The Last Zippo From Nam

The Last Zippo From Nam

A Story by Kenneth Sibbett

A man who brought a dead-brother soldier's Zippo lighter out of Vietnam, finally sees the Light~


The old man rolled over on the piss and cum stained mattress, grunted and farted at the same time. The fart was rather loud, but thats not woke him up, it was the stink. It smelled of rotted eggs and beers and he ran naked into the cheap motel bathroom, bent over the commode and let it fly. Four or five days of s**t he couldn't even remember eating or drinking came pouring out. It had to have tasted better going in than coming out.

He grabbed a damp and dirty towel off the floor and wiped his mouth off. He then did the same thing to his face. He hadn't turned on a light yet and he had to get his bearings. "First, where the f**k am I"? He searched his memory but nothing registered, at first. Then he remebered getting his Veterans Disability check a few days ago, or at least he taught it was a few days, he really had no idea.

He sat in the piss and vomit, trying to think what he'd done and were he'd been. Hell, where the hell am I at now? He started back to the day he cashed his check at the liquor store, and bought a fifth of Popov Vodka. He knew this because he always started his monthly drunk off with a fifth of Popov.This still didn't give him a f*****g clue where he was, but if he could ever get off this nasty a*s floor and find some clothes to put on, he could find that out easily enough.

He half crawled-half dragged himself over to the bed. He was naked as a jailbird and needed to find his pants. His money was in the pocket, he hoped, and it was all he had to live on until next month's charity from our cheap-a*s thieving government. He reached up with a loud grunt and turned on the bedside lamp. He didn't recognize this place and he had stayed at every flea-bitten dive in this s****y place they called a town. F**k-it, find the pants!

He managed to sit on the bed, looking around as he lifted himself up. Where in the f**k was he? There were no sheets on the bed, no clothes laying around anywhere, not even his lucky boots, giving to him by his second wife, or third. He wasn't really sure at the moment and didn't give a s**t. He just wanted them, along with his pants, shirt and especially his f*****g wallet. It was all he had between him and death and he knew he had to find it.F**k, F**k, F**k!!! 

He had to remember, so he slapped himself as hard as he could. It hurt his face and made his already pounding head pump-up the volume, but it did bring back a memory, but of when? He was in a bar, shitface as usual when a very pretty woman sat down beside him. She asked for a light and as he reached into his pocket to flick open his old Zippo lighter that he had carried since Nam', he started laughing.

This beautiful woman was trying to pick-up his old-a*s up. He hadn't had any p***y in ten years and could not even remember what it felt like anymore. Still laughing, he lit her cigarette and thats the last f*****g thing he could remember. He then yelled as loud as his old cancer-stricken lungs would allow "Where the F**k am I at"? He lay back down on the bed that had been fucked on a few too many times, and cried!

 He woke up with a mouth so dry his tongue stuck to his lips. It was dark outside, so him or somebody must have paid for the room at least one more day. He put his mouth underneath the spigot in the bathroom and drank water until he threw-up, then he did it again. He could not remember the last time he ate, but there were beer cans all over the room and he grabbed one and downed it. He quickly spit out the cigarettes some a*****e had put in it and threw up again, this time the dry-heaves. Man, was he fucked! 

He walked over to the window and parted the curtains, just a little so he could see out, but no one else could see in. The parking lot was empty. What f*****g kind of motel was empty at night? He didn't know the time. This s****y room with no TV and no phone must have cost a fortune and again he started laughing and fell back on the bed. The laughing turned into a coughing fit then dry-heaving but this time he didn't even bother going into the bathroom. F**k-it!

 He needed a cigarette, bad, and saw a half-smoked one on the floor where it had went out after burning a hole in the carpet. He picked it up and remembered his most prized possession was also missing. His Zippo. He had taken it off his best friend after a bullet had taken half his head off. He damn sure wasn't going to let some little f****n' gook light up their s****y cigs with it. He carried it out of that f*****g jungle with honor. He had managed to keep it for over forty years and now it was gone. M***********s!

He them grabbed his chest and  fell to the floor.It felt like he was hit with a Louisville slugger. He couldn't catch his breath and felt as if he were drowning, but without the water. He tried to move but couldn't and it came to him in a flash that he never would. This is the way it would end. After all he had gone through, his life was over. No life flashed before his eyes. No nothing, but he did manage to see something under the bed. It was his Zippo lighter and as he died, he smiled and remembered what was etched on the back in big bold letters.  




© 2012 Kenneth Sibbett

My Review

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JCharo, thank you, you're probably right. Being from another generation that dealt with this tragic war, I knew many of the men who served there. Everyone had a Zippo with dumb things written on it and they cherished them because at night, when they were alone, the Zippo was their only light. It wasn't so much "what" was written on it, but the memories it brought back, good and bad. Perhaps I should have explained it better. I had a Vietnam Vet read it, and he told me he still had his and was going to be buried with it. Funny what we find precious isn't it?

Posted 8 Years Ago

Very descriptive. You really put the reader in the scene and make them smell and taste everything that the character experiences. I suppose the only recommendation I would make is if the saying on the lighter were a bit more ironic. While this is well written and entertaining I didn't really make a connection between the writing on the lighter and the puzzled reality that the character was experiencing. Keep it up!

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on January 8, 2012
Last Updated on January 8, 2012


Kenneth Sibbett
Kenneth Sibbett

Whiteville, NC

I love writing. Not only writing it, but I very seldom go anywhere without a book in my hands. I can read any genre but fiction is what I love and write best. In the last three years I had came to lov.. more..