by Kyle Curcio
In sickness and in health...
It was somehow a relief that she had dipped back into fevered unconsciousness. Seemed the only time that she didn't struggle to breathe. Her face and her clothes were soaked with sweat, his with silent tears. David held his wife's hand tightly, as if it were a lifeline. For her or for him? He didn't know and it didn't matter now, anyway. He pushed her hair back from her face.
It was a goddamned war out there. They'd lost so many already. The squadron had left them alone in case this was goodbye and he was thankful for the privacy. They didn't need to see her go and the tears he thought he'd run out of flowed as if a dam had broken.
Karen shuddered, then gasped and fell still. The room went so quiet it seemed even her ghost had gone.
David placed her hands across her chest. He looked upon her--burning every detail of her features into his heart and into his memory. He leaned forward and kissed her forehead and then her lips. One last goodbye.
It wasn't inevitable. He had hoped against all hope that she'd stay dead, as some folks did. A twitch and a slowly building growl told him otherwise.
"Oh, Baby. Why did you come back?"