This is a short story set in the mid-1960's. I began writing the piece in 1999, then set it aside. Recently completed, I've posted it on my tumblr account - garethclarkefiction.tumblr.com
. Here's a sample below.
'She'd never seen pictures of dead bodies before. She couldn't see the faces. In the black and white images the soldiers looked as though they'd all been carefully arranged in various poses. The photographs didn't frighten or disturb her. But she wondered who these people were, before they became still, dead bodies lying in craters of thick mud. Did they ever really talk and laugh and eat and tell jokes like real live people? Had they ever really been real people, these twisted shapes, like mannequins abandoned in some unworldly morass? How was that possible? How had these broken, inert images in some forgotten, dusty book ever been living, breathing people?
From the living room more low murmurs of conversation. It was now completely dark outside. Her bedroom for the week was her father's old room. Her parents were repainting the house, so she'd been sent to stay with her grandparents for the autumn half-term holiday. A man with half his face blown away. The imprint in the ground of an airman who had fallen to his death from a downed airship. The outline of his body clearly visible in the grass. Catherine had every child's curiosity about what is and isn't real or possible, about trying to establish the parameters of the strange, unfathomable adult world. And the instinctive childish fascination with the darker places of the mind.'
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