Weekly Writing Challenge #123
The pale sun light reflects on the pages of the book open on the table. From where she stands, she sees the children playing, beyond the garden, she hears their laughter, she can guess at the pretend war which is their game.
She, and they, have escaped: the real war is now far away. By this act of courage, or was it despair? – she’s saved them.
Image: the Celtic Tree
Of all the technologies that have gone extinct…
The president sat silent in the well-known office. This was not a day for triumph, nor gesticulation: the country, or rather its establishment, singularly of the military variety, had by now sobered up.
The proof was there, on the President’s desk. The report that spelled out the disaster, with photographed evidence, across continents, and those islands, the hidden deathly gems of the once great power.
All gone to ashes. A swift, quiet and pitiless strike that had reduced the stockpiles of nukes and assorted missiles to dust. Without appeal. There had been no warning, no press conference, no invitations to media.
The president, feeling rather tired, looked out of the window, across the celebrated lawn, where not long ago he was proffering threats and, now, obsolete-sounding statements on punishing others, the lesser nations…
People were demonstrating, there, on the street, apparently in a joyous mood. Then it dawned on the once most powerful man on Earth: the people were celebrating.
Image: Minotaur – George Frederic Watt
Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?
I admire him, he is the father, the imperious maître, perhaps the last of the Renaissance men. And you loved him, you loved him beyond your life, and for him you wrote the story. He wrote: the most fearsome love letter a man ever received; he knew, and he wanted that letter to be known. You, pliant, at his feet, the loyal woman to your last breath, you obliged, for our pleasure. Am I jealous? How could I be: I was then that small boy, who was learning to read, who was dreaming, not big enough yet to be a soldier. Much later, it would be my turn to read the letter, and, like him, my turn to go to war. I cannot be jealous of a father, I wish only I could remember you through his eyes, for now, it is my turn to love you.
“Ibuprofen works as a painkiller by affecting chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are substances released in response to illness or injury. They cause pain and inflammation (swelling). Prostaglandins that are released in your brain can cause a high temperature (fever or pyrexia).” (From http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Painkillers-ibuprofen/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
He knew he had been hit: instant darkness, the excruciating pain in his back. There was dust everywhere, he was half blinded, deaf, and he also knew that the warm liquid he felt all over him was his blood, and probably that of his comrades. Gradually he recovered some sight: a marine medic was close by, holding a metal bottle and trying to get him to swallow some brown pills, another guy was doing something with his left leg. He could now hear small arms fire, not far away. All around him he saw the bodies of his platoon. Suddenly he felt horribly hot.
“Welcome to Fallujah corporal” the medic said, as he swallowed another pill.