Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Coming Home

by Gareth Lyn Powell

The helicopter ride was uncomfortable,
And the timing was dicey, but we made it
Into Bristol ahead of the barrage.
There were snipers on top of Marks and Spencer
And burned out tanks on the M32; overhead
Contrails slashed the summer skies and the
Thud of rotors echoes in the empty streets.
In the park by the river, blossom dipped from trees.
We relaxed, using our helmets as hard pillows
As we fed the seaguls and reassured each other:
"It'll all be over by Christmas."
From the hills, the muffled sound of artillery
Emphasised the stillness of the afternoon.
Then later, after running hard through the
Shopping precinct, we crouched behind a
Blackened Porsche as the first troop carriers appeared.
"Give us a kiss," you said, as you reloaded.

© 2004, 2007 Gareth Lyn Powell

Gareth Lyn Powell is a science fiction writer living in the UK, near Bristol. He has had poems published in various small magazines, including one in the May 2004 issue of Coffee House. His first science fiction novel is under consideration from a publisher, and he is currently working on a second. His blog (www.garethlynpowell.blogspot.com) contains full details of his other publications.

Find more by Gareth Lyn Powell in the Author Index.

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