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#VisDare – Engraved

His stare followed me out of the room.

The worst thing, I thought, was that he wasn’t angry with me. He wasn’t even sad. He’d seen it all before.

That wasn’t the worst thing, of course. If I’d had the barest sliver of imagination I’d have known that there was worse to come. The enquiry testimonies. The court-martial verdict. Open season in the press. The achingly empty house that had once been my home. The divorce, and the fresh media storm that the divorce unleashed.

No, it wasn’t the worst thing, not by a country mile, but it is the one that will stay with me.

His stare will follow me to my grave.

But wait, there’s more. I’ve written two versions of my #Visdare entry this week, because I just can’t decide. I’ve got a feeling that giving you an indication of what our narrator has done takes away more than it adds, but, but . . . well, you can decide for yourself.

His stare followed me out of the room.

The worst thing, I thought, was that he wasn’t angry with me. He wasn’t even sad. He’d seen it all before.

That wasn’t the worst thing, of course. If I’d had the barest sliver of imagination I’d have known that there was worse to come. The enquiry testimonies. The court-martial verdict. Open season in the press. The achingly empty house that had once been my home. The divorce, and the fresh media storm that the divorce unleashed. All for one split second lapse, one command failure, that left the blood of the last surviving son of a hero on my hands.

No, it wasn’t the worst thing, not by a country mile, but it is the one that will stay with me.

His stare will follow me to my grave.

You must know the drill by now – I only write flash to this tight a word-target for Angela Goff’s #VisDare. You can find the photo prompt that inspired this piece, and links to some more decisive responses to it, here.

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2 comments on “#VisDare – Engraved

  1. “one command failure” — somehow that becomes the most tragic phrase in the second version, and for me the most riveting. I think I prefer the second for that reason alone. Either way, your focus on the man’s stare is gorgeously seized, in both variations. Haunting!!

    Like

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