Heidi – Part Two

Written by Rob


This is a two-part short story, Part One of Heidi can be read, here.

Once Michael was installed in a new bed beneath the front window, David called Heidi in, to make the formal introductions. She was tall, straight, slim and she moved with the quiet graceful force and control of an athlete or gymnast. He gazed at her impassive face, tanned and healthy looking; only the slightest hint of a smile as she shook his hand with cool fingers and scarlet nails, “Hello” with heavy accent and Scandinavian up-tone inflection. He didn’t want to let go of her hand but she looked down, puzzled, and he shook himself out of his reverie and let her go. He noticed what dazzling white teeth she had. Her perfume lingered.

Heidi’s duties were not onerous. She looked after Michael for five days whilst his father was at work, usually 7:30 am to 6 pm. She had weekends and evenings to herself, in theory. In practice, she spent most of her time off in Michael’s room, much as she did when on duty, reading to him, watching television with him, talking to him. Occasionally, David would insist that Heidi accompany him to the pub for dinner, joking that he needed looking after too. Michael didn’t see the joke and seethed with jealousy.

In their time together, Michael probed Heidi to find what made her tick. Although she was caring and attentive to his needs, he found her distant, cold even. She regularly expressed gratitude for the opportunity that Michael’s injury had afforded her. This puzzled Michael greatly – opportunity for what he wondered? A 22-year-old Norwegian, from a bustling port town, looking after a teenage lad in a rural backwater; it made no sense. But he kept prying, even though she tended to clam up, and discovered she meant “opportunity to escape”. She would not say what she needed to escape from, but he noted she would not speak of her father, even though she spoke fondly of her mother. He sensed a secret.

Heidi seemed to get on well enough with both of Michael’s parents, though rather better with David, since she had so much more opportunity to see him and Molly was missing for the working week. She tried to tell Michael how lucky he was to have such a caring father but he didn’t want to hear it.

Prior to his injury, “love” meant the convenient fit Michael enjoyed with his parents. He sometimes overheard the other sixth-formers talking about their latest crushes, jealousies, lusts, and found them puerile. Now he couldn’t bring himself to even think of the “L word”. Heidi had infected every cell of his being and every cell yearned for her. He examined her for hours at a time, particularly over the top of the book he was pretending to read; never tiring of finding new minuscule details. The cut of her short brown hair; the tiny mole on the lobe of her left ear; the enticing way she looked above his head when she finished speaking; the slope of her not quite straight nose; the scent of her; her beautiful, long, clever fingers. He found every detail perfect. What was happening to him? He’d liked girls before, but had never taken the idea of a relationship seriously. He’d experimented with a snog and a fumble, mostly driven by curiosity at a couple of parties, but then lost interest.

Michael endeavoured to recover his previous calm and resolve. He tried to concentrate on his A-level studies and catch up on the lost weeks but it was hopeless. Heidi did her best to help, though her English was not really up to science studies. Hadn’t people suffered far worse catastrophes than his, yet gone on to lead full lives and successful careers? Michael could not wrench his mind away from Heidi long enough to make sense of words on the page. When she left the room, he suffered an anguish and agitation he could not explain. He wanted to touch her and devised plans to make this possible: offering to hold her tee-shirt down while she removed her sweater, placing a book for her to read on her lap, putting his hand under hers when she handed him his lunch plate. At night, when she was upstairs and he was supposed to be sleeping, he tossed and fretted with imagined romantic scenarios, where he thrashed her bullying father and she fell gratefully into his protective strong arms.

He tried to entice her into discussing romance. She wasn’t interested. He asked if she had a boyfriend; she gave him a flat “no”. He asked her what kind of boys she liked and she said “older ones”: it was like a slap. She must have been aware of his pain, yet she still looked at him as though nothing had happened, with an ice-cold stare.

One evening, she came to collect his discarded dinner plate from atop his bed quilt. As she leant over the bed, he had a perfect view down the v-neck of her blouse, to her bra-less brown breasts and tiny dark nipples. As she bent, she turned her head and started to ask why he had eaten so little, then caught the direction of his ogle, dropped the plate, clutched her arm across her chest, turned and ran from the room. He called after her but to no avail: she did not return. He hadn’t meant to look down her blouse but he couldn’t help himself.

Later, he heard her chatting with his father, watched them wander down the garden path together and away down the lane to the village, probably to the pub. He heard his father laugh out loud beyond the hedge, presumably at something Heidi had said. Michael darkly imagined she’d said “I caught him looking at my tits!” Michael wept with anger and frustration. He was sixteen years old, yet crying like a baby! “Take a hold of yourself” he shouted then wept all the more. The pain he had suffered from his leg injury was nothing compared to what he felt now. He wanted to die, he wanted everyone to die, the world to end, his father to crumble to dust, and still he wept and wailed like a wounded animal. His grief utterly overwhelmed him. He cried until he was exhausted, curled up like a puppy in the middle of his bed, where he fell asleep.

Michael woke with a jolt. The house was dark and silent. He shivered with cold in his sweat-soaked pyjamas. He groped for the quilt but it had fallen to the floor. He succumbed to an involuntary sob then quickly held himself still. He resolved he would not go down that road again. He must speak with Heidi. She must understand, be made to understand, that he needed her and she was his. He tried to crawl off the bed but fell in a heap, the quilt saving his shoulder. He crawled to his crutches by the door and used the welsh dresser to lever himself upright, grunting with exertion as the plates rattled in protest. Out into the hallway, then the slow painful fight up the stairs, sweating and swearing under his laboured breath. At the top of the stairs, his bedroom door was open. He swung himself inside and switched the light on. He winced in the sudden brightness, then took in the surroundings, familiar yet not familiar, his room but her things. The bed was empty and still made. He felt a stab of pain: she had left! But no, all her stuff was still here.

Michael heaved a sigh of relief, backed out and struggled down the landing towards his parents’ room. He must ask his father where she was. As he grappled with crutches and the searing pain in his leg, a guilty memory invaded his mind. He remembered abusing his parents’ bed as an impromptu trampoline when he was young. He remembered the squeak of the springs and the flap of the headboard. Then another sound came, like a moan or even a whimper, in the same rhythm. He nudged the door to his parents’ room open with his forehead. His father’s rather spotty bum was pounding away between Heidi’s thighs, urged on by her scarlet finger nails. His face was turned away from Michael, issuing grunts of exertion. Heidi was looking at Michael with her usual cool stare.


The conclusion to Rob’s short story is rather bleak. The abrupt betrayal tears into Michael like a hot knife gliding through butter. Though a rather cruel place to leave the teen, it’s also a cruel place to leave the readers. Perhaps we’ll just have to persuade Rob to write another part; the aftermath. There are far too many questions left unanswered, but maybe that’s how it should be. If you liked Rob’s two-part drama, make sure to read some of his other work including, “Coach” and “Mirror, Mirror”. 

Featured Image CC // Brandon Warren

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Heidi – Part One

Written by Rob


They say accidents come in sets of three. The fire at Molly Stevens’ place of work – the Catterick sugar factory – qualified as accident number one. It started on the day after Boxing Day, when the place was utterly deserted. Not even security staff were on hand to notice anything awry. All of the businesses in the area were similarly locked up and deserted for the holiday. The nearest residents were at least two miles away, and the fog that day hid the smoke from view. The alarm was eventually raised by a gamekeeper who came to investigate the smell. By that time, the fire could have been raging for hours. It took the fire service fourteen hours to subdue the flames.

The damage was extensive. Little remained of the factory but a tangled, blackened mess of steel work and machinery. The offices where Molly worked as chief accountant had fared a little better, in that the basic structure was still standing. But the insurance assessor said, with a pained sigh, as though it was his own money, that demolition was inevitable.

