Week 32- Heather Ouellette-Cygan

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Heather Ouellette-Cygan, Week 32

Rat Kiley Carried Comic Books

Fan Fiction for Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried


Rat Kiley was drafted, and his plans to go to Canada fell apart when he realized he had no money and no people there.


He was young. Barely 18. He’d just registered with selective service, days it seemed, before his number was drawn.


His mother, single, didn’t have the money to send him to college, and so Rat left his mother, alone and pretending to wash dishes, for basic with his comic books – the one’s she’d buy him each week out of extra money she’d squeezed from her paycheck working at the dress shop. She didn’t have much left over, Rat imagined, but she always got at least one new comic on her way home on Fridays, before she bought herself nail polish or a trip to the hair dresser.


Rat loved the brown afternoons a flat paper bag littered the kitchen table.


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