FOUR

one of two short stories i entered in the recent newcastle short story award

FOUR
four of us lost our halves that day.
husbands.
life partners.
lives.
as we knew them anyway.
four solemn knocks
on four solid doors
that should have heralded the return
of four beloved men
rough & wrecked
triumphant.
smelling of camp
anffire
and good times
instead
a couple of kids in uniform
faces ashen
hearts heavy
I looked at mine
stunned
a tear escaping
at the exact moment
i
finally
drew
breath
i pulled the door close behind me:
my kids are in there.
tell me.
and they were sorry to inform me
four fatalities
no survivors
apart from the four who’d answered those doors
:what charlie wrote: