My Inheritance
by Charles Kesler

My inheritance from my father was a knife and a gun. I don’t remember whether his fourth wife gave them to me because my father wanted me to have them or before he got real sick he personally gave them to me. The gun was a small 22 caliber pistol, a hit man special. The knife was nearly as big as a bayonet, the kind he taught me from a child would make me a man if I could shove it into the guts of an enemy, and hear terrible sounds in the fight for life. I thought because of the torment he went through as a World War II soldier, who apparently had to do that, I should try to kill from a distance and use my M-16 rifle as the expert rifleman I was. When you shoot your enemy from a distance often you hear no sound. I may not be the man my father trained me to be, but if I had a son I wouldn't want to spend all his years trying to get him ready to bayonet an enemy soldier. I’d rather tell my son he is already a little man growing into a bigger man and I hope he doesn’t have to kill anyone in his life.

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