Friday, 19 April 2013

'Casualties of War' by Natalie Bowers

They crowd around us, come to witness the showdown.

“Hello, love.” His lips twitch into the smirk I once found so irresistible.

I nod. “Sir.”

“What? No smile for your old sergeant?” He leans against the archway and folds his arms. If I didn't know him better I'd suspect his nonchalance was feigned. A murmur skitters through our observers. They're waiting for the gamecocks to be unleashed. Clenching my teeth, I straighten my shoulders. I promised myself I would not be goaded.

I force my gaze to wander over the crumbling stone carcass that surrounds us. “They say this cathedral was the most beautiful of its time … but the war put an end to that.”

With a shrug, he steps toward me. “The war put an end to a lot of things.” When I don't respond, he smirks again, spreading his arms wide. “Come on, love. I've said I'm sorry. What do I have to do to earn your forgiveness?”

“It's not my forgiveness you need to earn.”

He frowns. He still thinks this is about us.

“I wasn't the only one you left behind.” I nod at the crowd, knowing that even if he looks for them, he won't be able to see them. “I was just the only one who survived.”

3 comments:

  1. There seems to be a novel length story behind this - intriguing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shirley. I think you're right. I'll have to write it some day!

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  2. I agree with Shirley - there's a whole lot of story packed in there! Nicely done.

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