Lieutenant Harold Demarest stands on the bridge, watching a kamikaze roar towards him.
Below, Gunner Frank McClelland fires the 40mm cannon and hits the suicide plane.
It veers downward, exploding into the ship.
Demarest is alive, a flimsy clipboard shielding his head. Below, Frank McClelland and seventeen others are dead.
Frank McClelland was awarded the Silver Star Posthumously. Harry
Demarest wrote this story about his father, Harold Demarest, who attended
many reunions with his shipmates until his death at age 96.
They met on the sand, slow waltzing to wavesong under a rainbow of stars and deciding love should last beyond forever.
Now he whispers those memories and her smile smooths the wrinkles of their pain.
He catches her last breath with a gossamer lasso and ties it to his heartbeat.
A.J. lives in Australia and wouldn’t mind being reincarnated as a kookaburra. She’s on Twitter at @manicol1.
The dead got up from the battlefield. Some played with their wounds. Others witnessed the horror of what they had become. As they walked away a young private looked back and saw their bodies where they’d fallen and sighed, “If all this is for that, why did we bother coming?”
Connell writes a bit and no more.
We talked for hours, while making lists of people to call. Halfway to morning we went to bed. We were shattered. Before we fell asleep the wind picked up, gusting snow off the trees. As the branches lightened, they scratched against the windows, like something asking to be let in.
Author’s Note: For Sarah Kate 1980-2010
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
Things I’ve done for money: collected cans for cash, sold chocolate, shoveled sidewalks after a snowstorm. Once I built an amusement park in the backyard and sold tickets. That was the summer Mom quit chemo.
I told jokes for a penny. She bought a hundred, and listened from her bed.
Jane Hertenstein wrote this story.
For months the space next to me had been empty. Yet tonight, it was occupied by a stranger. My husband glared at him.
“How could you do this to me?” he whispered.
“Til death do us part,” I replied.
My husband glowered. His ghostly figure slowly disappeared into the darkness.
Patricia Santillan likes climbing up chairs because she is too short to reach the top cupboard. Because self-love is important to her, she loves hugging herself. Her most recent publications can be found in Leaves of Ink and Fairy Talez.
I’ve thought of you so very often these past thirty years or more. In my head, I still hear your gentle tone and I feel the touch of your warm embrace.
Good memories last a lifetime. I’m coming to see you soon.
You never let me down.
You won’t now.
Jean lives in a village near Bath in the UK. She refuses to believe this is all there is.
The smell slaps me back to the business at hand as I avoid the onslaught of memories that serve no purpose. She left me her cashmere sweater, reeking of mothballs. I sneeze, entrapped by envious eyes.
“You were her favorite.”
“You were always so easy to torture.”
Kim Kalama is a latecomer to fiction writing. She draws upon the quirkiest dynamics of her life experiences to stir her imagination.
We gathered in small, always changing groups.
Strangers, family, and friends.
Uncounted words filled the room with copies of the same conversation.
Regrets mingled with the pebbles of ordinary life, to gave rise to our victory cry. Hand-in-hand, we proclaimed, “Life still goes on.”
Thus we denied death his victory.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring
and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor
serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include
reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.
Grief, heavy like sticky syrup poured over pancakes, filled the room.
It coated the mourners, making it hard to move. Hard to speak. Hard to breathe.
I hardly knew him, but stopped to offer my condolences.
To hug and be hugged, as we remembered the days of this stranger’s life.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.