The refining company had disaster recovery plans already in place. Production would move to their Thetford plant, which would step up to a three shift, seven-day per week system. The Catterick workers would be billeted in a nearby RAF barracks for four nights each week. Molly could not help but wonder who had the friends in high places to make that possible. Buses were chartered to ferry folk to Thetford on Monday morning and home again Friday night. Weekend shifts were all covered by the indigenous workforce. This five-day commute was projected to last until the Catterick plant was rebuilt and recommissioned, thirteen months later.

Dr. David Stevens greeted the news of his wife’s planned absences with little emotion. At 44 years of age, his life as a country general practitioner was a comfortable, predictable plod. Very little happened in Marsham village where he lived and worked, and that suited him just fine. A few more dinners for one at the Marsham Arms would be a blessing in very thin disguise: he didn’t think much to Molly’s culinary skills. Provided he kept up the exercise regime he had set himself, avoided the chips and the temptation of extra beer, all would be well. Not least, the prospect of spending four nights each week in the company of the Marsham’s barmaid, Sally, generated a sparkle of excitement.

Molly, meanwhile, had very mixed feelings about the whole business. She was six years younger than her husband and found his country life-style rather restrictive and not a little boring. The initial shock of finding the devastation at the factory on the second of January had not left her. She had worked there since she came down from university and regarded the site as her personal fiefdom. The refining company had put her through her accountancy exams and invested great faith in her abilities. Not many women achieved plant chief accountant at the age of only 38. They had been so supportive when she gave birth to her son, Michael. She was grateful for their trust and felt a bond of loyalty. When her clerks started to moan about the long hours, additional travel and disruption to home life, she gave them little succour. They would pull together until this problem was sorted.

The prospect of four nights in every seven in the company of her work pals, whilst surrounded by lots of young men in uniform, made Molly’s face flush. She had never contemplated being unfaithful to David and she didn’t now. Even though their love making was rather predictable and wooden, she knew he loved her and she him. But she also knew that she still “had the look”, attracted admiring glances with her slender legs and waist. The prospect of the attention, the opportunity, the chase, even if she had no intention of being caught, sent a thrill through her body that she had not known since the early days with David.

Michael Stevens’ pals liked to rag him about his good fortune. He landed straight As in his GCSEs with apparently slight effort and looked set for impressive A-level results; a place in Liverpool University’s school of medicine, following in David’s footsteps. He had much in common with his father: the same boyish good looks, the same quiet demeanour, the same stoical acceptance of the world around him. When Michael spoke, people listened. When arguments broke out in the sixth form common room, Michael would listen to the ranting, observe the emotion, take in the facts, then issue the answer in a quiet firm voice. Everyone understood that it was the end of the matter. He captained the school rugby team to great success. This was not because he was a great player: he had not the strength, speed nor agility to be so; it was his leadership, tactical and organisational skills, coupled with near devotion from his team, which made him a winner.

Michael’s good fortune deserted him one Saturday afternoon in late January, when a scrum collapsed, snapping his right femur, and later, when the junior doctor in Accident & Emergency failed to notice that Michael’s lower leg had no blood supply before applying the plaster cast. Molly thought her son’s pitiful complaining about the pain was most out of character. When David arrived an hour later and saw the colour of Michael’s foot, it was too late to save his calf muscles. David’s anger and frustration was all-consuming, but he recognised the junior doctor was only partially culpable, having been on duty amongst the drunks and ne’er-do-wells for thirteen hours straight.

Michael regarded the news that only his right calf muscles, and not the foot, must be amputated, as a seriously fucked-up version of good fortune. A lengthy period of convalescence was inevitable. Molly found herself torn between the two greatest loves of her life: her job and her son. The family would have struggled to cope with Michael’s predicament, even without her working week absence. As it was, they clearly needed support.

Managers at the Infirmary feared a sizeable malpractice suit and were falling over one another to help. They offered, albeit without prejudice, a bed in their staff convalescence facility, but Molly feared for Michael’s emotional well-being. He’d always been the strong quiet type, and now he looked quiet and beaten.
David said the answer was an au pair. The Infirmary almost snapped his hand off – au pairs were considerably cheaper than convalescence home beds.

