This one did not come easy. Perhaps my timing was off. On Fridays, I go to the gym at lunchtime, and usually write a lot of my stories there. (I have no idea why.) But my son felt sick at school yesterday morning, and I had to go get him.
Also, I do recognize that the picture didn't "jump out" at me. Sometimes, I look at the picture and just know what I want to write. Then once I get an idea from the picture, the story pretty much writes itself. But I didn't decide on the story line until around dinner time.
No matter. I got it done. We'll see what the judges think.
We had to build upon the conflict of man (gender non-specific, of course) versus himself. And this photo:
(Incidentally, it's a picture of the first all-woman jury in the U.S."
Here is "At War."
Aiden stared at the faded photograph, ruing that he could touch her skin in sepia only. How he longed to return home and hold her once more. But now, lying there with a hole in his belly, such a reunion would have to take place in his dreams. Or the afterlife.
"The war needs me," he had told her when he said goodbye.
"Your war be damned," Maggie spat back. She only cursed when her passions were truly inflamed. "I need you."
He promised he would write every day. And he remained true to his word. At first, he waxed poetic about the glory of the fight against tyranny. About serving the cause of freedom. But as reality set in, his letters sagged under the weight of frustration, anger, fear.
Her missives read like paeans to indefatigable love. To her belief in him. To admiration of his nobility. But the last one cut deeper than flesh.
"Please give this up. If not for me, then for our child."
He blinked back phantom tears, tears which would not fall from his parched, sunken eyes.
A familiar face appeared outside his cell. "You ready to give in Aiden? Call it quits?"
"No, warden. The hunger strike will continue."
Thoughts... good, bad, indifferent?