He stood on the beach alone, leaning on his walking sticks and staring out to sea. For the last few days the remembrance and celebration events had been going on and he had been reunited with some old friends. Still, he couldn’t believe it had been seventy-five years since he had first walked across this beach.
He could picture everything still; first light, the cold rough waves of the sea, first against the boats then against his legs as he struggled forward with his company. The heavy weight of his gun and pack. The bundle of nerves in his stomach and the twisting thoughts of what might lay in wait for him.
The sounds of machine guns and other weapons boomed out from the cliff tops creating a noise so deafening, it had never left his ears. He had only just been able to hear the orders to run forward, to take the beach. The sound of friendly fire was even louder then then enemies’ and so close it made him feel terrified.
The first soldiers got shot. The sea foam turned red and bodies bobbed in the water face down. More fell on the beach and were left behind as their pals ran onwards. Victory must be had! There would be time later to help the dead.
More and more men fell, the sea and sand seeming to be their final resting place. Everything turned red with blood, the cries of the dying and wounded came into competition with the gun noises. Bullets zipped this way and that, zinging through the air till the hit something.
He was no longer thinking, just acting on instinct and that’s why he didn’t really remember things. Everything seemed to blur into one. There was a body, there was a fallen gun, there was the sea behind him and the boats now awaiting them. He had seen so much but no words could ever describe it.
He had been nineteen. Just a boy. A boy who had wanted to do his bit to save his country. Make his parents proud and his sweetheart love him more. His teacher had said he should sign up, become a hero. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
He had never felt like a hero. Not even now.
‘The dead are the heroes!’ he had told one news reporter and he had meant it too.
I want to take you away with me. Not just in your imagination but in your heart and soul too. I want to take you to lands that don’t existed and perhaps they never did and lands that will existed in the future, but even your children will never know them. There’s no need to be afraid or to pack your suitcases, in fact all you need is a comfy seat and some light.
I want you to meet people who have never been and yet always have been. They will tell you stories you won’t believe and take you on adventures which will always stay with you. I want you to feel every emotion to the core of your being and know that your tears are not wasted. For each bout of sadness keeps our heroes and heroine live for longer.
I want you to remember that even as you close the covers, the end doesn’t happen. You can visit these places and those people as many times as you like. For they are always going to be with us because they and their stories have been immortalized.
So what are you wanting for? Go and pick up a book right now and travel where ever it takes you too.
Ethan wanted to be a superhero. Laying in bed and despite coughing loudly, he imaged himself grown up and being the hero. He would save women in distress, kill the bad guys and save the day. Everyone would know his name and he would be world famous.
Smiling as he watched the patterns of light and shadow on his ceiling, he let his dream play out. Ethan would be better then any other superhero before; faster, stronger, more powerful. He would be unstoppable! Though that would not make a good superhero name…
The pain in his chest forced him to roll over. Ethan hung his head over the edge of the bed and coughed for what felt like forever. He reached a trembling hand out and searched on his bedside table. His hand knocked his glasses and a comic book before connected with the object he was looking for. Picking up the glass, Ethan sipped the cool water and felt a little better. Placing the glass back, he wondered where his inhaler had gone too.
He sat up, turned on the lamp and his superhero dreams faded with the shadows. He found and used his inhaler. Hating the taste at the back of his throat from it. He took some deep breaths and felt for a few minutes his cough and chest easing. Then though he heard the familiar wheezing in his breathing once more.
Groaning, he fell back onto his bed.
‘Superheros don’t get sick,’ he muttered.
Ethan put a hand on his chest and rubbed the returning ache. He scrunched up his face and inside his head loudly told himself that he was not going to let his illness ever stop him from doing anything.
This story was inspired by https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/
Why is finding the right man so difficult? She wondered as she looked though the profiles on the dating website. I only want one and it’s not as if I’m asking him to be Superman…though that would be nice.
Ross couldn’t help the smile that came to his face, after all this time he was finally back in the dance studio again. He wheeled into the centre of the springboard floored room and caught himself in the mirror wall. He looked different, another new man. He stroked his flat black hair then his long beard, before deciding that he really did like this new style.
‘Hi. Are you ready?’
He glanced over at the sound of the soft female voice. Monika was standing by the low table in the far corner, her finger on the CD player’s button. The display flashed track one in red letters in an urgent like motion.
Ross nodded, ‘I believe so. I’ve been waiting all week for this.’
Monika pressed the button. The CD’s display stopped flashing, settling on the same words as soft instrumental music flowed out of the speakers. Monika slide over to him, reaching for his hands with her own.
Ross swallowed, nerves and fear bundling inside him. The voice in the back of his head shot up, but he quickly locked it down again. Nothing was going to stop him from dancing today. He took Monika’s hands, her skin felt cool and dry against his hot and starting to sweat palms.
‘Just like we talked about,’ Monika said calmly and quietly.
‘Yes,’ he responded, recalling their phone convention yesterday.
Monika took a deep breath and shut her eyes. Ross did the same and let the sound of the music fill him. He let his thoughts drift away on each changing piano note and opened himself up. No longer was he tied to the wheelchair or the war, no longer just another casualty or unsung war hero, he was a dancer.
He opened his eyes, grinned up at Monika and they danced passionately around the room.