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Uncle Tom (standard:Inspirational stories, 3425 words)
Author: BaronAdded: Apr 23 2005Views/Reads: 2024/1194Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
In order to have peace he has to fight.

He sat quite still, like a deer does when it is listening to footsteps.
The television in the dark room flickered; a documentary of the war in 
Vietnam.  The room didn't have any windows, and Michael couldn't work 
the remote. So he watched the war, a spectator 20 years later, and 
thousands of miles away. The roof of the single wide mobile home 
leaked. The leaking water slowly dripped from the ceiling in the closet 
and made the apartment smell of mildew and mold.  The T.V. was an old 
imitation wood-finished console that was big enough to be buried in.  
Michael liked to say that it was illiterate, because for some reason 
when writing was on the screen, the picture would warp, and the words 
would mash. Michael stopped watching the television. The narrator 
refused to be ignored. The harder Michael tried, the louder the 
narrator spoke. Michael stared intently at a chessboard on a T.V. tray 
beside him. There was nothing fancy about the pieces; they were cheap 
plastic. Michael looked at them for a long time. 

“Michael, why aren't you dressed and ready to go?”  Michael's Uncle Tom
was laughing softly. He looked at Michael sitting so still and asked. 
“Are you ready for your match today?” 

Michael rolled his head to look at Tom. “I'm ready.” 

Tom Picked through a drawer. “Do you want to wear a tie?” 

“Yes, but I don't want to wear my blue shirt I want to wear a white

Tom threw the blue shirt back in the drawer. “Are you nervous?” 

Michael thought for a moment, and sighed. “Yeah, when I think of
Springfield I always get nervous.” 

A soldier on the television was shouting. 

“Can you turn that thing off please, Tom?” Michael looked at Tom he had
dark eyes and a black mustache. The very top of his head was naked. His 
glasses were well worn and he had a black string that held them around 
his neck. 

Tom reached over and shut off the ancient television. Then he
straightened the black rimmed glasses that were sliding off his nose. 
“OK, are you ready?” 

“OK.” Michael looked at a picture of Toms wedding on the wall. He
wondered how a man like Tom had ever gotten such a beautiful woman to 
marry him. 

Tom pulled Michaels limp body from the wheelchair. He slid him onto the
made bed, and changed his clothes. He struggled with his dead arms and 
legs. After Tom dressed Michael he brushed his teeth, and Michael spit 
into a plastic cup. “You know everyone thinks I'm going to fail.” 

“Yeah, well you can't get what you want, if you do what others want.”
Tom shook his head at what he had just said. 

“Do you know what I want, Tom?” 

“What do you want, Michael?” 

“I want peace. I want my own ranch far away from everyone else, with a
big house where we can all live. I want to find a place where there 
will be quiet. Where at night we can sit on the porch and look at the 
night sky and see all the stars. During the day we'll watch our horses 
playing in the fields and we won't have to worry about anything or 

Tom laughed, as he looked around the apartment to make sure they had
everything. “I thought you wanted to travel the world winning chess 

“Well how else am I going to afford to pay for all that?” 

“You know Michael; you don't have to have a big ranch in the country to
have peace. You can have peace right now if you want to.” Tom pushed 
him down a ramp in front of the house. 

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