By Jim Bates

It was a hot August dawn. We were on the city dock, dangling our feet above the water. The sun was rising orange above the trees. The lake stretched out in front of us, waves rippling with a few ducks floating nearby. I hardly noticed any of it. 

Davy had driven us down in his old Ford. He and I both loved it here 

Now, I was crying. “I don’t want you to leave,” I begged him, nor bothering to wipe the tears from my eyes.

He put an arm around my shoulder and pulled me close. “It’s okay, little man.” It was his term of endearment for me, his five-year-old kid brother. “I’ll write you every day.” Davy was eighteen and my hero. Later that day he was leaving to go to war.

“Promise?” I asked him.
He grinned and kissed the top of my head. “Promise.”

 Later we walked along the shore. I got covered with leeches. He sat me down and picked them off, one by one. I’ll never forget his gentle touch when he cleaned off the blood. 

Or that day either, the last day we were ever together.

Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories have appeared online in CafeLitThe Writers’ Cafe MagazineCabinet of HeedParagraph Planet, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard, Spillwords and The Drabble, and in print publications: A Million Ways, Mused Literary Journal, Gleam Flash Fiction Anthology #2 and The Best of CafeLit 8. You can also check out his blog to see more: www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.

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