#123 The 28th Panel

by Linda McMaken

Her fingers trembled as their edges followed the outline of the granite letters. The hand of time suddenly tightened around her throat, and her breath caught in her chest. Pain was a nasty bastard that didn’t retreat. Tears streamed. How could she feel such depths of grief for a man she never knew? Born fourteen days before he was killed, he was a father to her only in stories, only in pictures, only in her mother’s cherished memories, and her grandmother’s tears.

She’d found his name quite easily, eighth panel, twenty-ninth name down. That was when the grief slammed her. August, twenty-ninth was her birthday. Did he know? Was this some cosmic sign? Tears dropped to the concrete, leaving small wet circles. How many had stood at this spot and dropped a trail of pain? Down the memorial flowers, teddy bears and other offerings reflected against the granite.

She’d brought nothing except other’s memories of him. Everyone here whispered. The pain was a living entity that scaled the black granite wall like a serpent. Quiet, unassuming, watchful. From her bag she pulled out a notebook, writing only what her heart felt. It was the only thing she had to offer. Laying it at the base of his panel, she placed a small rock on the paper to hold it. Kissing his name she walked away.

The note fluttered, its words touching each reader’s heart; “Daddy, I miss you.”


Flutterby said...

Love the line "Pain was a nasty bastard that didn't retreat." (Although I think in the present tense might be better?)

Sweet image of her writing a note and leaving it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Awwwwww. Wonderful use of emotion.