Big Brother

Every now and again, the guilt of their happiness would bring them to tears…

He loved his big brother and missed him terribly. Without hesitation, he always gave Jason credit for the man he had become. He felt at odds over being happy without his brother, and even more so about his current happiness being a result of his brother’s death.

Erin and Jason met in Afghanistan, and Cody and Erin met at Jason’s funeral in Paris, where he said he wanted to be buried.

Jason was stationed overseas and after spending some time in Paris vowed to make it his home when he retired from the military.

On his first tour in Afghanistan, he met a friendly helicopter pilot, and they became fast friends. On his second tour, he met an IED.

Erin and Cody bonded over their mutual loss and were swept up in the romance of Paris, the city of love. They both decided to stay there for a while and often visited the cemetery to talk to Jason about the life they were building together.

Every now and again, the guilt of their happiness would bring them to tears, but they knew deep down that Jason would be overjoyed for them. They both knew the kind man he was.

Today’s visit to see Jason was to deliver some very exciting news.

“Hey big brother, guess what,” Cody said, his voice cracking. Erin reached for his hand and squeezed it reassuringly. “It won’t be long now we will be welcoming baby Jason.”

“Did you hear that, Jason? We’re going to have a baby!” Erin reiterated. “We wish you were here to meet your namesake.” She finished and wiped a silent tear from her cheek.

They hugged and smiled.

“You’d be proud, big brother,” Cody said as they turned to leave. “I am so proud of you.”

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– Written for Microcosms 22 weekly contest. Prompts Book ending sentence: “He loved Big Brother.”/Setting: Paris Cemetery/Genre: Romance. WC 295. Photo from Pixabay.com.

Contingency Plan

I felt his condescension heavy in the confessional.

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I stopped at Sacred Heart again on my way to Ma’s for dinner. I felt the need to confess more often lately.

I kinda had a thing for Ma’s hairdresser, Lorraine. She was sweet as pie and could be feisty as a wet cat. She made me think all domestically, ya know, like settling down and such. Currently, my job wasn’t good for that kinda future.

Father O’Malley knew me since I was a kid. I felt his condescension heavy in the confessional. “Father, forgive me for I have sinned. It has been one week since my last confession.”

It seemed a conflict of interest to tell my sins to a priest whose brother was the mob boss that happened to be my employer, but he said he is bound to no man, only to God.

Once you’re in “The Family,” there’s few ways out that don’t involve a funeral. So, he liked to remind me that I shoulda made better choices in my youth, and doing the right thing was a hard path.

Since getting out required a funeral, I was glad O’Malley wasn’t bound to any man as I confessed my latest sin. I felt kinda guilty telling him that his brother was now swimming with the fishes.

– Written for Microcosms 20 weekly contest. Related to Classic Books with prompts Gangster/Confessions/Romance. WC 210. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. “Contingency Plan” won Judge’s Pick in this contest.

The Shinigami

I catch sight of the grotesque apple-stuffed smile of a roasted pig.

I hear waves crash beyond my sight. The clouds briefly hide the moonlight darkening my view. I turn toward the luau.

The flickering firelight dances with shadows and illuminates the feast. I catch sight of the grotesque apple-stuffed smile of a roasted pig. It looks guilty. I watch tourists help themselves to the fare.

A familiar, soothing breeze gently envelops me. I hear my name inside my mind, inaudible, it chills and comforts. The hairs on my arms stand up though my body relaxes.

Swirling shadows merge. A dark, faceless being reaches out a shadowy limb and takes my hand. The Shinigami, my love, pulls me deeper into itself.

– Written for Microcosms (11) though I missed the deadline. Prompts were Shinigami/Luau/Romance. WC 109. Photo from Pixabay.com.

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