Voice Week: Guns in the Toy Box #3

Here’s the third installment of my Voice Week entries. You can see what it’s all about, and read the first installment in Monday’s post. #2 was yesterday. The voices are designed to be read in any order.


Guns in the Toy Box

There has been a Blythe in the Royal Marines since before there was a Royal Marines. Teddy knows the risks; his father was wounded out in Kosovo, but there is no way he wouldn’t have joined up. Doesn’t every little boy want to be like his Daddy?

He used to look through the medals and berets in my Pop’s cabinet when he was tiny. He even played with Pop’s old Webley. Safety catch on. Not loaded, of course. Pop gave it to him for his fifth birthday, said a boy needs to grow up knowing the man he will become.


Filed under Voice Week, Writing

21 responses to “Voice Week: Guns in the Toy Box #3

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    This has a real feel of accuracy to it, as though you channeled some member of your family. Either way, it is a credit to your skill that it rings so true.



  2. Wow, a gun at age five. My father gave a jack knife at age 6, but that’s a little different. I guess when you have that legacy of soldiers, it makes sense.

  3. I’m enjoying your ‘voices’, Jennifer.

  4. Mm, yet again a very different voice. Less surface-warmth than the other two, but not cold. At least that’s how I read it. Feels “upper class” or at least like someone who comes from a family that was once upper class. Nice work!

  5. Pingback: Voice Week: Guns in the Toy Box #3 | elmowrites | Voice Week HQ

  6. Interesting. This mother seems much less immediately frightened for her son, perhaps because she has seen many serve, but few die? Perhaps she has the unconscious attitude that “it will never happen to us.” Or perhaps more of a resignation, from long experience, that no amount of worrying on her part will protect him.

    • In my (limited) experience, those who have grown up in military families seem to take the waiting much more in their stride. I don’t think they love any less, but they are more accustomed to it, I guess.

  7. So different from the others. A resigned acceptance, a “boys will be boys” can’t change it, why should I want to? And of course the expectations: always been one, always will be one. Honor of the family

  8. …”said a boy needs to grow up knowing the man he will become.”
    There’s so much sadness to be felt in that line — the very idea that a child would be raised to believe that war was his only option.
    Very powerful and very real. Well done.

    • Yeah, I don’t fully understand the attitude of such people; I guess I’m much more like the first character than this one. I strongly considered joining the military years ago, but it was certainly not out of a sense of expectation.

  9. writingsprint

    I can feel the sense of nobility and honor in the words, and the sad sense of fate. Well done.

  10. evan72

    Wow…the realness in this entire thing is so good…everything seems to hit home in a way few writers can manage.

  11. The father’s footsteps for this one, a real family tradition! Sounds like Teddy never really had much say in this. He’d probably be disowned if he didn’t join up.
    With a name like his and the family tradition, I’m guessing Edward (Theodore?) “Teddy” Blythe is expected to at least reach Colonel 🙂

  12. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    I love the range of voices, especially between this one and the 2nd, with the rough cut, hard-edged accent and now the posh one. Did you ever listen to Pink Floyd growing up? Roger Waters built an entire career on the sense of betrayal he felt due to losing his father in the war. And then Margaret Thatcher, but the less said the better there….

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