinks, the Fortress-- gentlemen, we're dropping on Normandy.
(Luz, leaning over, right in Joe's face, "How do you expect to slay the Huns...")
His hand shakes, just once or twice, and Bill realizes he's holding the latest letter from Ma, looking at its sharp corners, at the cautious, wide swirls of her handwriting. There will be another letter, soon; one for her, type-faced and economic.
(The United States Marine Corps regrets to inform you...
Last night, half the boys in the company were writing letters home, one last shot before Normandy.
Bill never even picked up a pen.)

He shoves the letter in, too, mercilessly, hands seeking his rosary, even though all he can see is his Ma, crying, swathed in black, praying under the blank, bleeding gaze of Christ.

He can't find the rosary. Glancing at his watch, he combs over the stall once more, than again, ignoring Joe's pleas to hurry up. The tiny silver hands move-- ten minutes 'til fall out, nine, eight. It's not there-- not anywhere. Moving the folded hammocks only reveals hay, not the black, smooth beads he seeks. At last, Joe grabs his arm, manhandling him into the aisle, come on, for Chris'sake, Bill. Guarnere shuffles his feet in the fine dirt, with a frantic feeling in his ribs that only makes him angrier than before.
(Adam, dead and sightless, half covered in sand. Ma crying, ashen, the hair in her face the same color as her funeral veil.)

Guarnere's wrists ache, so that when he feels a tap on his shoulder, he simply whirls, more than ready to throw a punch. His stance does not gentle when his gaze meets with Liebgott's rich brown eyes-- his bones seem to stiffen in readiness. Eyes narrowing, he opens his mouth, ready to toss out some acidic comment, something about being a Jew. Liebgott will fight with him, Guarnere knows it. They'll throw punches, get in blows when the other man is down, kick it real dirty-like. Satisfying. He's ready, he can taste it-- but there, in Joe's hand, is the rosary, beads black and lacquered, blinking like eyes. The cross twists, catches the afternoon sun.
"This yours?" Liebgott asks, the set of his spine at once careful and calm.
"Yeah," Guarnere doesn't reach yet, just watches the charm dangle, helpless and arbitrary. "Where d'you find it?" Liebgott merely jerks his head back towards the stalls, moving his hand forward, offering.
Bill takes it with a grunted 'thanks'; he feels Liebgott slap him on the arm, but he isn't looking up. He's gazing at the rosary in his palm, allowing Joe to strong-arm him along. The cross burns like fire in his fist as they load into the planes, burns and pulses every time Luz says 'We're really gonna do it, now'. Bill is thankful, unbelievably so, when Lipton tells him, gently, to quiet up-- he sits on the bench and stares, unblinking, waiting for his hands to change.

(Younger, smaller. Adam, trying to scream.
"Bill--")


The jump to Normandy is dark and cold; bright and blazing with artillery and fire. The world below is chaos in minuature-- a bird's eye view of battlements and trenches that look almost like a maze. Like streets in a dead city, leading nowhere. Taking a step from the plane is easy; he knows there's nothing out there to hold him up. As he falls, he chants the same thing he did as he touched each smooth black bead.
"Bastard. Bastard."

He puts four bullets in the first Kraut he sees.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *




Despite my initial reservations about writing 'on-command', I really enjoyed participating in the Secret Santa. My thanks go to nullsechs for organizing it all. You're awesome, lady!

*shuffles off to get ready for the movies*
-Meredith
 
 
Emotional Temperature: jubilantjubilant
The Band Plays:: 'breathe in"-- by Frou Frou
 
 
 
Amberminttown1 on December 30th, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC)
Glad I could help. And I still love this story, Meredith. :)
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: love2garnettrees on January 2nd, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
*blush* And I love you. ^_^
Amberminttown1 on January 2nd, 2005 09:40 pm (UTC)
Aww, yay. Ditto. :)
I'm not made of eyes!: Mine - stupid Frauleincunien on December 31st, 2004 12:35 am (UTC)
Guarnere fic! Wow - there are not nearly enough of these babies around.

First off - yeah, Guarnere - not the easiest guy to write, but this just blew me away. I loved seeing him as a kid - I love that it's not just a little boy with the same nam - it is Guarnere. You've just got him perfectly. Perhaps my favourite line :

'"Wasn' gonna do nothin'," he grins, mouth full. '

Lol. That just cracks me up - it is so him, the little scamp!

That's a lie. That's not what happened. The truth is that Bill Guarnere never dreamed at all. On the night his brother died, felled by some Kraut in the cold desert empty, Guarnere was sleeping with a full belly, warm in one of the stalls converted for barracks use.

Now there's a slice of fried gold if ever I did see one! This is seriously good. The guilt you've hinted at there, of Guarnere being warm and comfortable the night his brother died is just incredibly sad. I also just loved the way you span the tale of this dream and then turn around with 'That's a lie.' - brilliant story telling.

'Telling and hearing are two different things.' - this line is just so good - it's so simple but really effective.

' As he falls, he chants the same thing he did as he touched each smooth black bead.
"Bastard. Bastard."

He puts four bullets in the first Kraut he sees.
'


Whoa. What a way to end. This fic is just so great - brillintly written and original. Thanks so much for sharing.
x.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: jadegarnettrees on January 2nd, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
Guarnere fic! Wow - there are not nearly enough of these babies around.
You have Miss abyssinia4077 to thank for that; it was her request. ^_~

I loved seeing him as a kid - I love that it's not just a little boy with the same nam - it is Guarnere.
I'm so glad that worked! I always worry about delving into childhoods, but I can't seem to stay away from it, either. ^^;

I also just loved the way you span the tale of this dream and then turn around with 'That's a lie.' - brilliant story telling.
*blush* Thank you so much for the kind comments. All of them. You're really too sweet.

-Meredith
throw kisses, not bottles!: boris the christmas spidermaleyka on December 31st, 2004 01:05 pm (UTC)
It's Guarnere fic! Yay! *g*

I've loved this story since the first time I read it. I find it's so hard to write Guarnere believably, and without getting too deeply into any of the "rough-nosed Philly boy with a heart of gold" clichés. You seem to tread that fine line very easily.

I obsess over backstory, so I was especially glad to see some for Bill here. Little things, like his mother giving piano lessons or his brother being such an avid reader really gave your Bill the "backbone" that makes me become invested in a certain character.

I've read quite a bit of the stuff that you've written, and as always I love your prose. It's clean but complex, evoking very vivid images in my mind.
The world below is chaos in minuature-- a bird's eye view of battlements and trenches that look almost like a maze. Like streets in a dead city, leading nowhere. Taking a step from the plane is easy; he knows there's nothing out there to hold him up.
Yeah. <3!
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: love2garnettrees on January 2nd, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
I find it's so hard to write Guarnere believably, and without getting too deeply into any of the "rough-nosed Philly boy with a heart of gold" clichés. You seem to tread that fine line very easily.
I never even thought about that (the cliches), but you're right. I'm glad you seem to think I pulled it off.

I obsess over backstory, so I was especially glad to see some for Bill here.
So do I. I think it's such a constant theme in my fics that it's what tipped Leigh off. She knew I'd written this, even before the names were posted. I guess I'm just predictable. ^_~;;

I've read quite a bit of the stuff that you've written, and as always I love your prose. It's clean but complex, evoking very vivid images in my mind.
Thank you so, so much for the kind words. And for taking the time to comment. I really, really appreciate it.
-Meredith
gamesiplaygamesiplay on January 2nd, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
I just read your feedback. Thank you so much. I'll have to go back and respond later. And it made me smile that you recognized it; clearly, we do share a brain, because I recognized this very quickly. The backstory was part of it, and the parentheticals, but also intangible things like your particular use of metaphor, and your tendency to find those gaps in reality ("That's a lie. That's not what happened.") I loved it, unsurprisingly. I was so happy to see you tackling Guarnere, because (a)he is so underrepresented in fic; (b)he has such a distinctive voice, which I knew you would do wonders with; and (c)I've always had trouble sympathizing with him, and I knew you would change that.

In the dream, Bill is staring at his hands, small and boyish, yet unmarked by basic training, or practice scuffles in the English countryside.

I was talking to someone a while ago about how dream scenes in fiction are often just dead weight-- they're used too much to drag subtext to the surface when it ought to be allowed to bubble up on its own, and they're done clumsily. Not so with yours. Your fic, even in waking moments, often has that oneiric cast to it (yes, I found an excuse to use my favorite word again!), so it's never jarring when dreams themselves have meaning. This line especially struck me because it's very authentic, I think: it gets at that strange duality of dreams, where you can know it's not real (Bill is aware of actually being older than his dream-self, with hands that are marked by training) and yet still accept the emotion of what's happening.

They are puppyish hands, retaining some baby fat, with big, clumsy knuckles that make him think briefly of Bull. Then the dream comes over him fully, clinging as close as skin, blocking the future.

