The Watch Maker

The Watch Maker

A Story by MrStandfill
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"As he walked up to his front door and put his key in the lock, he could hear someone crying inside and right away he knew it was..."

"
Born the only son of Robert and Victoria Jackson in the Fall of 1921, John had always been a simple man with simpler aspirations. His father was Assistant Foreman of a local Detroit steel mill and his mother was the nurse at the local elementary school.

John had a steady enough up bringing with no really hiccups save for a few financial rough spots here and there, but with very few surprises. Eventually John found his way into the art of watch making through his uncle who was a watch smith, with his very own business in the downtown section of Detroit. At the age of 18 John became his uncle Roy's apprentice and he studied the art of watch making under his watchful eye.

John continued his apprenticeship under Roy and saw it through to its end. After a year of unpaid work under his uncle's wing he gained Roy's approval, and in the Winter of 1939 John became Roy's business partner at the age of 19. That night John and Roy got together with with John's mother and father for a night out on the town in celebration of John making it through his apprenticeship. After a years of working for Roy, John began thinking of talking to his old uncle about taking over the business, but he knew Roy was too proud and wouldn't allow any mention of it so he kept his mouth shut, for now. They continued working together with John becoming more and more skilled and eventually surpassing Roy himself.

In 1943, when John was 22 and he had officially been working with Roy for 3 years, John, knowing his old uncle was coming to the end of his career, started to talk to Roy about taking over the business and, at this point, even Roy knew he should step down. So, after they made the necessary preparations, Roy officially handed the business over to John. That night John and Roy got together with John's mother and father for another big night out to celebrate this monumental occurrence in John's life. 

At first, John worked endlessly at the shop designing and making many watches with some becoming considerably popular with the local steel mill workers due to their rugged design. Not long after taking over his uncle's business, John met the love of his life, a dashing young woman by the name of April through a mutual friend of the family. They hit it off from the moment they met. Sparks flied every time they were together and they soon became inseparable. After being together for a little over a year John knew it was time he proposed. He didn't have the money at the time though so he started to save what he could, but on a watch maker's salary, he know it was going to take some time.

It was March 1944 and John finally had enough saved up to buy an engagement ring for April. As soon as he was able to buy the ring he setup a reservation at a romantic restaurant where he got down on one knee and asked April for her hand in marriage, to which she, without a moments hesitation, said "Yes!". They ate and they drank and in that moment they were happier than they had ever been.

The next day at work John thought of nothing other than April and how happy he was with her. All he could think about was how they were going to spend the rest of their lives together. On his way home from work all he could think about was the way the night was going to go with April. But when John got home, he quickly found out his night wasn't going to go the way he had planned it.

As he walked up to his front door and put his key in the lock, he could hear someone crying inside and right away he knew it was April. He shoved open the door and ran into the living room where he found April curled up on their couch, crying and clutching  a piece of paper. He rushed to her side, asking what was wrong, but he got no reply. Instead April raised her hand, showing the piece of paper to John. John froze and stared at the paper when he realized what it was. It was a draft letter. It told John he had to report to the nearest Marine recruitment office. John and April lay on their living room couch, holding one another with a near endless stream of tears going down their faces. 

The next day John set out to the local Marine recruitment office. When he got there he presented his letter to the Captain in charge of the office and he and John went over how things would play out from there. John was sent to basic training where they did their best to turn John into a killing machine, as they did with all Marines, and he did his best to learn.

In late May of 1944, when John was through with his training, they shipped him out to Europe. When he got to his destination he was informed he would be participating in the assault on Normandy. So, for the week he had until he would be sent to the beaches of France to fight for his home, his country, his people, April, and all his family back home, he trained and studied the French landscape that would soon be his battlefield.

It was June 6th 1944 and John and his brothers in arms were packed tightly in their amphibious assault vehicles, waiting to be taken to the beaches of Normandy where they would do battle with the Nazi forces. As they started their charge toward land, many of his fellow Marines began to unravel, some throwing up, some crying in a little ball in the corner of the tiny vessel while he and others stood fast and made ready for the fight they were soon to partake.

John felt a slam and heard a loud thud and knew right away they had hit the beach. The doors to his boat swung open and he and the men around him began to charge out the door. John stepped onto the beach and started to run to the nearest cover point, a giant rock pointing out from the sand. John made it to the rock and looked back to try and find a familiar face, but all he saw were the bodies of his friends.

John knew he had to move. He peeked out from behind his cover and saw his commanding officer behind another rock just 20 or so feet up the beach shouting and gesturing at him, ordering him to move up to his position. He stayed there for a few seconds longer before mustering up the courage to leave the safety of his rock. John moved around the rock he was taking cover behind and...

Written on: 12/10/10.

© 2011 MrStandfill


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Author's Note

MrStandfill
The writing isn't 100%, but I feel it's at a good place right now. The beginning could certainly use some work, but it works for now. I'm very comfortable with the ending, so I don't feel I need comments on that for now.

The story is completely fictional. Any and all connections to real world people are merely coincidental.

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Added on January 10, 2011
Last Updated on January 18, 2011
Tags: Watch Maker 40s WW2 Soldier stor

Author

MrStandfill
MrStandfill

CA



About
I'm a 22 year old college student and novice writer from the Bay Area. more..

Writing