Heidi arrived from Stavanger a week later and moved into Michael’s room. Fred, the gardener, helped David convert the dining room of their cottage into a temporary ground floor bedroom for Michael. David arranged for a district nurse from his surgery to visit every morning. Molly checked everything to her satisfaction. And so, all was set for Michael’s return.

Michael had spent long hours considering his predicament and it seemed pretty bleak. He knew he would never run again. It was possible he would never walk without crutches again. There was talk of locking his ankle but this would give him a most unnatural gait and, possibly, big problems with the ankle joint later in life. Surgeons, occupational health professionals and physiotherapists were still undecided on his best option. His mobility, or rather, the lack of it, once taken for granted, was now the number one issue in his life.

Michael saw her face, fleetingly, at his bedroom window, as the paramedics lifted his stretcher out of the back of the ambulance. Heidi, he guessed. By the time they had carried him down the garden path, she was hovering on the front door step, behind his fussing parents. Her big, cool, khaki eyes flashed at him, then she was gone. He’d barely seen her but already something deep inside him, something he didn’t know was there, was awake.


As a two-part publication on Inkblots, Heidi was submitted within our forum’s Half Hour Challenge back in February under the theme ‘Fanning the Flames’. Since it fitted so perfectly, Rob spent some extra time on the piece, given us a wonderful short story to read. And as it’s part of our June theme this month, betrayal plays a big part in Michael’s life, so make sure you return on the 20th when part two will be published. If you enjoyed Rob’s work, feel free to check out his other short stories including, “Man’s Salvation” and “Ending at the Start

Featured Image CC // Kerrie_

Man’s Salvation

Written by Rob


Popular wisdom says one should never discuss religion or politics with a friend. Jed and Mark were definitely not friends and threw insults at each other, across the office, all day, every day. It had all started as a theological discussion but no one could remember when. Little Mark was a devout Catholic, and incapable of allowing any opportunity to profess his faith pass unfulfilled. Jed Smith, built like a brick house, loathed all things religious with a burning passion. These were two minds that could never meet, nor indeed agree to disagree. So the status quo was protracted jibes at each other’s beliefs, whilst their colleagues laughed and pointed. No one seemed to mind as this sideshow eased the dreary days of accounting practice.

When Arthur – the company secretary – retired, they all went out for a beer. A dozen employees commandeered an alcove of the pub and swapped anecdotes of Arthur’s peccadilloes from forty years’ service; all good-natured banter. It was getting late when Mark overheard two lads outside their circle discussing crucifixion in a not too reverent manner. Off like a lurcher, Mark was out of his chair, citing blasphemy laws, quoting gospel chapter and verse, wagging his finger. The lads were clearly taken aback. Mark returned to the group, looking smug, but saying it was probably time to “call it a night”.

Mark said his goodbyes, shook Arthur’s hand and ambled out of the front door. Jed noticed one of the lads nudge the other and follow. Jed couldn’t have told you why, but something in their demeanour had the hairs on his neck erect. On instinct, he followed, too.

Outside, Jed looked up and down the High Street: no sign of Mark or the lads. Then a noise, maybe a muffled voice, drew him to the alley at the side of the pub. Pinned against the wall, little Mark looked up terrified into the faces of his tormentors.
It was all over in seconds. The lads looked up at Jed’s challenge, saw his huge frame nigh-on blocking the light from the High Street, and took to their heels.

Monday morning, to an outsider in the accounts office, nothing had changed. Jed and Mark still belittled each other’s beliefs at every opportunity. But the passion and hurtful edge had gone, replaced by a “this is just a game” undercurrent, a performance for the benefit of the onlookers.