This was where I knew you were the culprit. :) "[P]uppyish hands, retaining some baby fat" and "clinging close as skin" tipped me off; I don't know what it was about the first phrase, but the second one was so you, that use of metaphor that's at once unexpected and absolutely right.

He's just six years old, lazily peeling an orange as he stares at the alleyway three stories below. What he wants to do is throw the meat of the fruit, hear it make that satisfying 'splat' on the pavement-- or better yet, see if he can angle it just right, and sink it in the dumpster on the corner.

I love the sensory detail of this scene.

His brother is four years older than he, close enough in age to be a friend, but removed enough to retain some small authority--

Great understanding of their relationship here. Kib and I are four years apart, too, give or take a few months, and you've got the dynamic exactly. That's almost eerie. *grins*

Adam always seems to be reading-- big, thick books from the Public Library, where he can linger for hours, fingering spines and pages while Bill kicks the table to see how long it takes for the librarian to notice.

Getting a view of Bill's brother excited me so much, because I have such great associations with your original characters. (See also: Maddoc Pierce, Erin's Abigail, and Ryan from "What You See from Where You're Standing," whom I still want to marry, never mind that he's dead and fictional.)

(Minor note, though: isn't Bill's brother named Henry?)
gamesiplay: BoB -- Speirs (by septicemic)gamesiplay on January 2nd, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Continued
...where Philadelphia is riotous with autumn. The leaves move in the streets like small animals, skittering red, orange, yellow and brown, and from this height the city is really a maze, streets like perfect rivers. He says something like that-- about seeing the city from the sky, and Adam moves closer.
"Look," he motions, turning a page, "there is a city with rivers for streets. Venice, see?"


Loved this passage. I wish I'd written "riotous with autumn," and then the Venice reference just worked so well for me, for some reason. Possibly it felt a little like a premonition: in a few short years, they will be out seeing the world, but not under the circumstances they imagine.

For a long while, he just stares at the red; red like thick paint sold at the hardware store.

Nice. Your attention to detail always sells me.

Adam's mouth is red too, though-- a big red 'O', bright as Easter tulips, blooming like the palms of Jesus nailed to the cross. A disturbing sense of doubleness clutches at his shoulders, yanks at his spine-- he's looking at the sanctuary of St. Andrew's Catholic Church, at Adam's First Communion, when he spilled just a little of the wine-- Christ's blood-- down the front of his pristine white shirt. A jarring, a jolt; it's just Adam again, Adam on the fire escape, red and screaming.

This actually made me shiver, from the religious allusions at the beginning (which come back later in the fic), to the "disturbing sense of doubleness" that is so unsettling and so familiar to me in dreams, to that image of the spilled wine, and finally "red and screaming," which is so simple and yet so visual.

"Bill," says Adam, without moving his mouth, "Bill--"

Oh, wow.

That's a lie. That's not what happened. The truth is that Bill Guarnere never dreamed at all. On the night his brother died, felled by some Kraut in the cold desert empty, Guarnere was sleeping with a full belly, warm in one of the stalls converted for barracks use.

I don't remember who it was--I've been writing this comment for a while!--but someone above mentioned how well this works as a signal of Bill's concealed guilt about his brother's death. I totally agree. It's very, very good, because that's exactly how Bill would respond.

He rolls over carefully, eyes adjusting to the darkness; there's Joe Toye, narrow chin titled up as he smokes a cigar.

Nice. You have an ability to sum up characters in just a few words that I really envy, and you do it here: that's Joe, "narrow chin tilted up as he smokes a cigar."

In the stillness, Guarnere stares up at the ceiling-- beyond which is the sky, beyond which is God. "Bastard," he says, hatefully, drawing out that word. "A real bastard."
Joe Toye is the first and only person he tells.


This is one of my favorite parts of the whole story. Not just because it's spot-on Guarnere, and a very powerful sentiment, but also just because your very sentences are so good, so rhythmic. I love "beyond which is the sky, beyond which is God."

Guarnere grunts something, bangs his tray around as he makes room for himself on the bench, and Winters finally withdraws, back towards the too-bright window and Nixon. Unable to summon the energy to be angry, Bill just stares at him food, gathering his strength, willing himself to sneer at Winters and his well-meaning, not-drinking glance.

*grins* Another great bit of characterization, and "well-meaning, not-drinking glance" made me laugh.
gamesiplay: BoB -- Speirs (by septicemic)gamesiplay on January 2nd, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
And once more
He's almost pissed-- he's working up to it, settling into it like a tall glass of beer, like an old coat.

