An Old Woman’s Memory

The nine year old girl didn’t know why her older sister was carrying a rifle. But she knew enough to be afraid because her sister was telling her where to step and what to avoid as they crossed a rice field along one of its dikes.

Suddenly several shots were fired, the bullets snapping through the trees behind them. There were shouts from an American patrol several fields away. The girls were being ordered to halt. Instead, the older girl grabbed her sister’s hand and ran through the paddy water toward the trees.

Bullets hit the water around them, and the older girl fell face down into it and did not move. Simultaneously, a bullet passed through the younger girl’s neck and cheek, and she also fell.

The last thing the younger girl remembered that day was flying through the air in a helicopter. She never saw her sister again.

Copyright 2014 George Lowell Tollefson

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