Belonging - Short Story

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Belonging - Short Story

By | Feb. 2013
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“Father, why did you join the war?”
***
The sun rose proudly as the morning clouds parted revealing the stairs to what seemed like heaven as I glanced through my office window. The light slowly uncovered the field outside as the men marched uniformly while I saluted to my countries flag that stood high above foreign soil. ***

My father focused on the horizon through the morning dew that covered the kitchen window. His hands fidgeting with the cross that hanged from his neck. With a small glimpse of light appearing, he fixed himself upright, proud, straight and still. His hands brushed the victory medal as he saluted to the rising sun that glared over the nation. Without hesitation, back straight, hands stiff and elbows bent, I mimicked as he turned to face me. His impassive expression suddenly filled with colour as he lifted me onto his shoulder. “Come on, let’s make some morning tea”.

***
Stepping away from my office windows, boiled water, cup in hand, tea leaves in, scent rising, I soothed the cup with my gentle breath. I run my hand over my left sleeve, fixing the small creases that formulated, grazing the grade 1 seven stripes that were sewn on. Stripes of courage, rank and acknowledgement. ***

My father slowly wiped down the Lee-Enfield while I filled up the metal canteen. “Father, is it going to hurt the rabbit?”
He let out a short laughter, finished with a smirk and a smile offering me to polish the .303 that he was wiping. “Come on son, if you have a mind as weak as that, you won’t make it past a private.” ***

Taking a sip from the warm scented cup, the cross dangled down loosely from my neck. The cup is set back onto the table, with my preheated warm hands grasping the wooden symbol. “Dismiss us with your blessing.”

***
My father with his face slightly pale and his back against the bedhead coughed lightly as I raised the blanket above his waist. After a slight pause of rest, he elevated his right hand and signalled a slight flicking gesture....

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