Inspired and written on behalf of May’s half hour challenge theme ‘Salvation’, Rob’s flash fiction hits the point hard. Though religion may come between many people, sometimes it’s refreshing to get a different opinion and have an open mind. And sometimes it can make the difference between a friend and a foe. If you enjoyed Rob’s HHC, make sure to view his other great pieces such as, “Ending at the Start” and “Coach”. 

Featured Image CC // Fusky

Man’s Crisis

Written by Lost in a Dream


It was easy to become lost in a big city. Some days even he felt lost. It seemed that London’s perpetual grey sky and the constant buzz of noise was trying to dull his shine and muffle his wise words. A weak part of him wished he was not so important, then he could dissolve into the background like the lazy crowd around him.

He caught a glimpse of his reflection in train doors before they opened, the weak thought instantly dismissed. Damn, he looked good. His new glasses drew attention to his eyes. He had always known that his eyes were his best feature. He had posted a selfie of his new look on Instagram last night and everyone agreed too. 576 hearts and 215 complimentary comments. Slightly less interaction than Tuesday’s workout picture, but more than the picture of his new vintage watch. But that didn’t faze him too much. He was something of a watch connoisseur, he doubted that many of his followers fully appreciated the value of his new time piece.

He boarded the train and sat down next to a plainly dressed woman. He clunked his briefcase with purpose on the table in front of them. He was sure he could see her admiring him out the corner of his eye.

The woman had her make up bag on her lap and a compact mirror propped up in front of her. With haste she was applying concealer to a trail of fading acne along her jawline. He found it disgusting. Surely, if she ate well and worked out like he did, she wouldn’t have that mess all over her face. As he pulled out his laptop, he shuffled his wrist subtly so that the woman could see the light from the window bounce off his watch and cufflinks. A swift gesture to let her know she was out of his league.

He mused to himself as his laptop powered up. There was something ironic in the way that, by trying to conceal her blemishes, she actually drew attention to them. He smiled to himself, his intelligence and insightful nature surprised him at times. He would include this episode in his autobiography.

He opened up LinkedIn. Another publishing house wanted to help him publish is autobiography. He enjoyed LinkedIn, it gave him a chance to show his academic and professional prowess. He liked the way it stacked up qualifications in a quantitative manner, made it easy to compare.

He was looking forward to the autobiography. He wanted to give depth to himself as a businessman. Material wealth and good looks alone did not do his greatness justice. He was truly extraordinary.


Lost in a Dream’s short piece was written on behalf of March’s Half Hour Challenge theme, Reflection, inspired by her daily commutes in London. Given the main character’s vanity and materialistic nature, we thought it fitted in nicely with April’s theme and is a great closing piece to the month. While we should always take time out to love ourselves, make sure arrogance isn’t part of the deal. If you enjoyed Lost in a Dream’s work, check out some of her other pieces too, such as “Procrastination” and “Star Talk ii“.  

Featured Image CC // Otis Blank

Fractured Identity

Written by R. P. Brown


I’m a man about to crumble. A man unable to stagger forward. A man who thrives on others’ reassurances.

The aroma of failure constantly invades my nostrils, makes me sick to my stomach. I miss what I was with her: confident; free from my own judgement; myself.

These are my reflections.

The other night I had a dream I was on a flight to Northern Athens, that dead city where our future fell into histories that never were. It was time to confront you but I wasn’t ready. The bricks were not set and I knew one breath from those delicate lips would cause everything to tumble and fall.  I read as I normally do. A detective novel, with the tension building towards a disturbing conclusion. As my eyes followed the words, taking meaning from the sentences and absorbing the connotations; I could feel my anxiety rise to a panic.

I was not sure if the emotions I felt were channelled by the book or created by them. Do the words give rise to the feelings or do the feelings latch themselves to familiar words? This is the problem of literature. I can never tell if it’s a healthy pursuit of knowledge, or a self-destructive enlightenment. Everything leads to this singular ending, and when the pages end, I am left there. I continue. Life’s narrative doesn’t have a conclusion; just completely unrelated sequels.

