The Wall (A Flash Fiction)

Awhile back, I entered a contest with a prompt to it.  My submission was a semi-finalist but had too many worn tropes to win. 
Sometimes, you just have to write what you need to.  So, here goes.
The Wall

Sergeant Paul Prenzan came to the west stretch of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as evening neared.  His trip started, as it did every year, from Arlington National Cemetery to the wall.  Despite the humidity, Paul’s uniform was immaculate.
            About fifty feet away from the end of the wall, he froze.  There, moving snail-like in Paul’s direction, was the only woman he ever loved, Rosie Damick.  Her face was lined but determined.  Gray tendrils of hair drifted in the breeze as her hands clutched a walker for support.  Her minute footsteps brought her close to him faster than he thought possible, stopping just before she reached him.  Though she couldn’t see him, Paul’s phantom heart gave the illusion of a squeeze.      

            Rose pushed her walker toward the spot.  The lights put a glare where she knew his name would be but she still saw it.  Releasing her walker, she collapsed to her knees, letting her fingers run across his name. 
            “You said you’d come back, damn it.”  she muttered in accented English, traitorous tears glistening.
            He bent down and kissed just above her cheek, hand passing through her shoulder. 
            “I tried, dearest.”  he whispered, motionless beside her.
            Paul and Rose stayed by the wall until the first rays of sun caressed the ground. 


  1. *sigh* It's a beautiful piece, Jennifer. Nicely written and full of emotion. Congrats on being a finalist!
    Hope you're doing well these days! I'm ready for summer to be over so I can get some work done. :)

  2. Very nice! Congrats on making it as a semi-finalist.