The day had a head start on young Liam Craddock, he could feel it, and all that it promised. Across the years, on the slimmest sheet of air, piggybacking a whole man’s aura on that fleet thinness, he caught the sense of tobacco chaw or toby, mule leather’s hot field abrasion, gunpowder’s trenchant residue, men at confusion. If it wasn’t a battlefield in essence, or scarred battle ranks, he did not know what else it could be. And it carried the burning embers of memory.Continue reading “Silent Retrieval by Tom Sheehan”
Everso, Nevada must have seen McKenzie Dodds, newly quit of the Great War, coming all the way, all the time, sitting as it did on a rise with a splendid view of the river and the grass running for miles beside it dotted with cattle. It could have been termed a welcome in some quarters the way the town hummed, had bustle in the streets, doors opened and closed, hellos and good mornings and halleluiahs blending in Dodds’s hearing. It was all saluted by a group of boys in an old game of tossing slender sticks at the side of the livery where leaners were yelped up to victory; “Huzzah. Magnificent! Numere uno!.” Or “Attaboy, Vinnie! Attaboy!” Or “Do it again, Carlo!” coming as “Lo hace otra vez, Carlo!”
The moon’s on its way to November, sailing a sullen sky. I think the whole world breathed a sigh of relief tonight, when the major told us to find shelter, get some shut eye before tomorrow. We’re too close to the enemy for camp fire, all of us hiding behind trees, and under bushes, keeping as quiet as smoke, settling into the dirt and leaves like animals on the prowl.