Joe’s body twitched in his bed, as he knew it would. He hadn’t slept since he left the war zone in Macedonia. Violent dreams with buckets of blood, screams in the night, these had been predicted in the article he had read. Now, safe in Amsterdam, he was living the symptoms.Continue reading “Leaving Macedonia by David Flynn”
There are forces in the city greater than the stream of cars and buses charging through the streets day and night, greater than the parades of pedestrians and rows of skyscrapers towering like giant chess pieces at war, and these forces combined are nothing less than the world wrapped into a fist, lodged just beneath the surface of the earth, ready to explode.Continue reading “The City, the World by Tim Frank”
As all of earth once growled and gnarled its way to an instant conflagration, a calamitous roar, all its gears beginning to shift, in the near-middle of the last century, Saugus, Massachusetts, a small town just north of Boston, started to empty its bedrooms… the ones in the attic, in the space out over the garage, third floor second door on the left, the bedrooms facing on the pond or the cemetery or those looking broadly down on the wide marshes or quickly down on quiet Cliftondale Square. The bedrooms where boys cruised into manhood, almost overnight at that.Continue reading ” The Quiet, Empty Bedrooms of Saugus by Tom Sheehan “
I caught her eye. Recognised a kindred spirit. Her head then converted into cruor popcorn. Colour of grey nail varnish, millet porridge. Scarlet white and woeful.
I feared I’d lose my lonesome bench for good.Continue reading “All My Darlings Waiting by Antony Osgood”
The 11th of November was a Monday. We were patrolling in dense fog near Mons when at 11 am, Lieutenant Harrison ordered us to halt then glanced at his watch.Continue reading “Just Let Go by Anthony Billinghurst”
Sixty-six years now and they come at me, in Chicago, Crown Point, Indiana, by phone from Las Vegas.
I tell them how it happened, long after parting, one night when I was in a bar, thinking of them all.Continue reading “Once Screamed to Drunks at the Vets Bar, Memorial Day Evening by Tom Sheehan”
In silence, we drew back the curtains and watched the bombs explode. Josef leaned his head against the wall, cigarette limp in his mouth, his round glasses askew. He didn’t look afraid, and he wasn’t curious like me, not any more.Continue reading “The Last Light of the Library by Jennie Boyes”
When we received this work we were undecided what to do with it. We knew that we wanted to publish such a powerful and emotional piece of writing but, in fairness, it isn’t what we would normally class as a story. I will be honest and say that it moved me to tears.
Anyway, fate took a hand. We were scheduling this week at the time and when better to publish this than Remembrance Day.
The last paper boat. At least Herman hoped it was, watching it float away. Transported by the Danube to a world far from his own. A world without weapons and bombs. Without destruction. Where dreams didn’t die, where they weren’t shattered. Where men lived. He watched as it carried a tale of love, of loss, of grief and of war. Is that why they call it the Black sea, he wondered. All emotions coalescing to form a black, murky mass. Was the sea black inside, hiding behind a shade of blue, flowing nonchalantly. Like the people around him, hiding their sadness behind a smile. It will all be alright, they said. To others, to themselves. That it was destiny. There was nothing they could do, and the world would return to normalcy. It had to. Someday.
His name was Maxwell Max Dugan and this is his story, but only covers those disturbing and warful years between 1941 to 1947, just seven years chockfull of battles, combat, explosions, heroic people, deadly people on a world-wide rampage, and means of salvage, at least of the souls, if nothing else.