The detective was a man who was driven by his curiosity and, perhaps, all good detectives are. Another man had shaken something within our protagonist and he had to find out what it was. He had become the other man’s shadow. Yet, as he did, his inner self fought against him, warning him not to shirk his identity in order to solve this stranger. The detective had taken on the greatest mystery of all, the nature of being. He could not resist even if he’d wanted to do so.

As I read, in order to give myself some relief, I would glance out of the window and thus step back into my own reality.  Both were equally as stressful, however, and relief was not to be found. The plane was shaking violently as though it were greatly unsettled.  Not far off I could see lightning. From where I was sitting, the red flashing lights on the wing looked as though the plane had caught alight.

The detective had followed his nemesis to the man’s apartment door. He went in beside him, still unnoticed. A great fear rose within the detective and, conversely, in me. We were seated. Our knuckles were white as we held on tightly, the words were shaking as the plane trembled. The object of our mutual turmoil sat in an armchair.

“Who are you?” we screamed.

“You should not ask what you are not ready to face.”

Escape was impossible. The door was locked, we were strapped to our seat and outside the world was battering against the windows.

So we persisted.

“Tell me. I need to know.”

“Look as long as you want but you cannot look me in the eyes. You cannot admit to yourself what you don’t want to know.”

A great strain was felt in our stomach. Our back was drenched in sweat. We both knew who this man was and yet we could not turn back. We needed to ask again, though we both knew that curiosity could kill.

“Who are you?”

There was another jolt. The sense of dread was almost incapacitating.

“I am you. The part you don’t wish to see.”

I managed to sever myself from the character at this moment and willed the plane into the ocean. Give up, plunge, plunge. How I longed for those lights to be all-consuming fires. As I looked to them, there was a flash of lightning. I caught my reflection in the window and with a jump I awakened.

The bed was mine but I felt no ownership of it. It did not hold any safety, just a sense of loneliness.

Her eyes had cheated me. They’d looked upon me with pity and fear, seeing only madness. Anxious, cornered as I was, I lashed out with my tongue. She tried to get in, pushed hard against me without love, just duty. I could not let her in.  She could not stay.

I left it and moved to the bathroom. In the cabinet mirror I saw the haggard face of myself in a dream, the one tortured by memories and reflections of a time gone by. I picked up my razor.

I cannot blame her. Who can love a façade? But I cannot love myself and so I can never let her in.

The blade moved across my beard and the coarse, rough feeling was pleasurable. Each cut was a welcome distraction, but the goatee I’d crafted was not satisfying enough and so I moved to my long, grease-ridden hair. Bit by bit I watched it fall to the floor and drip by drip, dark red rivers ran down the sides of my face. Then I was bald. I studied this new me in the mirror and I did not recognise myself, such a stark change had occurred. This man would not stammer and stutter.  I smiled lovingly and his blood-stained face smiled back.  I ran the razor in front of my lips and wondered if I could mould my soft smile into a sneer, embittered and mean. If I cut myself deeper, would the scars look strong and menacing? I wondered what I could become. Could I knock others to the ground and viciously stamp on their resolve?

No, I reflected. I didn’t have it in me. The weaknesses I loathed were different and could be seen all too clearly through the hole she left.  I’ll have to hide my insecurities, behind this mask I’ve created, the one in the mirror. I’ll hide them away from others and hopefully, in time, from myself again.

For now, I can create a character. But with a little scrutiny, a glance through the magnifying glass, and you’ll see what’s really me.


Taking his inspiration from Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, new contributor R. P. Brown was fascinated by the exploration of one’s identity, penning this short story following a plane trip to Scotland. We love the tension he manages to create in this postmodern work, along with the superbly fluid trio of identities showcased. If you enjoyed R. P. Brown’s Fractured Identity, feel free to leave a “like” or comment below, detailing your thoughts. You can also view his other published work directly on his blog at ryebreadcreative.com

Featured Image CC // Christopher Blackburn

Procrastination

Written by Lost in a Dream


Tired of walking and eager to escape the stagnant heat of the late afternoon sun, Rose entered the cool interior of the café on the corner. The name was written in twisted gold metal above the large window and was rendered illegible by the vines which snaked around the loops of the text. She tucked herself away on a table in the corner, next to the window.

