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Uninterruptible Power

And Fate

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished about a year ago 4 min read
10
Uninterruptible Power
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Uninterruptible power

The heart the soul and mind

The bodies internal flower

Supporting all aspects of humankind

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He and his dog had become fixtures. Expected roadblocks, interrupting daily commutes.

Not unlike Chicago’s famous bean, or the Navy Pier, familiar. So familiar, in fact, that the local’s called him by name. No, not his given name, they would have had to make eye contact or taken a moment to get that intimate. No, it was a name you might call a stray or another driver, as you internalized your road rage. They called him, speedbump. And as they passed him by, they would laugh and grumble, as he sat on the stoops, feeding the birds.

He didn't care, and until recently, I didn't know it he never even noticed.

Late one afternoon, after an incredibly long day at work, I decided to skip the uber and walk back to my apartment. It was an especially beautiful day, and coincidentally, my birthday. Although, no-one, absolutely no-one noticed or even mentioned it. As I made my way through the typical Friday evening crowds on the magnificent mile, (Felt more like 10 today) I stumbled, literally, over a man on the sidewalk. I was immediately angry, getting up, and brushing the legs of my suit, I barked, "come-on man, get out of the way," without thought I continued on my way, when I heard a small voice respond.

"Maybe YOU need to watch where YOU are going. Don't you recognize a hero when you see one?"

I spun around like a top, prepared to educate this dweller on the basics of human decency and self-respect. Turned out, I was the one about to get schooled. I turned to find myself, face to face with one of the largest German shepherds I had ever seen, and he was gracing me with his 42 canine salutes. My hands went up in defense. "Ok, boy, that's a good boy, I'm just going to leave you two alone." As I was about to wet myself, a voice from under a tattered red jacket recalled the beast.

"Corporal, about face, back in line soldier!" The dog quickly returned to a sitting position, next to the tattered old man.

I stammered, feeling like a total sack of shit, "I am so sorry sir, I meant no disrespect." but he said nothing...he just stared at me with his icy blue eyes. Almost void of life. After a few moments of eerie quiet, I turned to leave. But, before I could, the dog circled me, and pushed me back to the stoop, like he was trying to tell me something.

"Sit down," the dog commanded firmly. I was dumbfounded and did a doubletake. He repeated forcefully, "Please, sit down!"

I can tell you; I had never sat down faster in my life.

The dog, Corporal, sat in front of me, and began to tell me a tale I could never have imagined.

"This is my master, his name is Emery Howard, we were soldiers, partners in the Army for 22 years. He has spent the last several years trying to find his daughter. You see, he stepped on a land mine, and lives inside his head now, he rarely speaks, and when he does, he believes we are still at war. I suppose he still is. We need your help."

His eyes told the complete story of a hero, left to the shadows of the city, trapped in the memories he keeps hidden in the corner of his mind. He held discharge papers in his mouth along with a journal, recording every move he had made - up until the accident.

I asked, "how can I help?

People passed by, giving me the same looks I had given, just a few minutes earlier, only now, I was the target of their loathing pity. Again, I pleaded, "how can I help?"

Corporal crawled under the jacket, rummaging around, and returned with a small polaroid in his mouth. It was of a beautiful young woman with a small child. I asked excitedly, "Is this his wife and child?" The dog seemed to nod.

I was beside myself, I wanted so badly to help. I turned the picture over and over, at least a hundred times, "where are they, where was this taken, how can I find them?"

Corporal then pushed out a small, leatherbound book. It was an address book. "Oh, that's great," I exclaimed. "This will make it much easier." Listen, I need to get to a computer, I should be able to help, give me a few days, I will be back. I promise!" As I ran down the sidewalk, I looked back to see Corporal curling up with Emery. "Oh, Emery, I said aloud, I will find your family for you!"

I ran off without another word. But I would fail.

The next morning, a patrol car responded to a call regarding an unresponsive man, and his dog near the water tower. There, they found them, frozen to the pavement.

As the paramedics arrived to collect him, a small gray pigeon landed on his body and cooed, “here lie the bodies of two restless heroes, familiar strangers to the world, but family friends of the flock. The Magnificent Miles new angels.”

In his beak was a small silver metal, and dog tags.

He flew up twelve stories - at the water tower apartments and tapped on the glass. A woman approached, seeing the bird and his persistence, she cranked open the window. The bird flew in and dropped the metal and tags by a picture on the dresser and then, disappeared, back into the city.

As she realized what it was, she exclaimed, “wait, where did you find this?” As she ran to the open window, she gazed down. She noticed the lights of the ambulance and sat watching all the commotion below her. She said a small prayer for the injured person and one for her father.

Short Story
10

About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

or facebook

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  4. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (8)

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  • C. H. Richardabout a year ago

    Beautiful ❤️ Poor Emery. Well written.

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Oh dear. That was so beautiful, and so yet. Incredibly well done.

  • Misty Raeabout a year ago

    Damn! Now I'm crying. Well done!

  • Paul Stewartabout a year ago

    Damn, Maestro. This was beautifully sad storytelling, Kelli. Well done.

  • Strong!!

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    Oh goodness this was heartbreaking. It made me tear up too! What fantastic storytelling, Kelli :)

  • The Invisible Writerabout a year ago

    This was a pleasure to read I was so wrapped up in the story I wanted to find his daughter! I was heartbroken with the end though I did like the birds.

  • Great story and challenge entry and loved the conversations

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