Love this line, too.

Luz makes a crack-- in the dull mess light, the two look like brothers; dark, irreverent, Perconte just a head shorter than Luz.

I practically squealed out loud at this. Too cute. And that's absolutely them, "dark, irreverent."

Guarnere chews harshly, mouth screwed up in a merciless twist-- he's sure to shove Perconte, just a little, on their way to formation.

Hey, always picking on the little guy!

(The United States Marine Corps regrets to inform you...
Last night, half the boys in the company were writing letters home, one last shot before Normandy.
Bill never even picked up a pen.)


It's interesting how the parentheticals didn't come up until very late in the story. Very interesting. It's as though his thought process just starts breaking down, fragmenting, here.

Eyes narrowing, he opens his mouth, ready to toss out some acidic comment, something about being a Jew. Liebgott will fight with him, Guarnere knows it. They'll throw punches, get in blows when the other man is down, kick it real dirty-like. Satisfying. He's ready, he can taste it-- but there, in Joe's hand, is the rosary, beads black and lacquered, blinking like eyes.

Great, great scene, especially taken with the Liebgott-Guarnere fight; that's always been problematic for me, and I like your answer to it. "[B]eads black and lacquered, blinking like eyes" is lovely writing, too.

Bill is thankful, unbelievably so, when Lipton tells him, gently, to quiet up-- he sits on the bench and stares, unblinking, waiting for his hands to change.

YES LIPTON. :) You knew it was coming.

The world below is chaos in minuature-- a bird's eye view of battlements and trenches that look almost like a maze. Like streets in a dead city, leading nowhere.

Fantastic. I love how there are never any loose threads in your story; even the seemingly throwaway lines lace together in the end.

As he falls, he chants the same thing he did as he touched each smooth black bead.
"Bastard. Bastard."

He puts four bullets in the first Kraut he sees.


This is seriously one of my favorite endings ever, so stark and blunt and Bill. I admire the simplicity of it so much; whenever I'm finishing off a story, I feel as though I have to be at an insanely high emotional pitch, but it's even harder to finish off on this sort of note, grim and unsentimental. Lovely, lovely work, as always.
Abyssisabyssinia4077 on January 5th, 2005 04:42 am (UTC)
Review part !
I'm finally commenting! I'm sorry this is so delayed, but I wanted time to do it right.
I'm also friending you, if you don't mind, for many reasons, including the fact that I think Leigh will kill me if I don't.

Let me first say that I read this fic very quickly before running off to Christmas with my father's family. I loved every sentence and spent the whole day internally glowing from it. You did a marvelous job.
One thing that threw me, and for a second made me think Leigh had written it (partly because you are both such magnificent authors) was that it had all my weaknesses to the point where it felt like whoever had written it must have known me. I think I initially commented that it almost felt like something I would write - I can't avoid backstory, and this fic is rich in that, in flushing out the character beyond what you see on screen and it had many of the same cameos I would include (particularly Perco and Lieb). But I knew it wasn't me because I am not nearly so adept at imagery (well, and that I knew I didn't write it....).

I read it a second time that night, when I had more time. And a third time later. Each time I like it better - and I did eventually realize you must have written it. I really do love this fic - every word. I have a soft spot for Bill, even if at times he rubs me wrong, he fascinates me and you wrote such an amazing Bill here. Someone above mentioned it wasn't just mini-Bill but an honest young Bill that you wrote, and that is hard to do and you did it so well.

Okay, on to more specific comments (and of course I read the ones Leigh left and I'm gonna try not to say all the same things - but she stole some of my words!):

"Wasn' gonna do nothin'," he grins, mouth full.
I loved the whole opening paragraph. I loved the imagery, the "careless monkeys" description, the way you so deftly painted the beautiful scene, making me see it all. I love the way you describe Bill's hands - I think maybe Leigh said it was making him aware of the dream - and I love the way you describe his thoughts with the orange. In the Depression food is precious, and an orange should not be wasted, but the temptation for trouble...
Regardless, as much as I loved the paragraph, it was this line that made me know I would love the fic. I'm the biggest sucker/stickler for things being in character and this sentence is so perfect. It's not mini-Bill, it's young Bill. I can picture it. And it's so him. *innocent, I swear*. I can see the mask angelic look he puts on.

Bill kicks the table to see how long it takes for the librarian to notice.
I love this line, this description, this image. I had only regained my composure from the joy of the line above when this one hit. So perfect!!! I dunno exactly why, but this sentence fits him like a glove.

