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'The Day After the War Started' by Mathieu Cailler

LISP 22 Flash Fiction LISP Finalist 'The Day After the War Started' by Mathieu Cailler

The Day After the War Started


There was a beautiful sun with large shafts of light that bullied through clouds. There was hard heat on the men’s backs that soaked their thick, chambray shirts.


They carried rifles and searched for wild boar only a mile from the country’s border. In the distance, they heard bombs sent over by their homeland but chose not to discuss them.


When a blast would seize the air, the lead hunter would place his index finger over his lips. The others would nod.


The weather was even more pristine as they approached the border now, a forest-clad part with a turbulent stream.


The men hushed, stepped in each other’s footprints, and through timber. Paces from the stream, they heard a rustle, a snap.


The men’s pupils jumped from brush to bark to ground to rock, but they could not spot the sound. A boy then said hello.


The men looked up. High in an oak on an outstretched limb, rested a boy. The men put down their rifles. One even laughed.


A bird alighted next to the boy, a yellow bird that was common in these parts but still elusive. Far above the tree, a warplane buzzed fast.


They all kept their eyes on the bird. They all kept their eyes on the bird.



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