Warriors

foot

© J. Hardy Carroll

They were just kids and they thought it was funny. He was a homeless Vietnam vet who had his foot blown off. The punks thought they were doing the world a favor by abusing him.

I found them a mile away from where they left him and made them tell me where they’d left his prosthetic.

I took it back and said he could come to my place. He asked me why. I told him that Marines have each others backs. Later that night, he stood on one good foot and one artificial one, and we both saluted the flag.

I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count (after a lot of editing) is 100 words.

A prosthetic limb and the American Independence Day. I didn’t have to think hard to write this one. My Dad was a veteran and so is one of my sons. For their sake alone, I’ll never take the knee in front of the American flag, though I respect the right of anyone who chooses to. After all, that’s what so many have fought and died for; the right to speak their mind in a free country.

Happy Independence Day to you and yours.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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Pretending to be One of You

city at night

© Pamela S. Canepa

The night. So dark, so comforting, especially in the early Autumn. But it’s too busy, too many people, too much traffic. I’ll wait until later.

In the meantime, I’ll pretend to be one of them. A man going home after working late at the office. Someone commuting to her night shift job. A young couple going out to dinner and a movie. An older couple off to see a play. I’m just one of them, a nameless person in the crowd, moving along the sidewalk, past businesses and apartment buildings. Waiting for the light to change, crossing the intersection.

Finally, the crowds thin, the pace slows, the night deepens. No one can see my scars. Her house is just ahead. She used to be my wife. They used to be my children. But then war changed me. They said “go home, go back to your old life.”

The war changed me. The man I was died. I am only a soldier. They call me a “homeless vet,” like it was a badge of honor.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 19, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The challenge is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 175 words long. My word count is 174.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Unlikely Alliance

trans-equality

Image: technocracy.news

“You want me to take over as the Director of the Safe Housing Project. Me.”

Jake Buchanan was sitting across a table at a local diner from Bishop as she made what he considered an outrageous suggestion. What could she possibly be thinking of?

“Just let it sink in a minute, Jake. You’ll see it makes a lot of sense.”

Bishop lifted her coffee cup to her lips to take another sip and Jake couldn’t help but notice her hands. She had transitioned nearly a decade ago, but he always felt her hands, about the same size as Jake’s, didn’t fit in with the rest of her appearance.

“Sense? You know me. I’m as conservative as they come. I’m almost sixty years old, white, male, cisgender, married to the same woman for thirty-five years, three kids, two grandkids and another on the way. My life’s practically a painting by Norman Rockwell.”

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Where Giving Leads

homeless

Image: Munir Atalla / NBC News

“What the recipient of alms does for the donor is greater than what the donor does for the recipient.”

Vayikra Rabbah 34:8

Less than a year ago, Eddie Scholl had been living on the streets. When he saw the old man in the torn olive green coat and rainbow stocking cap standing on the street corner on a freezing November morning, holding a sign saying “Anything helps”, he reached for his wallet.

His last five dollar bill. He could use it to buy breakfast. Instead, he gave it to the old grey beard.

“Bless you, brother. Bless you.”

“Glad to do it, friend. Take care.”

Eddie walked on with the old gent still calling after him, “Bless you, brother. May God bless you.”

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