Wednesday, December 7, 2022


An old man sits alone in a rocking chair at the window. It squeaks rhythmically as he bobs, lost in thought. Each adjustment is a chance for disaster for his cat who’s tail is just short getting caught underneath. The cat and the man both unaware, and therefore heed no mind. They stare out the window together. One sees each movement in the leaves, each bird’s feathers ruffle. One sees the past. He remembers the bullet’s song well and feels the sting of its loss.

The old man’s eyes are clouded over now. He can no longer notice the sway of the grass or the intricate colors of his daughter’s flowers. He rocks in meditation remembering a time long ago. The time he met his wife, back in ‘45. She was waiting at the station, though not for him. Her brother didn’t come back from the war and in her grief she grabbed the nearest solider. That solider was him. Married sixty years. Had a couple of kids. All in all, a good, empty life.

The old man’s skin is weathered, with a few whips of hair still remaining. He joked once that he could color them both. As a joke, he tried it. He stopped laughing when he discovered he was allergic to the chemicals. Who would have guessed, after all they put him through to fight for his country that a bottle of hair dye could come close to taking him out. 

The old man remembered how there had been heavy shell fire for weeks. He had wondered how either side still had bullets. He had wondered if there had been any casualties or if people were just shooting at the cover, hoping to get lucky and clip a fellow in the trenches. He looked down sadly at the cat, who was chattering at something outside. He leaned forward to pet the cat and came down on it’s tail. The cat screamed and scampered away. It’s feet moving faster than it could gain traction as it slid across the wood and out of sight. Somewhere in another room his wife dropped something heavily. It boomed in his ears louder than was possible. He ducked down instinctively, covering his head, which was the position he was in as his wife rushed in, rubbing her hands on a damp towel. 

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