Had Me At Flash Fiction

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The Right Hand

Besides it all, William knew he had a purpose. Everything did. His mother made sure that he knew it, too, he and his sister. William is still trying to figure out the purpose of that night – trying to grasp his head around its reasons, because he certainly cannot grasp his right hand around it. William cannot grasp his right hand around anything, an alien limb in its place.

Sometimes he stares at the cold, burnished bronze. In the reflection of that fraudulent palm, he stares into his own eyes, searching for the purpose he convinces himself is there, but always fails to realize. The thing is, that bronze hand has a purpose, and that bronze hand knows it. The sheer contact between the bronze and the smooth wood of a shotgun send it into delirium. William is at war with his right hand. His right hand is at war.

That night was all his fault – not William’s, of course – but his. He hurt his mother. He hurt his sister. He took William’s hand, but he should’ve taken William’s life too. Then William wouldn’t miss them so much. William tries to understand it all, tries to find hidden clues, desperate for answers to questions he can’t even vomit out. Guess that’s why he joined the rebellion; partly so he didn’t have time to think so much, partly so he might visit them sooner.

You could say he has issues. William would probably agree.

Either way, William’s job in the rebellion was not an easy one; he not only had to fire at enemy targets, but was forced to recover civilian casualties, sometimes carrying a corpse for miles. William lived for days like those. How ironic.

Today, though, William walked into a field instead of an office. Instead of paperwork scattered across his desk, there were limbs sprinkled here-and-there, so reprehensibly blasé. Days like these caused William the most pain. Unfortunately, days like these came too often. He found it somewhat sufferable, as long as he never looked into the eyes. As long as they weren’t humans. But exactly one year after that night, he made a mistake – broke his only rule.

William’s right hand had been satisfying itself, indulging in the ecstasy of the trigger for days. William placated his left hand by telling himself that he was only fulling his duties, that it was his purpose as well. William’s left hand had a hard time believing that. Nonetheless, as William’s right hand fulfilled his first duty, William’s left hand now hand to fulfill his second.

As he pulled her body into his arms, he couldn’t help but look into her eyes. William suddenly saw in her eyes what he could not see in his palm – purpose. In her cold, vacant stare, he saw the joining of his palms, the meeting of flesh and machine, of life and death. No longer would he lament his mother and sister. No longer would he be incapable of understanding his father.

William knows what he must do.

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Far Too Young

Jose Ramirez

Mixed Media

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