Intro to ‘Not Yet Dark’

The next story I have in the queue is Not Yet Dark, a story inspired by Bob Dylan’s Master’s of War. It is in the final revisions stage now, then it will be edited and sent out to various publishers. Here is the intro, as it stands now.

When I found my daughter in the still-smoking rubble, her left leg was missing. Nothing but shredded ribbons of bloodied flesh and a shattered stump of bone remained.

Agonized screams pierced the air all around me, but I barely heard them. Dust and smoke stole the air from my lungs, but I hardly noticed. All my attention was on her; nothing else mattered. I lifted her with care, brushed her silky black hair behind an ear, and kissed her forehead.

“You’re fine, it’s going to be okay,” I lied, trying my best to smile.

Blood flowed from her body and into the mud of the now torn-apart street as tears flowed from my face and onto hers. She blinked at them and croaked “Daddy,” before another squadron of death planes roared overhead. I ducked under a broken, leaning wall that had been part of the market just minutes before, sheltering her body with mine. The ground shook as more bombs dropped and continued to level the city. The ringing in my ears drowned out all sound. Black mushrooms of soot sprouted from the devastation and into the heavens.

I looked at the girl in my arms, and saw the rise and fall of her chest had ceased. A check of her pulse confirmed my worst fear. My searing eyes dropped to her new handmade doll that lay abandoned on what remained of the road, smudged with ash and blood. She had turned four, two days prior.

It wasn’t until my breath ran out that I realized I had been screaming her name.


~J.M. Ames

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