End Words

It’s been fairly common over the years to quote the opening words of books as a way to offer readers a sense of whether they’d like to read the book. But it occurred to me that perhaps a better indication would be to quote the last words of the book. So I thought I’d give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Here are the final words of my novel, Last of the Annamese:

            His eyes came to rest on the row of benches facing them. Evacuees sat talking, watching the sun and sea, laughing occasionally. Out of place was an olive drab object huddled at the feet of one of the women. An Army field jacket. It was moving.

            “Colonel,” Chuck said. “Is that Thu?”

            Troiano nodded.

            The jacket weaved and shuddered.

            “He keeps asking for you,” Troiano said.

            “It hurts too much.”

            “Do what you have to do,” Troiano said. “Whatever it takes.”

            He couldn’t do it. It was too much. But he had to. Against his will, Chuck stood. He walked to the benches and knelt beside the field jacket. “Tuffy?”

            The hood of the jacket fell back. Thu’s face turned to him. The eyes were Tuyet’s, but the face was Thanh’s.

            “Chuck?” Thu said. “A ghen? Bo-di?

            “Buddy.” Chuck swept Thu into his arms.

            Thu contoured himself against Chuck’s chest. Chuck pulled him close. He felt his heart breaking. His tears dripped from his chin and wet Thu’s hair.

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