I like the cities. I get the feeling that Bill is content to stay in Philly, his brother eager to see the world. And yet Bill will see more of it and his brother will die on the sands of Italy, which he is now pointing out to Bill. sigh.

he's looking at the sanctuary of St. Andrew's Catholic Church, at Adam's First Communion, when he spilled just a little of the wine-- Christ's blood-- down the front of his pristine white shirt.
I love this image. It put chills all up and down my spine. This foreshadowing that no one could have expected. *shivers* Such a pwerful image.

That's a lie. That's not what happened. The truth is that Bill Guarnere never dreamed at all.
Survivors guilt. So Bill. What he maybe should have done but didn't, because really, he couldn't know. But that twist you put in the story is heart-breaking. He feels like he should know, should react, but how....
Epigonelikethesun2 on January 8th, 2005 08:58 am (UTC)
Re: Review part !
I'm also friending you, if you don't mind, for many reasons, including the fact that I think Leigh will kill me if I don't.

I would've. :) And I approve.

(LIPTON LOVES LUZ BEST. See? It's even more alliterative.)
Abyssisabyssinia4077 on January 8th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)
Sorry for spamming Meredith, but I need to correct Leigh here
LIPTON LOVES LUZ BEST. See? It's even more alliterative.

Ah, but "Perco" and "Luz" are both much funnier sounding names than "Lipton" which is just a brand of tea. Thus, they obiously belong together.
Abyssisabyssinia4077 on January 5th, 2005 04:43 am (UTC)
Review Part 2
That's real, and that's also the nightmare, the thing that wakes him up the night before the drop, shaking and shivering and looking at his hands. Adam is dead, shot at Casino in North Africa, and his last letter is there in Bill's footlocker, calm, crisp, real as each breath he takes.
The pain of letters. Especially of letters that come after death notices. How can you really believe someone is dead when you have no more or less contact than you did before you were told? I love that reality is the nightmare - the guilt.

In the stillness, Guarnere stares up at the ceiling-- beyond which is the sky, beyond which is God. "Bastard," he says, hatefully, drawing out that word. "A real bastard."
Everytime I think I have a favorite line you write another. I LOVE this part. It's stunning and beautiful and Bill and I can't even really articulate at all how much I love this line.

He's almost pissed-- he's working up to it, settling into it like a tall glass of beer, like an old coat.
I love the telling/hearing thing and Winters trying and Bill's reaction. But I really love this description. This is Bill. He doesn't know how to deal with the emotions he's feeling, but he knows how to be pissed. So he settles on that. I love how you describe him working up to it.

the two look like brothers; dark, irreverent, Perconte just a head shorter than Luz.
You don't know the sheer, unbridled glee this section gave me. Leigh and I frequently debate whether Luz loves Perco or Lipton best. I have a soft spot for Luz and Perco and a very soft spot for Perco and you fit him in so well and smooth and in character and the brother dynamic between them and I just grinned like a crazy person when I read this section.

His hand shakes, just once or twice, and Bill realizes he's holding the latest letter from Ma, looking at its sharp corners, at the cautious, wide swirls of her handwriting. There will be another letter, soon; one for her, type-faced and economic.
(The United States Marine Corps regrets to inform you...
Last night, half the boys in the company were writing letters home, one last shot before Normandy.
Bill never even picked up a pen.)

This bit slew me. The contrast between the letters. Him shaking - using rage to control sorrow only works so well. And Bill never picking up a pen. The added guilt - that his brother died and not him and he didnt' dream and he didn't write his mother and what if something happens to him too?

he opens his mouth, ready to toss out some acidic comment, something about being a Jew. Liebgott will fight with him, Guarnere knows it. They'll throw punches, get in blows when the other man is down, kick it real dirty-like. Satisfying. He's ready, he can taste it-
First my heart sang "LIEB" and then the description of both of them! Knowing Joe will fight, Guarnere needing it, the dirty, satisfying fight, oh I love it.

I love the bit with Joe. How Bill doesn't know how to react because Joe is being nice and you shouldn't pick a fight with that but he's not supposed to fight. And I love Luz chanting on the plane so much and Lip telling him to quiet down.
And I love him chanting on the beads - the end tying in both the map of Venice and god being a bastard in one effortless, beautiful paragraph.

And the ending. So stark and sudden and so void of imagery that makes it stand out all the more from the rest of piece. So final and short and to the point and it just hits you.

Um. Right. I think I just seriously spammed your LJ. But I really loved this piece and I'm so thrilled you wrote it.