Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
This week’s excellent photo spoke to me of war, and its inevitable and tragic outcome.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.
After the Battle
I am overjoyed to see him.
He stands quietly in the front room, looking out of the window.
I am surprised and elated.
The news from the bridge was dire, tales of a massacre spread like wildfire.
Dropping the groceries on the path, I run into the house, embrace him.
He feels different somehow, softer yet, paradoxically, more rigid.
He puts his arms around me, strokes my hair.
What happened, I ask him, we heard such terrible things.
We were defending the river crossing, he says, they must have found an alternative route, came at us from behind.
We were trapped between their two forces, he continues, his voice emotionless, there was no way out.
I pull back, stare up at his eyes.
They slaughtered us, he says, to a man.
But then how…, I start to ask, already fearing the answer.
He pulls open his coat, revealing a gaping hole in his stomach.
I wanted to tell you myself, he says, so that you don’t have to wonder. I didn’t want you to go up there and search through the bodies.
And he fades slowly away.