I want to say thanks for all of the response to "Death and Love in Marjah." This is the highest scoring story I have written and I want to thank all of the voters who liked this one so much.
There is a little housekeeping I need to do as far as some of the response goes.
1. Somebody pointed out a typo I missed so I will probably be reposting in a few days to take care of that.
2. Somebody wrote and said they felt the end was rushed and wanted more info about what happens between when Shameera and Con meet again for the "first" time and when they get married. I believe the reader said, "It would have be[en] nice to know what Con and
Shameera were doing, contacting, saying to each
other, etc. after Con left for Iraq until they met
again in Paris." The reason I left what was going on for six months out was simply the yawn factor. Anyone who has seen any Revolutionary or Civil War documentaries knows the kinds of things soldiers write to their girlfriends/fiancees/wives. Yes, it has gotten less flowery and probably more explicit in the intervening century or two, but still not very interesting for anyone but the voyeurs and the two involved. The same thing for video contacts that are now available. This story was mainly supposed to be about a man who cut himself off from much of humanity and a woman who rectifies that situation, both for her sake and his. The story as is does that. As a matter of fact, I gave serious thought to making the end even more abrupt but remembered the stories and movies I have read and seen that did that and irritated me. Thus the conclusion I wrote explaining what happens after that Sunday.
3. The same reader as wrote me about #2 wondered about the dangling story thread I left mysteriously unanswered. I did answer that as far as the main characters are concerned. Shameera knows nothing of it and Con will not speak of it, as the scene in the backyard shows. Not very satisfying, I know, but that is how the story, as written, answered it. If the muse who wacked me over the head with this story hits me again, I may write another story from Maeve's point of view to answer the reader's question, but that will probably be some time down the road. I have at least half a dozen unfinished projects waiting on my inspiration at the moment and I am concentrating on those. But like I said, my muses can get pushy (as with "Death and Love in Marjah") and if that happens, that project will get priority. If only so I can get back to what I was doing. This story was a two-week plus detour in my writing that I had not planned.
Anyway, that is housekeeping for now. And I really appreciate the feedback and constructive responses. If my response to your response is not what you hoped, sorry about that. You can always pray to the Muses and hope the right one is listening, but that rarely works. Mine seem to be capricious little things that have more than a little imp to them. Thanks again and bye for now.