I was sitting down surfing the internet today, when an idea hit me. What if I could travel back in time? Where would I go? There are so many fascinating historical I adore and admire. I guess I’d first travel back to the time of the American Civil War where I would be able to experience the Civil War first hand..
I would be a war correspondent conducting interviews with the wounded soldiers. I’d also be out there in the trenches not only observing, but giving first aid to the wounded then and there. This very thing happened to me. It was the early to mid 1990’s when my dreams at night took me back to the times of the civil war. I was a rookie journalist for the local paper of the town. I was writing about my observations of the town, such as the people and the way they conducted themselves. I also went into the saloons and wrote about the brawls going on in there. However, my editor was not impressed. After reading my article, he looked up at me, and said, “This is good. But not good enough.”
“What do you mean it’s not good enough. I have imagery. Vivid descriptions and details of the town. I wrote the complete story,” I protested while glaring at him, and grabbing a hold of the folds of my dress.
“The reason it’s not good enough is because you are missing the itch,” he responded sternly, as he handed me back my article, “I’m sending you on assignment to go out into the trenches of battle, and bring me something back with the itch. You bring me something with the “itch”, and I’ll publish it. Only then will I publish it. Now git,” he said as he patted me on the shoulder.
The editor of the town’s newspaper didn’t really look like an editor at all. He didn’t even look like a highly educated man. He looked more like the town bum, or drunk, because he wore grubby clothes, his hair was uncombed, had a scruffy looking beard, and three teeth missing. Yet, there he was, the editor of the newspaper.
I went out into the trenches of the war like he said. I was taking notes, while being careful not to get in the way of the soldiers. While I jotted down some notes, one of the soldiers had been shot two feet in front of me. Seeing him fall to the ground, I’m ran over to help. Blood was gushing out of his chest. I was overcome with emotion. Tearing off part of my dress, I used it as dressing for his wounds.
Tilting his head in my direction, he said, “Tell my wife and kids I love them.” He died in my arms.
When I got back into town, I wrote up my article with a heavy heart. Upon completing the article, I turned it in to the editor. After reading it, he looked up at me with a tear falling from his eye, and said, “Well, young lady, congratulations. You finally got it.”
“Got what?” I inquired while looking at him dumbfounded.
“You finally got “the itch.”
It wasn’t until moments after waking up from the dream “the itch” the editor was talking about was none other than the emotional connection needed to be established between myself and my readers.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015