Private Sandman – #FlashFiction

Squad radio D.O.A, our unit maneuvers into position—digging the left flank. Sandbags, Sarin-gassing;  flesh of women and children burst shielding salvos. “We’re outnumbered, Sarge!”  Hellfire overrunning our battalion. “Retreat!” Full-scale mortar rounds; Nighthawks laying bombs. As I suffocate under sand, readying to pull that goddamn ring-pin when deafening alarm blare delivers me from self-destruction.

Care to hear me read these 55 Words?
The Above Flash55 was written for One Stop Poetry’s Sunday Picture Prompt Challenge.  Rose Frei took the beautiful photo. She is the interviewee today (courtesy of Chris G.) over at One Stop Poetry. Check it out!

37 Responses to “Private Sandman – #FlashFiction”

  1. Glad that you were saved from self-destruction…war – I can’t imagine being in the middle of that.

  2. And for far too many the memories don’t end once the physical battle ceases. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila.

  3. Felt the heat, the sand, the smothering, the panic, the fear. Awesome.

  4. a war zone struggle depicted so beautifully with such few expressions. beautiful flash fiction … always a pleasure to read your creations.

  5. when i read the title, i was expecting something light-hearted and smoothly rippled like the sand on the picture and was just a bit overwhelmed to be right in the middle of a war scene…excellently done adam

  6. That’s quite a dreamscape… The mood of panic and fear was brilliantly captured in just 55 words. And such a clever play on words – your original responses to the photo prompts always fill me with awe.

  7. a grand battle story with so much intensity in only 55 words… amazingggg!

  8. frightening …you conveyed it so well in such a succinct way thank you

  9. Sand waves, sound waves, shaped by the daily wind of war. Love the interpretation of the photo, Adam.

  10. You placed us right there Adam, and portrayed what sould be a war scene or a very bad memory of being in the thick of it.

  11. nice…here is was reading a bunch about nomads and i am dropped into a rambo film…smiles. nicely played and i am glad you turned the gem a bit capturing a different aspect….and an action flick at that…smiles.

  12. I can close my eyes, I can see the field of battle, I can feel the sweat and heat, and I can hear the whine of flesh, shells, and the thumps of mortars. I also hear the silence in my breath, as I squeeze the trigger. Alpha Delta – Delta Bravo says Bravo Zulu! Out 🙂

  13. dreams like this are a reality for so many who can’t put their experiences behind them – my son is struggling to readjust to peacetime UK right now – this reminds me of how tough it is for them – well put Adam.

  14. Well said, adam, And for so many the all clear will be too late. I can’t believe we are still there, still caught in a spiderweb of oil, lies and violence. And for the men and women who are in the middle of it all, your poem speaks of the terror and the immediacy of the risks with a tongue of fire.

  15. I was going to say ‘Blown away’ 🙂 ~ and I was ~ but so overwhelmed by your wonderful originality and take as ever Adam ~ yes, in the grip of the ‘immediacy’ of ‘terror’ (70 years anniversary of May Blitz WW2) ~ I was right on the edge throughout ~ Lib ~ @Libithina

  16. Visceral, and filled with an excellent sense of movement. When I read it, I feel like I’m evading destruction. (Which is a good thing.)


  17. …reading it gave me a chill Adam! Brilliant writing! I sincerely appreciate how well you described the intimate details of being in a combat situation. I am a USAF veteran, and consider myself fortunate to not have directly experienced the dynamics of war. However, as a medical service specialist, I certainly saw the results of it. To quote a few lines from an old song, “War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin'”.

  18. Just Poetry Says:

    You chucked us right in with this one! And you describe how awful it is, I was holding my breath…very well written (as all your others are) .. : )

  19. I won’t bother putting it lightly: Reading this scared the living crap out of me. I am thankful I did not do so before bed.

    If I had a wish, it would be that every person who had the power to send young men and women into war could read these 55 words before making that decision. Well done, as always. Downright frightening, chilling to the bone, and shockingly real, but still… well done.

  20. This is definitely a read-aloud piece; the urgency, the emotion, the chaos all come together.

  21. Love the interpretation… powerful images of war, succombing to the sand and the sounds of… glad self-destruction didn’t give in to the alarm blare. All too often these images are held within the soul, later to add to a self-destructing end.

  22. What a burst of emotion! Wonderful flash fiction piece Adam, the carried sand of the photography goes so well with the gusted torment of battle you captured. Have I told you how great you are!?! 😉 Loved it again ~ Rose

  23. Uh this was scary Adam to be transported right in the midst of a battlefield when you’d just come to read something hopefully serene 🙂 loved it

  24. Each generation has to learn the bitter truth of war – the young die and the old make politics

  25. I wonder how many youths are still living moments like these…very fine reading of the poem.

  26. masterfully conducted, this flash-fiction, dense and vivid, works as a sudden injection of fast and strong imagery. Very well done.

  27. Love the interpretation of the photo.
    Wisely done Adam!

  28. Excellent… the urgency felt!

  29. I add my “ditto” to all of the others. You capture the experience of a an indescribable experience.

  30. I’m afraid that many men and women who have been through this carry these images inside for as long as they live. You express the desperation of it all, Adam

  31. Really intense!

  32. nicely done…the intensity of the scene seems to mimic the pull of the sand, as if reaching for something to save…was so not expecting the alarm as salvation. fine 55, indeed ~

  33. ladynimue Says:

    I so wait for the day when there would be no need for wars !! This was saddening ..

  34. wow! so much intensity in 55 words!

  35. Excellent, distinctive.

  36. Sharp and intense… like a punch to the gut. (In a good way)

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