He didn’t look a day older than the last time I saw him, but that was over forty years ago. He could still pass for a kid of nineteen, but I was almost seventy. I couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call telling me to meet him here. He stood alone as the BART train that brought him to East Oakland pulled away in a blur.
“Why me? Why now?”
“Because it is who I am and what I was born to do. I saved you in a war halfway around the world, and now you’ll return the favor.”
“Who the hell are you and why aren’t you old? You pulled me out of that firefight in Nam. You were shot seventeen times. I never asked about it then. How are you even alive?”
“My earliest memory is of Masada. I don’t know how I escaped death there either. I only know that the lives I’ve saved over the ages have always been called upon to save others. This is your calling, Derek. For nearly 2,000 years, I have been called the Saint. There isn’t much time if we are to avert a nuclear holocaust. Come with me.”
I wrote this for Week 27 of the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 199.
I have certain characters and scenarios living in the back of my mind. One of them in “The Saint” (with apologizes to Leslie Carteris, Roger Moore, and many others), who is either a medevac helicopter pilot saving the lives of wounded soldiers during the Vietnam War, or an immortal being saving lives so that at a later date, they could save others.
This being the American Independence Day, I felt like I should write about someone heroic.
Oh, the The Siege of Masada occurred from 73 to 74 CE, but the curious question is was “the Saint” one of the Romans or a Jew?
To read other tales based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
As I’ve mentioned before, this link up needs a lot of love. Please consider contributing your own story here.
Happy Independence Day to you and yours.