A short piece of flash fiction.
|The television was awash with it all. Images of war - the Vietnam jungles and Richard Nixon - interspersed with images of those clamoring for peace. There were images of a riot in L.A.; there were images of John Lennon. No one seemed to be clear on what they were fighting for. Joanne didn't think that Lennon could run things any better than Nixon, but she couldn't help but like Lennon better. Maybe it was his rose colored glasses, literally and figuratively.|
Joanne shut the television off. She walked lethargically from the living room through the kitchen, exiting the back door which led to her little garden. Her pansies and forget-me-nots were in full bloom, and the air smelled like springtime. She had been so patient; telling herself that any day now Thomas would return home. As she drifted down the narrow walkway, Joanne closed her eyes and imagined Thomas was there, sweeping her off her feet and carrying her to their bedroom.
Joanne's eyes fluttered open as she tripped over a pot, stumbling off the path and into her beautiful flowers. They are ruined now too, she thought. Joanne sat down amidst the flowers, picking a pansy as she did so. Listlessly she put it in her hair, like Thomas used to do.
Joanne closed her eyes again as a feeling of bliss overcame her. Lying down amidst her sweet smelling flowers, Joanne imagined that she was enfolded in Thomas' arms. Dimly, she heard the chirping of birds. She could almost feel Thomas kissing her cheek, his soft lips brushing away her tears.
Inside, the little house was dark and silent. Everything was neat and tidy, austere even, almost as if no one lived there. The sole exception to this appearance was the empty pill bottle, lying carelessly on its side next to a half empty bottle of bourbon. Nearby was a letter bearing the seal of the United States Army. Thomas would not be coming home.
By: Travis Milam