Issue #156: The Quiet

When I am reading a good story, there is nearly always a moment, early on, when I feel suddenly pulled, like magic, into the world the author has created. It happened on page two of C. Joseph Jordan’s “The Quiet,” when I read the line: The doctor who examined him had a propensity to slam doors. After that sentence I was right beside Sergeant Malick, twitching at every loud noise and experiencing the strangeness of the real world after wartime. At his Welcome Home party, Sergeant Malick wanders through the house he grew up in. He is a changed man, unable to share the secrets he carries, but room by room, he begins to leave the soldier behind and find himself again. C. Joseph Jordan has been working on “The Quiet”  for years, and it shows in the careful way he re-creates Sergeant Malick’s experience. Be sure to visit our Q&A to find out how Jordan revised the piece and drew on the experiences of current soldiers returning from overseas. As timing would have it, just as One Story went to press with this issue, President Obama announced that all American troops would be leaving Iraq by the end of the year. Here’s to everyone coming home safely. Until then, I hope our readers will enjoy “The Quiet,” a haunting story of one soldier crossing between two worlds.

5 thoughts on “Issue #156: The Quiet

  1. I identified with Sgt. Malick immediately and even got a bit sick to my stomach while reading about his killing the young Vietnamese man with his knife. Mr. Jordan got it right and I was surprised to learn that he isn’t a salty Marine but had to do an extensive amount of research to write a most credible story. Surely the best one I’ve read this year.
    R. C. Reynolds, LtCol USMC (Ret)

  2. I disagree with the negative comment. The Quiet is top-notch. I loved the tension between Malick’s cheerful welcome home party and his inner desire to run away again. A detail that stuck with me was the way Malick and Molly “tumbled about the room like dice in a cup.” I’m also excited to discover a new writer who grew up in western Oregon like I did! Thank you, One Story, for publishing yet another gem!

  3. Beautiful and engaging from start to finish. The best one story issue I’ve read in the past year. can’t wait to see more from this talented author

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