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Friday Fictioneers – Those We Leave Behind

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers on this Armistice Day. Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle, and this week’s photo was kindly supplied by  J. Hardy Carroll.

Click on the blue frog for this week’s other stories.

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Copyright J Hardy Carroll


Cynthia watched, eyes damp, as her twin daughters scampered over to the grave. She saw them solemnly place the flowers before heading back.

They’d never met their father – he’d been deployed overseas while they were still living safe and unaware beneath her heart. This year they were old enough to place the flowers. In a few years’ time they would understand the sacrifice their father had made. They’d understand why he wasn’t there, why he’d never been there for them. Why he’d had to go.

Cynthia understood. But that didn’t make it any easier. There were some wounds even time couldn’t heal.


  1. jellico84
    November 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you, words do not truly convey that emotion, I fear. I was one of those children born of a service man I never met. Didn’t even know until a few years ago. I met him at the wall, and old photo in hand. 🙂 I would have liked to have known him, but I feel in some sense I do. I was raised by his brother.


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Thanks for sharing that, I don’t even have second-hand experience of how it would really feel. Your real-life story is really touching.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. November 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Made me cry this time. Good post.


  3. November 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Very true, doesn’t always heal, so times it just ceases to hurt so much.


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:28 am

      I don’t think time ever really heals completely but as you say, the pain fades.


  4. NotAPunkRocker
    November 11, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Wow, powerful story. ❤ Good job, Ali.


  5. November 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Happy Veteran’s Day. Seems so odd to say ‘happy’ when it’s at the cemetery we all gather. The perfect flash for today!


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:31 am

      I was planning on writing something humorous this week but when I saw that photo prompt on Armistice Day…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. November 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    The images in your story are so hard to digest…cna’t imagine the pain the family would go through. Nicely done.


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Me neither, I’m not writing from experience on this one. I’m glad it worked, though.


  7. November 12, 2015 at 12:27 am

    When I thank our veterans I am always sure to include their families. When a man or woman serves, the whole family serves.


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Very true, and the families don’t have any “control” either, all they can do is sit and wait and pray.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. gentlestitches
    November 12, 2015 at 4:12 am

    That was a very, very moving piece .
    ❤️❤️❤️ Beautiful tribute.


  9. November 12, 2015 at 4:20 am

    safe and unaware beneath her heart. LOVELY.
    Wonderful 100 words. Thank you.


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Thanks, I fiddled with that line a bit to get it just right.


  10. November 12, 2015 at 4:57 am

    How tough that would be to never know your father and be so young when he died. Very moving story, Ali.


    • November 12, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Thanks. I can’t even imagine what it would really be like.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. November 12, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Quite a turn for you, doc. In my story, too, one questions how much small children understand about death. Probably more than we know…and now a brave mother must carry forth their father’s memory. This is so sad to imagine.

    My own father was an Army Paratrooper. It didn’t kill him during the war, but his iunknown injuriess did – eventually – cripple and kill him. When I think about him – especially on Veterans Day – i remember his ironic sense of humor and thank him for blessing me with it.


    • November 12, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Yes, something a bit different given the photo and day.
      I can’t even imagine how I might feel in this situation.


  12. November 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

    This bought tears to my eyes.


  13. November 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Dear Ali,

    Beautifully written. I loved ‘safe beneath her heart.’




    • November 12, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      Thanks, I’m glad you liked that line. I changed it a bit to get it right.


  14. November 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Lovely story presented as a remembrance of all those who gave their lives so that we could be safe and free. Let us never forget. Well written, Ali. —- Suzanne


  15. gahlearner
    November 12, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Very beautifully written, and moving. Great!


  16. November 12, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Sad that this is true for too many families.


  17. November 12, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Oh my, such a touching piece, especially for you 😉 I particularly loved the line ‘while they were still living safe and unaware beneath her heart’ great job 🙂


    • November 13, 2015 at 8:26 am

      “especially for you” heh heh :-). I thought that photo on that day required something a bit more sombre.
      I’m glad you liked that line – I fiddled with it a bit until it sounded right 🙂


  18. November 13, 2015 at 4:20 am

    great story told with emotion. and it fit the photo prompt very well, too. well done.


  19. November 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Nicely done.


  20. November 13, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Perfect story for Veteran’s Day. Many people do not understand how enduring the sacrifice is for some families.


    • November 13, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you. It must be terrible, waiting at home only to hear that terrible news.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. November 13, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Very good Ali.


  22. November 15, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Powerful story which builds consistently right to the end. Nice job!


  23. Sarah Ann
    November 16, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Very poignant and a nice stretch from your usual – I hope you don’t mind me saying that. A well written sad read.


    • November 16, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      Not at all. I felt with that photo and on Armistice Day something a little different was called for. Thanks!


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