Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Flash: Absolutely Nothing

 

Back in December my family and I visited a park in Danville, Virginia while we were celebrating my cousin's college graduation. At this park, they had a war memorial like the Vietnam War Wall Memorial in Washington, DC. On this wall, they had all the soldiers who had died from the American Revolution to the War on Terror from that area. What struck me the most was the Civil War section which had numerous men who had died with the same last name. Thus, this flash fiction piece was inspired.

Absolutely Nothing

War is not civil. A nation destroys itself because of its ideologies. People suffer while politicians talk. They call this war “civil,” but it divides us. It’s us or them, Dad says. Said. He’s no longer with us. Neither are my two older brothers, Uncle Joe, and my three cousins. This war wipes out families’ names. Men die. Even those who don’t perish on the battlefield succumb to disease and infection.

Grandfather and my little brother Frankie are all the menfolk we have left. One is too old, the other too young. For now. Cannons boom and gunshots echo even all the way in town. They say the South will fall. They say the North will. I say we all have fallen.

So much death and destruction. I have no more tears to shed. I’m all cried out.

Why can’t they realize war solves nothing? Our differences make us unique, separate us from each other. Nothing wrong with being unusual, even though they believe it is. Our oddities are nothing without what makes us stronger as a people, a nation divided.

Our similarities are our humanity, our life, our civil end of this war.

22 comments:

Julie Flanders said...

I visited Gettysburg some years ago and it was such a haunting place. Your line about people suffering while politicians talk struck me, sad that can be said during any time period!

Great piece, Cherie. Have a good weekend!

Larry Kollar said...

A very wise soldier, that one. We have a similar memorial here as well, and the Civil War list is similarly long. But the WW1 list is long, too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sad that it did wipe out families.

mshatch said...

I liked this.

Al Diaz said...

Wars have also much to do with personal interests and private business which take advantage of honest (or not so honest) causes. Sad but true.

Rachna Chhabria said...

War does wipe out entire families. Its sad.

Christine Rains said...

Emotional and well written.

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellent piece. I have to agree with the commentary in this. Well written.

Heather Holden said...

Wow! This is such a powerful piece for something so short. I was reeled in right away with the very first line. War is definitely anything but civil!

Nicole Zoltack said...

This is powerful.

Allison said...

Great flash. I just don't understand politics and war.

Allison (Geek Banter)

Shallee said...

What a tragedy the Civil War was. It's sad how it divided and destroyed so many families.

michelle said...

Your opening sentence delivers a powerful punch!
Great piece Cherie.

M Pax said...

My younger brother is a historian and his pet subject is the civil war. My great... maybe another great in there... grandfather fought in the civil war. Those who made it back usually did not 'fully' make it back.

I lived in No. Virgina for many years. Gettysburg always moves me.

Camille Picott said...

I love flash fiction. Very nice piece. War is so sad.

I love the line: I say we have all fallen.

Very well put.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm terribly sad to think how many people have died and will die because of wars started and maintained for stupid reasons.

DMS said...

A powerful piece of flash fiction and I loved hearing what inspired the piece. I haven't visited many memorials devoted to the Civil War. Thanks for sharing. :
~Jess

Misha Gericke said...

Beautifully written. So sad, but true for all ages at the same time.

Carol Riggs said...

Powerful. I like your thoughts on war being "civil" too. :)

Sherry Ellis said...

War certainly is not civil! Great piece of flash fiction.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Well written, nice, emotional.

Mina Lobo said...

That's a pretty haunting idea,entire families being wiped out by war.
Some Dark Romantic