By the Victors

Written for this past week’s Flash!Friday

Warning: Violence



I know all about humanity’s stupidity; I am a historian. Yet, I have fallen all the same.

They came into our home through the backyard. A simple shadow that grew into an entire platoon and by then it was too late. Every warning, every caution to flee, every hole in my own security – they all flashed through my mind as the butt of a gun smashed the sliding glass door. Then they killed my dog and time sped up.

“Get down!” A man in body armor yelled. I could see the blood spilling from my Labrador’s side, his paw shaking in its last movement. His face morphed into my son’s.

“Search the house!”

I struggled against the knee on my back, trying to turn my face towards the soldier as he pressed, cutting off each breath. “My son – daughter –”

He lifted my head by my hair and slammed my face to the ground.

Another shot somewhere down the hall my children slept – my wife. I screamed.

Blood, so much blood and I couldn’t tell if it’s mine or my pup’s or my children or wife’s. My eyes blurred.

A head lowered towards my ear. It hissed like a snake. “Hello Professor, remember me? We’ve come to collect your books. Your version of history just lost the war.”

Riot Police. CC2.0 photo by Thomas Hawk.

Riot Police. CC2.0 photo by Thomas Hawk.

Character: Historian; Conflict: Man v. Society

Home

I know this drive. I lie in bed during late, sleepless nights and run it through my mind like a film on repeat. The seemingly endless road between who I am now and who I once was – they say you can never go home again.

My high heels hit gravel as I close the door of the rental. This is when momma would run out onto the porch, screen door almost slamming daddy’s face as he followed. He’d catch my eye over momma’s shoulder, smiling while she pressed me close.

The wind blows gravel over my heels, scuffing them. The screen door shakes in the breeze; it’s worse than silence. I shouldn’t wait for the warmth of her hug or the comfort of his laugh –

Flashes of the twenty-four hour news cycle burn through the memories. The train crashing, the fire absorbing the cars, I cringe and try not to imagine them screaming as heat chars their skin and takes them away. I try and fail.

The weathered wooden porch creaks under my heels and for a moment my hand pauses on the doorknob. The house, the porch, the drive, the hometown – it’s all too different, it’s all exactly the same.


Written for last week’s FlashFriday