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My latest in the Flash! Friday weekly flash fiction contest wherein they provide the above photo respond to and the concept “a fleeting moment” to incorporate into the story. There’s a 210 word max. I received a Special Mention for:

Making-Us-Feel-the-Raw-Bite-of-War with the “unsexy shadows”

My entry:

Rain crooned its rhythmic, soothing cadence down upon my head. My temples were in need of massaging on days like this; when the sun hid behind the clouds in reverence, when darkness rolled over the sloping hills like an interminable fog and when memories seemed certain to befall you.

Memories had a thickness to them, like a chunk of peanut butter latched to the back of your tongue.

Back when my stomach was a bit flatter, my hair fuller and my head harder, I was a downed pilot during Hitler’s war. One of many, in fact.

Fire, blood, screams, these were the unsexy shadows of war. In one instance, I was a god soaring among the clouds and in the next, a god of a different sort staring into the bluest eyes I’d ever seen.

Those eyes with tides of warmth and love — a stranger’s love — washed over me, in and out, reassuring. Brushing up against death’s cold shoulder suddenly didn’t seem so terrible.

With the anesthesia taking hold, her eyes floated into the dreamscape. She likely saved hundreds more and I returned to the States.

Some days, like today, when loneliness and longing congealed into self-hatred, I think she never existed. Then, I see her eyes again.

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