Flash Fiction: After the War
© Michelle C. Hilstrom 2015
Before I left for The War, my daughter and I used to go to the park together while my wife attended her Bible Studies class at the church. My daughter loved to swing at that park. She’d swing so high she’d ask me if she was swinging up high with the angels.
When I got home from The War, it was evident that my wife had changed. Gone was the good Christian woman who had spent her days tending to our child and home. Gone was the good, pious woman who led her Bible Studies class. In her place stood this wantonly woman who had taken a lover to ease her loneliness while I was away fighting for our country.
But it wasn’t just any lover. She had taken a woman as her lover. “With men in short supply,” she told me, “it was just a matter of convenience. It just made sense. And can you even call it cheating? I wasn’t with another man.”
“We can make this work for all of us,” she went on. “What man wouldn’t want two women to tend to his needs?”
We tried to make it work for a while. I wanted to make her happy. But, it soon became evident that my needs were not going to be tended and I was an outsider looking in on my own home. There was no longer room for me. I was no longer necessary in my wife’s bed.
If it had been another man, I might have known better how to handle the situation. There would have been less shame. We may have been living in sin, but at least that was forgivable, even enviable, in the eyes of the men who passed me on the street. But what man wants to admit that he’d been replaced by a woman? What man could show his face? I admit I snapped. The shame, the sin, the rejection, and the thought of my daughter turning out just like her licentious mother was too much. I killed them. I just killed them all and walked to this park.
I look at the children on the swings and imagine my daughter is swinging so high – high up with the angels.