So Played the Pipes in Arras – (day 11)

By

 Janet Lingel Aldrich

Harry McDonald shuffled down the hall to answer the door. He found his regular mail carrier with an oblong box in hand. “Good morning, Mr. McDonald! Ready for Christmas?”

Taking the box, he raised a bushy eyebrow. “Happen I am, lass. Happen I am.” He put the box on the nearest flat surface and took the clipboard he was offered. “Where do I sign, then?”

After he closed the door, Harry stared at the box for a long time before picking it up.  I know what it is and I know what it means. Bloody hell. And at Christmas of all times. He was expecting his grandson any day, home from Afghanistan on furlough. I’ll put it aside for now.

As he passed down the hallway, he searched through the framed pictures on the wall and stopped at one of them. He ran his hand over the picture, looking at each of his mates in turn. Sandy, Hamish, Alasdair, David… all the twelve of us. Gone one at a time. And now, Jamie-lad. Only me left. Only me.

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