Dislaimer: I own nothing!!!!
Not the Way They Were Before
Chapter One: Three Shots
The crack of the first gunshot fills the air of the silent New Haven cemetery. Not a word is spoken by those in attendance. Not one word. It is a crisp, cold, day and I not draw my coat tighter around me. The entire group is assembled, seated in their chairs as they observe the dreadful service. Each wears black, save for one who wears purple.
Another shot goes of, causing me to jump. I had jumped at the first shot and now it seems as if the horrid shots have been going on forever.
This is seemingly the last shot, which is music to my ears. The soldiers rest their rifles on their shoulders. Everyone’s attention shifts back toward the priest, garbed in a long, black robe. He is talking now, but I can’t hear him. The gunshots still ring in my eardrums, filling the air around me. I know that others around me are crying, sniffling, sobbing, and in some cases even wailing. I am silent though. Not a tears runs down my cheek, not a sound is heard from my mouth. In truth, I should be the most hysterical person in the graveyard. So . . . why aren’t I?
I am a woman and as one I am entitled to all the waterworks I please. But all I can do is stare at the coffin, totally transfixed on it that I can’t hear what is going on around me.
In my head, little snippets of memories of the man I lost replay in my ears. I suddenly realize that this is all I have left of him. Just moments, really, of the short life we shared together.
My husband is dead.
“Mrs. Gilmore-Huntzberger?” stirs me from my realization and I look up. A soldier is standing in front of me, holding out a triangular object. Automatically my hands shakily reach forward and grasp the object. As soon as my fingers make contact I inhale deeply and promptly hold my breath.
The breath is released when a sharp, low-pitched sob erupts from my throat. Tears instantly free fall over my face, appearing out of nowhere. The triangle in my hands is a neat, properly folded American flag and it is the last connection I have to my husband.
The soldier salutes respectfully and returns to his place in line of the of other soldiers. With this, the funeral is now over.
It is finished.
Others around me rise to the graveside of Logan Huntzberger to pay their respects and say goodbye.
I can’t move. I clutch the flag closer as if it was really him and remember the way he smelled. I love the way he smelled and I never want to forget it. Ever.
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