Friday was, as usual, a time for Flash! Friday. This week featured an older woman holding a bicycle, and we had to have a beach scene feature prominently in the piece. We still have the 200 (+/- 10) word limit – I squeaked right in on the top of that one.
Of course – the woman looked European – so the first things that meshed in my head were European and Beach – ahem…can anyone guess what follows? 🙂
You don’t have to guess – here’s the flash:
Shore is a thin, blurry line of demarcation – an ever-drifting segment constructed of both land and sea. Shore marks its territory with an unforgettable smell – components of vegetation, fish, brine and sand mixed endlessly by tumbling waves.
The butcher shop in Vierville-sur-Mer, just up the bluff, oozes the coppery tang of fresh meat – the same tang which conspired with the stench of hot metal and the acrid bite of smoke to overpower Shore’s scent 6 June, 1944.
She clings to the handlebars of her bicycle, staring, but not seeing, the crowded shop. The street-chatter delicately fades behind the knife-sharp laceration of blood-soaked recollection. She hears again the staccato tap-tap-tap of machine gun fire echoing off the bluffs cradling Cote de Nacre’s Shoreline. The tortured screams of agony again rip from the raw throats of men dying on the beach. She sees, in perfect detail, the wet, crimson meat and white bone of a casually discarded human arm in front of her hiding hole and the flowering blossom of blood crawling through the sand toward her feet.
Sand should never be red. Waves should never wear pink froth.
Men will do what men will do when conflict boils away common sense – but she will forever carry the scars of witnessing…Normandy.