Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shrapnel's Kiss by Amy Rachiele

Its love and war!
If I don't tell the story now, no one else will be able to tell it for us.  Some people believe in fate, that no matter where you are in the world your soul mate will find you, or you them.  I have to believe that fate wouldn't be as cruel as it seems to me now.

In a war torn Afghanistan, Junie signs up for a Peace Corps assignment involving recently orphaned children.  She wasn't expecting a lavish experience.  She knew it would be primitive and dangerous but it turned out to be way more difficult than she could have imagined.

Captain Tyler Alexander, U.S. Army, Infantry: Mission first and mission ready is his motto, but he realizes it all has a deeper meaning when he meets Junie--a Flower-power Peace Corps volunteer.  Can they have a relationship in the midst of terrorists and firefights?

I dart my eyes around as panic builds in my chest.  What happened? The familiar loneliness builds and builds as I try to recall the last things I remember.  My eyes shut tight against the memories.  The emotions of fear, vulnerability, and despair sit at the surface— a war inside me. Heat crawled in and wouldn’t leave, keeping me on the edge of combusting.  The onslaught of images raged in me with the faces of our captors, horribly disfigured with holes in their skulls, it replayed over and over.
~Junie, Shrapnel’s Kiss

Blindly, I rummage in the bag for a bottle of water. Cradling her head with my arm, I lift her and pour water into her mouth. Through coughing and sputtering she only gets a little bit.  I rearrange her attempting to make her more comfortable by putting her head in my lap.  A deep fear rolls its way up from my empty stomach. The granola bars we had earlier barely touched the surface of my hunger. In training, there were days when they only gave us one MRE and worked us hard.  It was to prepare us times like these.  I never had any training that used this scenario, lost in the wilderness of Afghanistan with a female civilian sick with fever.
~Tyler, Shrapnel’s Kiss

Amy Rachiele is a military spouse and brat who spent many years volunteering and on staff for the Army National Guard and Department of Veteran Affairs with family support, family readiness, as well as, families of the Fallen.  Amy devoted 10 years to teaching at-risk students in the Providence School System.  She holds a Master's degree from Rhode Island College in English and Secondary Education.  She volunteers her time at the local library facilitating a writer’s group in the hope of inspiring other writers.  Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking, sewing, and traveling.  Amy lives in Massachusetts with her son and husband.

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