Seashores and Fishing Poles

The Cigarette tasted dirty in her mouth. It was a daily ritual, the Cigarette. She allowed herself one a day, as she sat in the green, army issued furniture and stole glances at the picture of a couple on the seashore, armed with revealed teeth and fishing poles. She sat in an ocean of smoke illuminated by the sickly light that snuck through the closed shades. On her left was a plant she’d forgotten to water.
The knock on the door startled her out of her reverie. Hello Mrs. Wicker, he said, with desert tones, I’m with the Red Cross. I’m afraid I have some bad news. He handed her an envelope. It felt sticky, like blood. What happened to Greg, she asked. What happened to Greg.
I’m sorry, he said. He had dog eyes, injured and fresh. I’m so sorry. He took off his hat. She slammed the door. He died a hero, he said quietly.

She lit another Cigarette and stared through the coffee table. His feet made clicking noises on the cement outside. The room smelt of smoke. Seashores and fishing poles crawled down her cheeks.

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