At the End of the Rainbow

This is inspired by a photo prompt:

If you are interested in doing the prompt, click here

This is NOT part of my Azren Chronicles series. This is a complete stand-alone.


April 1st, 1945 – Battle of Okinawa

“Daddy! Daddy, look what I found!”

I desperately tug on my father’s hand. “Whoa, whoa! Calm down, Andy!” he laughs as he follows me up the hill.

****

Blood sweeps through my fingers. Blood….

There’s…there’s something…something I’m supposed to do. Stop the bleeding…Stop…how?

Something sticks out of my chest. Wood. Barbed wire. Organs.

What…do…stop…bleeding…

“Red,” I whisper, blood bubbling over my lips. Dribbling down my chin. “M…marigold.”

****

I jump up and down as we reach the top of the hill. Daddy doubles over, hands on his knees. “Need..a minute,” he pants.

What?! It can’t wait!

Grabbing his arm, I try to pull him forward. “Come on, Dad!” I insist.

“Waaaiiitt!” he shouts as he tumbles down the rest of the hill. I get pulled down with him and we tumble down together. Laughing, I roll off and run forward.

“Daddy, daddy, this is it!” I pick it off of its stem and run back to him.

He was standing there, a gobsmacked look on his face, hand in his hair – sign of utter disbelief. “How…how did you find this place?” he turns to me with a grin.

What’s he talking about? This is what I wanted to show him and hold it out to him. “What’s this flower, Daddy?” I ask.

He kneels down and looks intently at the flower. “It’s a Marigold flower,” he replies.

****

I close my eyes and lean my head against the ground. Shots. Shouting. Cries. They all fill my ears. But I don’t hear them. Daddy…we-we…what did we…do…do next?

****

Daddy picks me up under the armpits and I wrap my legs around his waist. “Look, son,” he says quietly and points out towards the field.

My eyes follow his pointed arm and my eyes go wide with wonder. “It’s magic!” I giggle.

Rows and rows of different coloured flowers.

Like a rainbow.

****

The shooting faded away to soft thuds. I stared up at the blue sky. Clouds lazily drift past above. Such a stark contrast with all the bloodshed down below.

The sky…sky…there’s…there’s something important…that happened…like this…what.

Blood oozes out of my chest and onto the ground.

I watch it in a detached way.

My body racks with pain with each breath due to the barbed wire in my chest.

The sky…

****

The clouds float lazily by as I lay with my hands behind my back in the rainbow field – nicknamed Paradise.

A butterfly flutters down and lands on my nose. I scrunch my nose up and try to wave it off. It flies away for two seconds, then lands on my nose again.

She laughs.

Her laugh is so beautiful – like listening to a bunch of tiny bells tinkling together in perfect harmony.

Her finger reaches over and the butterfly flutters over onto her outstretched finger. She draws her arm back and brings the butterfly close to her face. Her face lights up and her chestnut brown hair tumbles down her shoulders.

After I discovered the field, I used to pretend that it was created by fairies. I would run around and play, pretending that the fairies were right there with me, playing and laughing with me.

As I grew older, I grew out of that belief that fairies existed. But now I can’t help but think that there IS a fairy – and she’s right lying in the field right next to me.

She looks over at me and a smile spreads across her face.

I lean over and give her a long lingering kiss…

****

A message – a letter – from…from her…Dove…floats into my head.

I…I have a daughter. I had a daughter. She…w…would be…I burst into a fit of coughs as Dove’s detailed descriptions of our child drift into my head.

Curly blonde hair…

Sky blue eyes…

Full of life…

Cheeky…

Never met her…bl…blew up in…air raid. They were both…both killed.

Something falls down my cheeks. Something wet.

Tears.

My hands clench as sobs rack my body. Pain erupts, but I can’t help it. Grief overwhelms my body with pain – physical. Emotional. It’s on a ride of it’s own.

Sophie…Sophie’s her name. My daughter. I lov…love you…Sophie…

Something soft tickles my hand.

Something white.

White.

Dove’s favourite colour.

My eyes focus on the object that has settled lightly on my clenched right hand.

A feather.

A dove’s feather.

I hear laughing.

Her laughing.

What?

I look around. “Whe-where are you?” I croak.

A pair of hands playfully shake my shoulder. “Andy?” Another laugh. “You fell asleep. Wake up.”

I sit up. No pain. Nothing in my chest. I look to my left and there she is. Eyes alight with that mischievous spark that I fell in love with and love.

Dove.

I instantly wrap my arms around her and pull her close to me. I don’t care how or why but she’s here.

Alive.

“Daddy? Get off Mummy! I want to show you a flower crown I made!”

What?

I see a vibrant five year old infront of me. Dressed in a blue dress, with curly blonde hair, bare feet, and laughing blue eyes. “Sophie?”

She frowns. “Mummy, is Daddy alright?”

“Sophie.” I wrap her up in a hug and kiss on her the forehead.

“Daddy!” she says indignantly and squirms out of my arms. “You’re squishing my crown?”

“Your-what?”

“My flower crown!” and she proudly places her flower crown made of white daises in her hair. “Do I look beautiful or what?”

A big smile appears on my face. “Yes, sweetie. You do.”

She grabs my hand. “The field, Dad! Lets look at the field!” and she promptly drags me away up a hill.

“Wait for me!” I hear Dove call and hurries to catch up.

At the top of the hill, I look around and a small gasp escapes me.

The rainbow field.

I take hold of Dove’s hand and with my free arm scoop up Sophie and hold both of them close.

I let go of Dove and, with both hands, lift Sophie up high and begin running, making flying sounds. She giggles and spreads her arms and legs out wide. “Mummy, I’m flying!” she laughs.

At the bottom of the hill, me and Sophie tumble in a heap on the ground and she nuzzles into my chest. “Love you, Daddy,” she whispers.

I kiss the top of her head. “I love you, too.” More than you know.

Dove comes running down and lies down next to us. I wrap my arm around her and Sophie.

Finally.

Home.


While the battle that this is meant to take place in is historical, I should be clear that this particular story isn’t real (as far as I am aware). I just made it up as soon as I saw the photo prompt.

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All novels and short stories on this blog are the works of @rue202 and Racheal’s Novels Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without the express and written permission of the author is strictly not allowed. You may use excerpts and links or reblogs of this material provided that complete and clear credit is given to rue202 and Racheal’s Novels with clear directions to the original content.

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