the short story project


Jeannean Walker | from:English

Invisible – ‘My Flash Story’ contest- ninth place

Photo by Ev on Unsplash

Running, through the vines and tree roots, encircling my legs, pulling me back to the Napalm Apocalypse. I hear the blades of the Huey just in the clearing ready to pick me up, I can’t move, I’m trapped in the jungle that wants my soul. I want to go home.

Everything I own I carry with me. My canteen, my weapons, what little I have left to eat, the clothes on my back, heavy to carry, but I need these things. Striking with my machete at what’s not really there, at last, free now, running to the clearing where the helicopter circles, waiting for me. “Here I am!” Waving my arm, firing my rifle, screaming “Here I am!” The chopper circles above me then flies away. It doesn’t see me. I want to go home. “Am I invisible?”

Most nights, the dream tortures me until I wake up screaming, tangled up in my worn-out blanket, in my makeshift tent, under this overpass where I spend my nights. There are others here, with me, but they don’t talk to me. All are tortured souls, running from some other horrific past. They don’t see me. “Am I invisible?”

I spend my days walking the streets of this city with no name. Everything I own I carry with me. A frayed backpack, a water bottle, what food I have, all of my clothes, a tattered photograph of a wife I once had. Heavy to carry, but I need these things.
Sometimes people toss money at me, most times they don’t. I look at them with beseeching eyes, hoping for help. They avert their eyes, look away, and walk around me. They don’t see me. “Am I invisible?”

I want to go home.

“Don’t you see me?”


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