Short Fiction: Return to Civilian Life

Leaving the army was hard on Omar Spyfe. He was a decorated soldier, but had got into some trouble after it was discovered he was making his own decorations—out of Roll-Ups. His commanding officer became suspicious when he spied Omar taking a bite of his Victoria Cross. Normally this would not merit a dishonourable discharge, but when Lieutenant Kring has a weird vendetta against you, any misdemeanour could be your last. (Also, Omar had gone AWOL for three years, only returning after the regrettable “pet shop incident”, in which he had given a small group of civilians the impression he was taking them hostage. Incidentally, one of those civilians turned out to be Lt Kring’s sister.)

“But Sir, I just wanted a macaw,” explained Omar, to no avail.

“Spyfe, you’re fired!” yelled Lt Kring. “Hand over your gun and badge.” (Or however they say it in the army. I don’t know, and this piece isn’t worth doing research.)

Six months later, Omar was struggling without military life and its routine (and ready availability of LSD). Oh sure, he was making ends meet as an ironic stripper, but what good is a six-figure salary if you are unhappy? While others around him seemed to be floating like lemons, Omar was sinking like a lime, and for the same reason: he was dense. Omar was young, healthy, and married to a beautiful woman (by modern standards—her gender I mean. She identified as female, despite some whopping evidence to the contrary). Any fool would have looked at a life like Omar’s and been grateful.

One fool was.

Xander Fishly was his name, and he stole Omar’s identity. By the time Omar realised the error of his ways it was too late: Xander had swapped his identity on eBay for a saxophone. A court ordered Xander to perform three hundred hours of community service and give the saxophone to Omar. Omar used it to smuggle a macaw in from Nicaragua. It died on the flight, but that was okay. Omar only needed its beak.



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