FFfAW — Happier Times

329D9FF5-B8CF-4BA7-8A36-47B76DDA8722Eileen stared at the photograph of her two sons, Eric and Eddie. It was taken in the fall of 2005, a few days before Eric shipped out. They were wading in the shallow creek bed, their pants legs rolled up to stay dry.

That photograph, with its streams of light from the late afternoon sun shining through the tree branches as her two beautiful boys frolicked in the creek, was one of her favorites. She framed it and placed it on the fireplace mantel in the family room.

After Eileen learned that Eric had been killed in action in Iraq by an improvised explosive device, or IED, it was hard to look at that photo. But though she had lost her firstborn, she still had Eddie, the boy wading in the stream in his rubber boots.

And then, after finishing college, Eddie joined the marines and went to Afghanistan, where he lost his life in a firefight.

It was hard for Eileen to bear, but she still had that photo to remind her of happier times.

(175 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Photo credit: ENISA.

15 thoughts on “FFfAW — Happier Times

  1. James February 20, 2018 / 6:36 am

    When my son David announced his intention to join the Marines, my wife and I tried to talk him out of it. Even my Dad who was an Air Force “lifer” tried, but to no avail. He was deployed twice and although he didn’t come out unscathed, he did survive. It’s been a long road for him physically and psychologically, but he’s coming along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 20, 2018 / 6:51 am

      I’m glad to hear that he’s doing okay. Too many brave and promising young men didn’t make it home or aren’t able to overcome their physical or emotional scars.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Iain Kelly February 20, 2018 / 7:50 am

    That was depressing, and as James’ comment proves, all too real.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 20, 2018 / 9:30 am

      Yes, it is sad, but that’s what struck me when I saw the picture. I wish I could have thought of a happier tale, but at least she has the photo and her memories.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 20, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      And so often I’ll-conceived and unnecessary.


  3. anuragbakhshi February 20, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    Heart-breaking. And as our host PJ remarked, the post is leading to a lot of sad stories. Glad I countered the urge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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