© James Pyles
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I get an email from Bookbub every morning. I initially signed up and indicated my book preferences to see if I could get a line on reading material I otherwise wouldn’t know about. I’ve even considered promoting some of my works on Bookbub, but according to Jericho Writers, it’s astonishingly expensive.
After a while, I stopped opening the emails. Most of the books looked really boring, and the few I did buy because of seeing them on the app weren’t particularly worth it.
Today, on impulse, I clicked the link and found End of Men by Suzanne Strobel (that’s her Amazon Author’s page).
The Bookbub blurb says:
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) movie poster
Yesterday, my nine-year-old grandson and I saw the film Ant-Man and the Wasp starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Peña, Michael Douglas, and the amazingly cute Abby Ryder Fortson.
I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum but I can’t promise to conceal everything.
I read another review of the film (and sadly, I must confess I can’t remember where) which said the movie was the story of three fathers, Scott Lang (Rudd), Hank Pym (Douglas) and Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), each trying to save their own daughters, although Foster isn’t biologically Ava’s (Hannah John-Kaman) Dad.
After seeing the movie, I’d say that’s a fair analysis, and as a Dad and Grandpa, I enjoyed this aspect of the film, especially since all three men are depicted as heroes, which is somewhat rare in today’s entertainment industry.
Of course, all three are flawed in some way, and they wouldn’t be interesting if they weren’t. Scott, for all of his good intentions, manages to screw up almost everything he tries for a good part of the film, but manages to redeem himself in the end.
“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” -attributed to George Orwell
His name is Derek Johnson and he’s a disabled, homeless drunk living in an alley that stinks of piss. He’s also a Marine and a Vietnam vet. The three punks thought it was funny, but I sure as hell didn’t. The old man was still passed out when they found him. Drunks most times get rolled for what little they’ve got, which isn’t much, or sometimes a truly sick bastard will pour gasoline on them, and think they’re doing the world a favor by torching a “warmonger” to death.
This time, they only took his prosthetic foot.
I can’t sleep. I can never sleep, well, almost never. When the insomnia monster is clawing at my brain, I walk. Who cares if it’s 2 a.m. or whenever. This time, it was just after dawn. I saw them running out of the alley, laughing like hyenas on coke and carrying something. On a hunch, I looked where they’d been and found him. He was barely conscious and cussing up a storm. I saw the stump where his foot used to be and I saw the words “Semper Fi” tattooed on his forearm. That’s all I needed to know.
“Stay here, brother. I’ll be back.” I touched his shoulder hoping he’d think it was reassuring.
“Stay here? You fuckin’ nuts? I ain’t got no foot. Where the hell would I go?”
I didn’t answer. I just turned away. If I were in his place, I’d probably have said the same thing or worse.
Photo credit: Susan Spaulding
Every morning for the past three years, Gary took his convenience store donut and coffee to the park and had breakfast at one of the picnic tables. It had been a difficult time between the forced retirement and then Helen suddenly and angrily divorcing him. Most of all, he missed his kids and grandkids. They’d taken Helen’s side in the split up. He was lonely but stoic, or at least he pretended to be.
“Grandpa! Grandpa!” It was his grandson Tony running up to him from the parking lot. The eleven-year-old hit him like a loving freight train.
“You’ve really grown. I’ve missed you.” They drowned in each other’s arms.
Gary looked up to find himself surrounded by all of his kids, their spouses, and all of his grandkids.
Emily, his youngest, kissed him on the cheek. “Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Come home with us and have a real breakfast. We love you.”
It took a few minutes for the old man to compose himself enough to leave the park with his forgiving family.
I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction of June 17, 2018 hosted by Susan. The idea it to take the image above and use it as a prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 174.
I cheated somewhat and read Iain’s story before writing my own. Since his theme was Father’s Day ( realize there are parts of the world that don’t have this celebration) and I’m a Dad and Grandpa, I decided to go that route as well, taking a sad beginning and brightening it.
To read other tales based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.