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Coming Home

Here’s my contribution to Friday Fictioneers, the weekly 100-ish word flash fiction challenge hosted by the lovely and talented Rochelle. This week she contributed the photo herself!

As usual I glanced at the photo at lunch time and then just let my brain work away and do its thing. Except it didn’t. Finally I managed to come up with a story of sorts, which you can find underneath the photo!

To read all the other contributions (more are added throughout the week), click on the little blue fellow below.


Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The military transport sliced through the frigid air, winging its way home.

Home. The word always conjured up images of friends, family, familiar surroundings. Images of lush, rolling hills. Images of… normality. Safety.

No more arid desert. No more violent, unseen death waiting around every corner, behind every hill. No more stomach-churning spicy foods or bland combat rations.

He wasn’t there for his son’s first day at “big school”. He had never seen his baby daughter. He had missed her first steps, her first words.

His family would be waiting for him at the airstrip, waiting to take his coffin… home.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    July 30, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Man, you got me on that one, and I should have known better too!


    • July 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Maybe one day the twist will be – that there is no twist 🙂


      • NotAPunkRocker
        July 30, 2014 at 9:01 pm

        Oh, now that would be something!


  2. July 30, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Wow, amazing twist. I didn’t see that one coming at all. Nice!


    • July 31, 2014 at 6:43 am

      Thanks – I always try to pop a twist in there somewhere!


      • July 31, 2014 at 1:16 pm

        I do the same in what I write for my blog.


        • July 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm

          I did have a quick look earlier but I’ll pop back again when I’m not at work and have more time!


  3. July 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I felt like I’d been hit by a sniper, really didn’t see that last line. Fab job 🙂


    • July 31, 2014 at 6:45 am

      I had to cycle through quite a few stories in my mind this week before I finally thought of one I could twist at the end. Thanks!


  4. July 30, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    OMG Alistair, that one jerked on the old heart strings!


    • July 31, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Then it did its job! I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  5. July 30, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    gold standard!


  6. Lyn
    July 30, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Oh my, now you’ve got me blubbering. I was seeing him get off the plane to his children’s delighted hugs and kisses. Then you hit me with a sledge hammer. Brilliant, D-man, brilliant.


    • July 31, 2014 at 6:56 am

      I’m not usually one for happy endings! It sounds like it had the desired effect, I’m glad you enjoyed it (if enjoyed is the right word for such a story!).


  7. July 31, 2014 at 12:30 am

    You worked this excitement emotion story into a sad ending perfectly.


    • July 31, 2014 at 6:57 am

      Thanks, I like to “build up” before dropping the final bombshell.


  8. July 31, 2014 at 1:03 am

    You are the O’Henry of the 100 word story!


    • July 31, 2014 at 6:58 am

      Thanks! I looked him up – if I got the right guy (William Sydney Porter?) he sounds like quite the short story-teller.


  9. July 31, 2014 at 2:25 am

    That may have been the best Drali-twist ending ever…. wow!


  10. July 31, 2014 at 3:56 am

    What? You don’t do stories like this! Jeez you really got me with that one.


    • July 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

      I had a bit of bother coming up with a story this week, and that was what (finally) emerged. I like a twisty ending.


  11. July 31, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Ali, That was extremely sad and extremely well written. It wasn’t like your ususal story, but maybe you should do more of this type. That heart wrenching scene has been repeated in reality far too many times. Well done. —Susan


    • July 31, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Thank you! The news often has pictures of a plane like that arriving back home.
      I’m glad you liked it.


  12. July 31, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Excellent. You constructed that really well.


    • July 31, 2014 at 7:11 am

      Thanks! I spent a while shifting bits around to make it sound the way I wanted it to.


  13. July 31, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Dear Draliman,

    Wow. This was a great story and one that should be mandatory reading for all those fat-assed old politicians always eager to have a war. I thought about my son as I read every line. Very poignant, moving and well done.




    • July 31, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Dear Doug,
      Thank you! I’m glad it spoke to you, and I hope your son will be okay.


  14. July 31, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Dear Ali,

    You made my heart plummet to the pit of my stomach and soar back to my throat. Well crafted and powerful. You get an OMG and a Bravo from me.




    • July 31, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      Thanks so much! It’s wonderful to get such praise from a writer of such beautifully written stories. I’m so glad you liked it.


  15. July 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Wow, such a powerful story. I was so engaged and immersed in the story that I was totally taken aback with the twist at the end. Very clever writing!


    • July 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you! I like to pop a twist in at the end of my stories. I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  16. July 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I actually gasped! Good job.


  17. July 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    This one really got me. Nice story.


    • July 31, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks, I like to add a twist in the tail 🙂


  18. July 31, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Oh man, that brought a tear….such is life


  19. July 31, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Devastating sadness.. Really well written


    • August 1, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Thanks. An all-too familiar scene.


  20. July 31, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Glad you took your time thinking about the prompt. This is a story with impact. Kudos.


    • August 1, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  21. August 1, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Oh my goodness, doc 😦 What a great piece you’ve created! It speaks to all time…even with the plane parts.


    • August 1, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Thank you! An all-too-common scene these days I fear.


  22. August 1, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Wow, DrAli,
    You really wrote a good/bad one this time. I enjoy your writing but this one made my stomach hurt and I can’t shake the sad.
    ****, insert curse word.


    • August 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Thanks (and sorry). It was a bit of a nasty twist after all the hopeful build-up.


  23. August 1, 2014 at 10:49 am

    A poignant tale and really well written. Like many others, you got me at the end there!


    • August 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I like my little twists 🙂


  24. August 1, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    That was devastating. Heart-breakingly beautiful story.


    • August 2, 2014 at 4:04 am

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!


  25. August 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Nicely done. So sad. He did his duty and now he’ll miss everything. The spoils of war.


    • August 3, 2014 at 6:29 am

      Thanks. Yes, a very sad situation.


  26. Sun
    August 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    your character got me…went straight to the heart. what an awful way to come home. superb!


    • August 3, 2014 at 6:30 am

      All the things he’ll miss after all he’s gone through. I’m glad you liked it.


  27. August 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Beautifully crafted story, not one word out of place.


    • August 3, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Thanks, it took a fair bit of editing to get it right!


  28. August 3, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Aww, this warmed heart. I might say this is a little unlike you. Way to stretch yourself. Great story!


    • August 3, 2014 at 6:32 am

      I like to try something different once in a while. I’m glad you liked it!


  29. August 3, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Ugh. too real. too sad.
    did your job well. Randy


  30. August 3, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Dear draliman, So sad! I had 2 sons in the military and one did have to go to Kosovo. But they are all home now. That is one thing that is so depressing when you have sons. They go off to war. Have a good week draliman! Nan 🙂


    • August 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

      I’m glad they’re okay, it must have been a worrying time.


  31. Sarah Ann
    August 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Oh I didn’t want to like this – so well done, building us up for a happy ending, with all those detailed descriptions, and then pulling the rug away. Really well written.


    • August 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks! I often have a twist at the end but this one was a bit more “shocking” than most.


  32. August 5, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Did not see that coming! Sad…but wonderfully written


    • August 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

      I like a twist at the end! I’m glad you enjoyed it, even though it was very sad.


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