She dabs vanilla on her wrists, thick, dark and pungent, like her memory of the night before he went to war. His child plays in the garden where they will stroll. He’ll see his son, for the first and only time, his firstborn, bearing another man’s name.
Casualty of war.
Sharon Calkin is a family history writer and poet. She lives in Pasadena, CA.
Abroad, learning the language, culture, history. At the memorial, it’s hard to breathe. They couldn’t either.
A tower of names. Clocks. It is 11:02 forever.
Sugoi is Japanese—something amazing or awful.
Where are you from? They know their own.
I’m American, but those words, here, are hard to say.
Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a writer and photographer. She is the author of two fiction chapbooks, “Mother Love” and “Where I’ll Be If I’m Not There.” She reads, gardens, and sews teddy bears for fun. See more at wwwonewriter.blogspot.com.
What do polka dots remind you of?
They remind Grandpa of the exploding rockets he hid from every night with his face in the mud from his own sweat and piss.
I swear it got inside his mind that night because now it’s cracking.
Alzheimer’s is God giving him morphine.
Brent C. Green is a free verse novelist and spoken word artist in Central Texas. He is the president of Modern Muse Poetry in San Marcos, Texas, and the blog editor for the Front Porch literary journal.
Smoke was erupting from his engine. One more press of my trigger and his Messerschmitt would be no more.
I had won the fight, but it was the wrong time to deny a family their son for Christmas.
I banked hard right and into the clouds. The fight could wait.
Chris is a Network Manager involved in many aspects of IT. He has a love of writing short stories and technical articles, photography, and playing the guitar. He is from Dudley in the Black Country. He is also a member of The Oldbury Writing Group.
“Hey! Stick your head out, Yank. Need some target practice.”
“How ’bout this, Reb?”
“Dang! You got ham?”
“Reckon. Whatchew got?”
“Meetcha middle the creek.”
“Hold your fire! Ham for tobacco!”
“‘Preciate it, Reb. Been dyin’ for a smoke.”
“Yup. How’s Mama?”
“Sends you her love.”
Henry F. Tonn is a semi-retired psychologist who has written a sterling novel entitled “Ascent to Madness, Zelda Fitzgerald’s Gilded Cage” which is is having a great deal of difficulty finding a home in the publishing world.
The combat medic raced toward the bombed-out Opel as tracers ripped overheard.
Lower limb fractured. Gunshot to shoulder. Both cat-Cs.
His distal pulse was good. Four hours to evac.
She looked back, gave a thumbs up.
Then a mortar round engulfed them.
Again, a warbling voice cried out, “man down!”
Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist and Iraq War veteran whose literary work has appeared in The Grief Diaries, The Roaring Muse, Prairie Winds, Blue Collar Review and other publications. He orders off the secret menu.
A stagnant line, clinking milk bottles and morning gossip murmur. The delivery truck arrives late.
“The price has gone up!”
The murmur rises; no complaint, only frustration. With the decade-long war, people are used to this.
The old man puts down his empty bottle and walks away, never to return.
Mehdi spent many long hours of his childhood standing in queues for groceries and other necessary items during the Iran-Iraq war.
For the Babies
Ten of us ate and ate, then ate some more. The bill was more than reasonable, considering the impeccable service, excellence and variety of food. The neat thing about dining at the inn was the nostalgic feeling of being at grandma’s house before the war. Stuffed, content, yawning with happiness.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.
Editor’s Note: Let’s all hope and pray for peace, not only in our own homes but in those places on the news that can seem so far removed.
Davie survived the Middle East conflicts, where he witnessed the atrocities he thought he had handled.
Returning home, full in body but mentally adrift, he found an unscalable wall around all he had loved. He drifted, with doorways becoming his refuge. He froze to death last winter.
Lest we forget.
is a fledgling writer.
On my 128th day in Afghanistan, Blackwood and I were relaxing, smoking cigarettes. He said, “I don’t think we’re going to make it out of here.”
And I chuckled. Not because I thought he was wrong, but because I was surprised it took him so long to figure that out.
Chris is a former US Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.