Hidden in the KOLHOZ* system somewhere in northern Asia since his shoot down in forbidden territory where he knew that if you’re downed there, you’re gone. He had radioed his position but the Vietcong were there and “accommodated” him till his transfer to deprivation. He lost count of the years as he labored at herding cows through murky fields, ankle deep in HIMNO and always silently singing the Four Tops, or -whispering bits of Browning and resentment.
In the terminal, Nick asked, “Am I free?”
The Attache said sharply, “Yes, but the President will want to meet you.”
Nick had already walked out into the liberating rain having nothing to look back on.
*Kolhoz was a collective farming system
~ from Captive Memories by J.D. Holiday, in STORIES AND IMAGININGS FOR THE READING SPOT.