A waiter in a black shirt, with sleeves rolled up to his elbows, placed a large opened menu on the table. She gazed over the menu for a few minutes. Salads, pittas, seafood and other Greek dishes. Angry with herself, she closed the menu. She already knew what she wanted: coffee, a distraction-free afternoon and perhaps an ashtray. Once again she was procrastinating, like she had been this morning, like she had been all week.

The waiter returned, and Rose gave her order. She placed her heavy black bag on the table and rummaged inside until she felt the familiar touch of a notebook and a scrappy wad of paper. She laid the items out on the table as neatly as she could and salvaged a couple of pens from the abyss that was her bag.

It was a new notebook. Turquoise with an elasticated band in a matching shade, holding the pages shut. There was always something ceremonial about opening a new notebook accompanied by an unrealistic desire to avoid defiling the pages with her scruffy handwriting. Rose wrote the date as best she could. Again, procrastinating. She would never be able to maintain this neat writing for the rest of the notebook and why was she writing the date? What kind of title is that?
A different waiter placed a tray on the table with a black coffee and a carafe of water.

“Do you need anything else?” he asked.

Rose shook her head. She poured a glass of water and stirred a single sugar into her coffee. No, nothing else. No more excuses, no more procrastination. It was time she wrote down what happened. As long as it was in her head, it did not exist. Writing it down would make it real. True, she had a handful of documents and photographs. But they meant nothing without the connections in her head. She promised herself she wouldn’t care for grammar or style for now, she could fine tune it all later. What she needed now was to make a start.

She picked up her pen again, crossed out the neatly written date and wrote a new title in her signature scrawl.


Procrastination was written on behalf of January’s half hour challenge, Beginnings. Lost in a Dream’s short piece perfectly suited March’s Reflection theme, and it’s something we can certainly all relate to when it comes to writing. Too many times have I sat down to write a journal entry, particularly after a difficult day, and not known where to start. Sometimes all we can do is write, and hope for the best. If you enjoyed Lost in a Dream’s work, you can view more of her superb writing with, ‘Star Talk ii’ and ‘Closure’

Featured Image CC // Loren Javier

 

Remembering War

Written by Rae-Chan


Bodies. There were bodies everywhere. They were strewn about the field like old, unwanted ragdolls. The gunfire was ringing in my ears, blending together with shouts in different languages and the screams filling my head, echoing endlessly.

I couldn’t see anymore, everything was a blur as the adrenaline took over and I ran. I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t feel the pain as a bullet grazed by leg. I didn’t see the bodies falling around me. I just ran.

My clothes were wet and cold as ice, clinging to my skin, caked with mud. I was shaking as I raised my gun. I couldn’t even tell who my enemies were anymore. I just shot at anything that moved. I saw one boy, barely a child, his eyes wide with fear. This wasn’t what war was supposed to be. This wasn’t a life of honour and respect; we were animals tearing at each others throats, and no one back home would give a damn how many of us came back in boxes.

The boy saw me. I watched his eyes grow wider as the bullet ripped through his body. He fell to the floor like all the others before him, not moving at all.

When I returned home, I could still see his face. It was etched into my mind; those terrified eyes, with large pupils, haunted my dreams. The scar from the bullet has long since healed but, even now in my old age, the screams echo in my head.


Remembering War was written on behalf of last summer’s Fiction Frenzy. While it didn’t win the coveted title, Rae-Chan’s haunting piece as fitted perfectly into our reflection theme for this month’s content. It may only be a short piece, but in that time she brings us in to the narrator’s terrifying dreams from PTSD. If you enjoyed Rae-Chan’s work, why not view her other works such as, ‘Ignite‘ and ‘Wings‘.  

Featured Image CC // Paul Gorbould