Selective Service (Early Days fiction)


I’d like to remind everyone that this Sunday Scribblings prompt does not necessarily reflect the views of Susan. Only of Trevor, since this is in his point of view.

They’d been summoned to dinner. Trevor fucking hated being summoned, even if Sonya had tried to soften the blow by making pot roast. She’d made sure Trevor knew that was on the menu. After all, no one summoned Trevor Fucking Wolff. Not if they actually wanted to see his ugly mug.

Bribery with pot roast, however, was completely acceptable.

“Boys,” Patterson said after dinner but before dessert.

Mitchell burped, turned red, and immediately said all the polite shit that Sonya liked so much.

Patterson ignored him.

Trevor waited.

“You’re both eighteen now,” the elder Voss said. “You know what that means.”

“You said we didn’t have to move out until we’d graduated, Dad!”

Patterson chuckled. “This is a lot less painful than moving. Unless the country goes to war.”

Mitchell drew back in his seat. Trevor reached for his cigarettes, then reminded himself he wasn’t allowed to smoke in the house. Even though he had the feeling he was about to need to. Maybe even something stronger, more soothing.

“You need to register for selective service,” Patterson said. He put the forms on the table. Where he’d just pulled them from, Trevor didn’t know. He didn’t want to know. If he wanted anything, it was for those stupid pieces of paper to go away.

“No can do, powerful legal guardian,” he said. He shook his head slowly from side to side, exaggerating the motion as much as possible. “I am what you’d call one of those conscientious objector people, ready to bolt for Canada.”

“What do you object to?” Patterson asked. Trevor admired his patience; if he’d said that to Hank, it would have been a quick left followed by two rights. And another shirt with too much blood to bother trying to wash. Not to mention what would happen to his nose. Again.

“All of it. Cutting my hair. Saying yessir to an asshole. And guns. I object to guns.”

“Maybe what you need is to be taught to use a gun properly.”

“Why? Planning on sending me back so I have to use one again?”

Mitchell cleared his throat. “Dad?”

Trevor looked at Mitchell. Blondie had turned a new shade of white; now, he looked like something fresh out of Sonya’s washing machine.

“Do you… do you really think…” Mitchell swallowed so loud, Sonya turned and looked at them.

Or maybe, given her proud smile, it was just coincidence. But it gave Mitchell enough gumption for some of that color to come back into the guy’s face.

“Thinking’s bad for your health,” Trevor said. “That’s the only good thing about the military. They don’t let you think. They turn you into mindless automatons who can’t do a damn thing for themselves except maybe, maybe wipe their asses when they take a dump.”

Patterson leaned back and folded his arms across his chest.

Mitchell mirrored him.

“Trevor, I spent many years in the military, and I can promise you that’s not true. In fact, if I weren’t doing my present job, I’d still be a military man. Our military’s important. It’s part of what makes this country so great.”

“I don’t care. I still object. They come after me, I’m outta here. Canada, get ready. Trevor Wolff’s on his way. I’m not killing for anyone, hear me? And fuck anyone who says I’ve got to.”

“What if you could serve without killing?”

“Yeah, right. Like they let you do that. Like they’d let me do that. Fuck, no. They’d take one look at me and tell me I’m the unit’s crazy SOB who lives and breathes just to kill and I’d better suck it all up and be a good little soldier boy and do it. Who fucking cares what Trevor wants or thinks? It’s for a greater good than one fucked up, beat up kid.”

“Mitchell?” Patterson asked as Trevor stopped for a breath.

That was, of course, Trevor’s cue to stuff it and shut the hell up.

In response to dear old dad, Mitchell the idiot uncrossed his arms and pushed at his hair. It was starting to be long enough to sit on his shoulders; at last, he looked sort of cool when he shoved it out of the way. “You know, Dad, I want to see the world one day. I just…” He looked at the piece of paper on the table and, again, swallowed loud enough for them all to hear it. “I just thought I’d do it with a band.”

Patterson patted Mitchell’s hand.

Trevor stared at their hands. Some stupid photographer somewhere probably totally dug that picture they made. Family love. Ahh, how sweet it was.

Trevor wanted to gag.

“Son,” Patterson said, “the chances of this country needing to use a draft are very slim. Registering is the law, and it’s one I’d like to see you both not break.”

Trevor peered at the form. If Mitchell was…

No, he told himself. Doing things only because someone else was? That had to be the world’s stupidest reason for doing anything. A man should stand up for what he believed in.

He’d come scarily close to killing a man once. He’d come scarily close to being killed. More than once.

There was no way anyone was handing him a gun and inviting him back to that Hell. No fucking way. He’d sooner be a Canuck.



  1. gautami tripathy

    May 25, 2009 11:49 am

    “Thinking is bad for your health.”

    I agree with it!

    Another great Trevor post from you!

    two sides of the same coin

    gautami tripathy’s last blog post..two sides of the same coin

  2. Dee

    May 25, 2009 5:04 pm

    Strikes a chord. I graduated from high school in 1972 so my knee jerk reaction is to tell Trevor that I have a van, I know the way, and I have a few relatives up there. I realize that isn’t necessarily the popular feeling in the states right now but there it is. Good read. I immediately felt defensive for Trevor, sorry for Mitchell, and hated Patterson 🙂

    Dee’s last blog post..Sunday Scribbling 164 Worry

  3. floreta

    May 25, 2009 7:47 pm

    i wouldn’t want to be forced to register either.

    floreta’s last blog post..Archive Monday: Pining for Gold

  4. Darlene

    May 25, 2009 8:09 pm

    ‘Bribery with pot roast, however, was completely acceptable’. lol-I can see Trevor thinking that.

    Wow, could you imagine Trevor coming to Canada???

    Great post Susan.

    Darlene’s last blog post..Happy Birthday Buddy—A Trip Down Memory Lane

  5. Sandy

    May 26, 2009 9:25 am

    left you some linky love this am, come check it out

    Sandy’s last blog post..Special Thank You for my Traveling Companions

  6. Julia Smith

    May 26, 2009 10:10 am

    Very moving that Trevor doesn’t want to go down the road that would let him loose with a gun and a licence to kill.

    Julia Smith’s last blog post..Through the Opera Glasses – 18 – Romeo and Juliet

  7. Alice Audrey

    May 26, 2009 4:41 pm

    I read the “bribery with pot roast” line out loud.

    A very thoughtful and well written piece.

    Alice Audrey’s last blog post..I was wrong.

  8. Thomma Lyn

    May 28, 2009 12:03 am

    I also liked “bribery with pot roast.” 😀

    One of my very favorite things about Trevor, both Shapeshifter era and young Trevor, is how aware he is of not wanting to be like Hank. He’s wiser than his years.

    Thomma Lyn’s last blog post..Tadpole Rescue Mission, Continued

  9. 13 Words, More or Less « Alice’s Restaurant

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