This is something that I wrote for a school assignment. It takes place during the boxcar ride after Billy and Weary were captured by the Germans.

You do not have to have read Slaughterhouse-Five to understand what is happening.

Roland Weary's Realization

By: Vixen Hood

It was the ninth day that Billy and the other privates had been locked up in the boxcar like sardines in a can. It was also the day that the old hobo who claimed to have been through worse died. However, this did nothing to affect Billy. While such talk and then death would have disturbed most people, Billy was becoming un-stuck in time, again.

This time, he was watching as his mother finally died in the miserable nursing home he placed her in years before. Even after so much time, Billy still didn't have an answer to her question that she would accept.

"How…" she would always begin when she saw him, "how did I get so old?"

Billy had a simple answer for her. He had tried to tell her it was because she was stuck in time, but each time he said so, she was either unconscious from the amount of energy she had used trying to ask the question, or she just shook her head disbelievingly before becoming unconscious from the amount of effort she had used to ask the question and shake her head.

It was a real shame that she still didn't believe in the Tralfamadorians.


It was also on the ninth day that in the boxcars, not packed in like sardines in a can, that Roland Weary became more delusional than he previously was and started rambling to Edgar Derby and Paul Lazzaro. These ramblings included things like "Don't let Billy Pilgrim get away with killing me," "Tell Dad that I didn't mean to lose those boots," "Billy Pilgrim is the one who killed me," "Damn, I miss that knife, it was perfect," and "Will you kill Billy Pilgrim for killing me?"

Of course, these were all the ramblings of a sick man about to die, so most of the passengers in the boxcar didn't take him seriously. These people included Edgar Derby, another man who wished he could get away with strangling Weary for saying Billy Pilgrim's name so many times, a man who wished he still had his gun, and yet another man who sat in the corner of the boxcar and had not spoken for the entire nine days they had been trapped in the musty and smelly car. But, of course, one could only guess at why he didn't believe Weary, for he never spoke another word until his death twenty-two days later. And that word, or rather words, were simply, "Curse Billy Pilgrim."

However, among those who did take Roland Weary seriously in his claims was one Paul Lazzaro. Having previously been a delinquent before joining the army, he took a special delight in the idea of taking revenge upon Billy even though it wasn't really to revenge Weary's death, but just to inflict violence upon someone who he could actually understand. Apparently, crying Germans were not quite enough to satisfy Lazzaro's need for pain, tears, and begging from his victims.

So, Paul Lazzaro was really the only one who paid Roland Weary any attention as he ranted and raved about stupid Billy, inadequate Billy, and scrawny Billy who had split up the Three Musketeers, never mind the fact that Weary would be dead if the two scouts from before had not ditched him and Billy at the frozen creek. Though, honestly, that fact did Weary little good now.

Lazzaro just nodded as he listened to Roland Weary for the next few hours.

Weary went on to tell Lazzaro of the knife that had three edges; of the torture memorabilia that he had left back home, of how it was Billy's fault that he had been captured. If Billy hadn't made Weary beat the crap out of him in the creak, then they might have been taking shelter under a frozen bush right now.

"Don't you worry," Lazzaro assured Weary as his eyes started to glaze over, a sure sign of impending death. "I'll take care of Billy Pilgrim for you. He'll pay for all of that and more. By the time I'm done with him, he'll be wishing he wasn't born." Weary smiled to himself, pleased that someone would be kind enough to get back at Billy for him, since soon he would be dead.

But, as he listened to more of Lazzaro's promises, Weary realized something.

It was a simple thing, really, so plain and simple that Weary had not noticed until then, moments before he closed his eyes for the last time, how important it was. Well, it was two things, if he was being honest with himself.

The first was that no matter what everyone said, when death came for you there was no bright, white light, nor did Weary's life flash before his eyes. Instead, one simple memory came to mind. It was of the two shots that had killed the scouts who had left him and Billy, the sound heard at a distance, but instantly recognizable.

The second was that Weary was wrong. Wrong about nearly everything he had ever thought about the world, the people in it, and himself. His father had been wrong when he had spread his love of violence to Weary and his mother had also been wrong to encourage it. It had been wrong for Weary to hurt those around him by luring them in with false kindness and promises before beating them up. And he was also wrong about Billy Pilgrim, who he had considered a nuisance. Billy, in all his ridiculous bobbing up-and-down and his crashing into Weary as they walked, had been trying to help Weary. It was strange, and Weary wasn't entirely sure what it meant, but Billy was showing him what it was like to truly be kind.

However, Weary was tired and all he really wanted to do was curl up in a warm ball and sleep for a few decades. He wanted to tell Lazzaro to forget about what he had said before, to forget about Billy because as much as Weary tried to blame it all on Billy, it wasn't Billy's fault that he had such an unhappy life.

But just as he was about to muster up the last of his strength to tell these things to Lazzaro, Weary stopped. Because, he decided, it didn't really matter anyways.

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