Still Alive

Posted: November 11, 2015 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , ,

My friend, Aurelio Orlandini, flew Huey helicopters in Vietnam. His chopper was shot down, leaving him so severely wounded he was zipped into a body bag. Lucky for us, someone noticed he was breathing. The world would be a dim place without Mr. Orlandini’s stories and broad smile. My 100 words are dedicated to him and all the men and women who serve and have served our country.
Thanks to J. Hardy Carroll for this poignant picture and to Rochelle for posting it.


Two months ago Aurelio Orlandini came five seconds close to being zipped into a body bag – chest bleeding, legs broken. Luckily the guy manning the zipper shouted, “Dude’s movin’! Medevac him!” Forget the damn wounds, one more pull of the zipper, he’d have suffocated inside a big black bag.

The hospital sheets are better than sex. Sweet and soft. Best of all, they don’t care what position (mainly flat on his back) or disposition (generally angry with pain) he’s in.

Then again, there’s that nurse who brings the mail. A real blonde cutie. Nope, Aurelio thinks, I’m not dead yet.


  1. Sandra says:

    The man is on the mend again. Nice story Alicia, good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RASL says:

    Great and poignant story about Aurelio. Glad he was rescued and glad you told the story inspired by the picture prompt.


    • Thanks, Rea Ann, I remember when he told us about the body bag, during the time Hueys were coming and going as we broke down the site at Ozette. One of the men helping us – also a Viet Nam vet – freaked out, ran into the grass and started screaming about being covered with blood. Aurelio, who had counseled vets, talked him down then told us his story.


  3. What an incredible tale!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A heart warming story. Some were lucky, others not.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Alicia,

    I loved it all, your introduction to your friend, your story and best of all that last line that made me laugh out loud. Good job.



    Liked by 1 person

  6. A nice tribute to your friend and I am glad he made it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great and inspirational story, glad to know it’s true. And even a real blonde cutie yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ansumani says:

    ha ha. Light and airy writing that still shows the depths of a soldier’s life. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love it on every level. Sometimes, it’s just not your time to go. My favorite FF so far today.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    What a great tale he lived to tell! And he’s got spunk to boot! I love Aurelio! He’s my kind of guy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. draliman says:

    A lucky escape. Loved your last line!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think we appreciate life more when we’ve come so close to losing it. My greetings to your friend for his sacrifice.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. micklively says:

    Lucky to be alive; unlucky to be born in the “policeman of the world”.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jan Brown says:

    What a great story for Veterans Day–or any other day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. hafong says:

    Alicia, your story made me smile. The hospital sheets are better than sex. Sweet and soft. I have to remember those sentences so I can pass them onto my still nursing friends. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  16. plaridel says:

    i agree. he’s not dead yet. i could see him rising to the occasion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. rgayer55 says:

    I love it when these photo evoke a personal story, and this is one of the best I’ve read. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Amy Reese says:

    Wow, what a story, Alicia! It’s amazing how close he came to being zipped up in a bag. I love the line about the bed sheets. Coming that close to death puts things into perspective. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. No, definitely not dead yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. gahlearner says:

    What a story! A wonderful tribute to your friend, and a great peek into his (not-so-fictional, male) thoughts. Not only the sheet sentence, but the two sentences after… great.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a wonderful tribute, Alicia. Sharp, humorous, and gritty. I really like what you did with the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Margaret says:

    This is really good. I love the feel and tone of it – and to think it’s true!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Sarah Ann says:

    Great last line that made me smile and really lifts this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Great story, Alicia. I’m so glad your friend survived Vietnam. Thank goodness the man pulling the zipper was paying attention. I loved the humor at the end. Well written as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  25. subroto says:

    Nice one Alicia I am glad he made it back. One of my friends was not so lucky and came home in a body bag.


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