Trip to Gettysburg

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: Write a story about characters going on a summer road trip.... view prompt

2 comments

Contemporary

Morning finally came. After waiting all year today had finally come. Most people do not jump up with the alarm. Most push the snooze button so many times that they end up being late. That is me, well normally. But not today, no not today. Today was different, today was the beginning of our summer trip to Gettysburg. We have gone every year of my life…which happens to be twenty two years. And yet every year we leave with different ghost stories than the year before. This year I was determined to see one on the battlefield. There was something even more special about the trip this year. Which is why I was so eager to get up at four thirty in the morning. I am sure most people even if they can manage getting up with the alarm. Are not cheerful and pleasant at the thought of getting up that early in the morning. I however, had a very good reason. My mom and dad had the same reason as well.

Not only was today the start of our trip but today was when we got to pick up my brother John from the airport. Six months ago he was declared MIA by the US Navy. They found him three ago and he was given a temporary leave for the summer. So not only is he alive, but he also gets to come on the yearly trip. Which is why today is so special and why I am up so early. We are going to meet him at the airport and then head straight to Gettysburg. When we arrived at the airport we walked in and eagerly waited for my brother. A few minutes turned into a half an hour and that turned into an hour. Then two hours went by and I wondered if he would ever come. Finally after forever of waiting I saw soldiers coming down the steps. "Look." I said quickly. We all stood up with our signs awaiting him. Mom was crying and we hadn't even seen him yet. "There he is!" I shouted as I waved. He quickly walked down the stairs and over towards us. Mom ran over to hug him, he dropped his stuff and wrapped his arms around her so tight I thought he would break her. Dad walked over to him and hugged him tight but his hug didn't last as long as moms. Then he looked over at me and smiled as he walked towards me. A few small tears were rolling down my cheeks, he wiped one away with his thumb. "It's okay Tammy. I'm here now." He said. I smiled and threw my arms around his neck and he hugged me almost as tight as he did mom. "You're not allowed to leave me." I said rubbing his cheek. "Yes ma'am." He said smiling. "John, Tammy? You ready to go?" Dad asked. We walked out to the car, "Did you pack all my gear?" John whispered, as we put his bags in the truck."Yeah I packed all of it." I answered. It took hours to get from DC to Gettysburg. By the time we had finally got there we were all starved so we stopped at a diner. When dad went to pay the lady at the diner gave us a discount because of John being in uniform. We arrived at the hotel that we stayed at every year. We always paid extra for a suit with three bedrooms.

Once everyone was settled there was still enough time to walk out on the battlefield. Dusk was the perfect time to see a ghost. John and I walked ahead of mom and dad. I was listening closely for any suspicious sounds. "Tammy look." John whispered. I looked carefully from side to side in front of me and saw nothing. "Where?" I asked. "Right there." He whispered. I looked all around and then finally I saw it. It was a white apparition walking back and forth along the tree line. Out of all the years we have been coming here I was finally seeing a ghost. Mom and dad came over and saw it too. We stood and watched it until we could see it no more. When we got back to the hotel I got dressed in my pajamas and said goodnight to everyone.

The next morning I was woke up by someone rubbing my shoulder. I opened my eyes and saw John standing over me. "Come on sleepy head. We are going to have breakfast without you." He said smiling. I got up and got dressed in less than ten minutes. Everyone else was ready so we left for the day. "Did you charge everything?" I asked John as we walked to the car. "Yes it's all ready to go." He answered. We parked in a parking lot "Where are we going first?" Dad asked. We all talked about it and decided to go to some buildings first. We went to the visitors center and stayed in there for almost an hour. Then we walked to the Jennie Wade house. John and I took pictures of almost every room in the house. Mom and dad had at some point gave the job of taking pictures to John and I. We left there and went to Lee's Headquarters. When we were done there we stopped for lunch at our favorite diner. When we finished our lunch we headed out to the battlefield. Someone was nice enough to take a picture of us in front of a cannon on the battlefield. John and I got pictures of the Virginia monument and James Longstreet. Then we went to see Little Round Top. It was beautiful from up there, I could see the whole battlefield. Even though we have come every year there is still something breathtaking about it. As if it is still new and the sites never grow old. As we stood there I heard the echo of father's voice as he read Chamberlain's words. With my mom and dad being historians my brother and I never needed to go on a tour with the guides because they were already with us. We went to Big Round Top next and got pictures. Then we went to devil's den, the huge rocks towered above us. Mom took a picture of John and I sitting on the rocks. Then he picked me up in his arms and I leaned back as if I had passed out, and mom took a picture. We were all laughing at how silly we looked. At the end of the day we walked out on the battlefield and listened to the call of the mourning doves. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. This truly is a wonderful place to come on a family trip.

June 25, 2021 01:03

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2 comments

Shawna C.
01:38 Jul 01, 2021

Heather, I like your story, but I was looking for more from it - especially when the ghost was spotted by the whole family. I was hoping there was going to be some excitement or suspense! A few tips - remember to break up your paragraphs, especially when you are going into another part of the story. Try using an editing tool like "Grammarly." This app helps to show you things - you may have missed in your writing. Also, I feel the ending was too quick - I was hoping for something unexpected to happen.

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Heather Duckett
01:19 Jul 02, 2021

Thank you! Yes I agree! I should have done more. Thanks for your feedback!

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