Jenny Ferguson “72 Hour Leave”
This short story is part of my novel THE INTERSECTION[S]. But still, while it belongs to a larger body of work, it stands on its own. Its voice coming at you from a memory, echoing out from Germany, reminiscing on Afghanistan, and then rippling toward North America, specifically the colonial nations of the U.S. and Canada. I’m the child of a solider, and the grandchild and grandniece of soldiers. These men have shaped who I am, and the military life has shaped how I see the world. I’m Métis and I’m a woman. That’s not why I wrote a novel about resilient Indigenous women. But these are important to who I am as a writer, and what I create. While this piece isn’t in the voice of a woman, this piece sits inside a novel where Indigenous women’s voices and stories are told against a hard colonial landscape. And part of the landscape is the military. And part of that landscape is the white gaze and white desire to claim or destroy or eat or consume or subsume or annihilate Indigenous bodies, cultures, languages, etc. And another part of that landscape is my own looking inward, the accusatory you, the second person as a way to get inside experience, my own, my character’s, and—of course—yours.