the gazebo

Photographer: Dawn M.Miller

“Perfect!”cried June, running up the path. “Oh, Paul! How did you find it?” June was small as if compacted into her body. Dark hair spilled out of her braid, amber eyes flashed. The gazebo sat within a conservation area near their home.

She waited for the purr of the wheelchair motor. More like a travel pod than wheelchair, Paul, a digital engineer, designed it. Physically challenged vets like him were part of the assembly crew, creating them in a clean, modern facility built inside an old mill.

June and Paul’s original wedding was cancelled when his unit was called back to Iraq. “Damn war,” thought Paul. “June is stuck with half a man.”

That he wasn’t whole didn’t matter to June. She was just glad Paul was alive.  She was marrying the man she loved with all her heart. They would work out all the rest.

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (fffaw), #14, week of May 20, 2015.

© phylor, 2015


32 thoughts on “the gazebo

  1. luckyjc007 May 25, 2015 / 5:35 am

    It’s wonderful that June loves him for who he is and not what he is….John may think he is only half a man , but not to June, she is in love with the real person. It’s what’s inside a person that really counts. I’m sure her love for him will make him realize that.


    • phylor May 25, 2015 / 5:39 am

      I think so. There are so many physical and mental problems coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq, I do hope that families, girlfriends, friends understand, and, should the returned soldier need professional help, they will do all in their power to receive proper treatment.


  2. Ameena k.g May 25, 2015 / 1:34 am

    A woman like June is like icing on a cake. I love the message you showed in this, at the end of the day, all that matters is that “they” are home.


    • phylor May 25, 2015 / 4:44 am

      My dad made it home several times, and it was always so special when he did.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. milliethom May 23, 2015 / 9:50 am

    I love this story, Phylor, the emotions you convey so well and the wonderfully positive ending. It seems a few of us have focused on the futility of war this week. Very well written. :)


    • phylor May 23, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you. My father was in the “forgotten” Korean war/police action. When they returned, there was no bands, crowds, or cheering — just thankful families, sweethearts and friends.
      Today, so many are coming home to mixed reactions — so many are scared mentally as well as physically.
      It is important to remember how much has been sacrificed by these people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • milliethom May 23, 2015 / 3:42 pm

        I couldn’t agree more, Phylor. And thank you for explaining about your father. Servicemen do sacrifice so much for their countries, something that should never be overlooked.


        • phylor May 23, 2015 / 3:43 pm

          It’s a shame that Memorial Day is now more about sales, bbqs, and fireworks!

          Liked by 1 person

          • milliethom May 23, 2015 / 3:57 pm

            People have short memories when they choose to, Phylor, particularly those who had no involvement in the wars. My father was very badly wounded in the Second World War, so I have always felt strongly about such things. (Sorry, I didn’t inted to waffle on!)


            • phylor May 24, 2015 / 1:37 am

              No, not waffling on at all. I think if people remembered the cost of war and jingoism, perhaps there would be less of these conflicts.
              I hate to say it, but it seems like fighting wars is hard-wired to the human brain.


              • milliethom May 24, 2015 / 2:06 pm

                I don’t suppose human nature will ever change, as you say. There always have been and always will be wars.


    • phylor May 23, 2015 / 7:38 am

      As it is Memorial Day weekend, that Paul was wounded in the war seemed to be a way to honour those who have fallen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. afairymind May 21, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    A lovely story. I’m glad June isn’t deterred by his disability and I hope they have a very happy life together. :) Well done.


  5. mandibelle16 May 20, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    Good story. I’m glad they are doing the best with the life they have because they love each other.


    • phylor May 20, 2015 / 9:32 pm

      The gazebo made me think of weddings, and I thought it would be good to write about how people cope after a war and a life-altering injury. Paul may not be so sure, but June is willing to do what it takes to make things work.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, and thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • phylor May 20, 2015 / 12:59 am

      Thank you!
      I thought I’d write about happy people (tho Paul is frustrated by his confinement to a wheelchair) with a happy ending that’s an ending, not a beginning for a change!

      Liked by 1 person

          • HumaAq May 20, 2015 / 9:35 pm

            True that. On the hand, i tried putting a dark story together. 😏


            • phylor May 20, 2015 / 9:37 pm

              I must confess I haven’t read your story yet, but am off to do so now!

              Liked by 1 person

              • HumaAq May 20, 2015 / 9:44 pm

                I’d like your feedback😊


                • phylor May 20, 2015 / 11:40 pm

                  I left comments on your blog. I thought it was a nicely done dark tale. Suspense, surprise ending, and the waving idea is brilliant.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • HumaAq May 20, 2015 / 11:47 pm

                    I saw and responded as well.. Thank you so much.. I wasn’t sure about it. Your kind feedback is very encouraging:)


  6. Priceless Joy May 19, 2015 / 11:17 pm

    This is so bitter sweet. I’m sure it is a true story for many men and women coming home from war. I loved this story Phylor, it was very heart touching.


    • phylor May 19, 2015 / 11:39 pm

      The image of June crying “It’s perfect”, popped into my head. And there was a story that flowed out of it her reaction.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. summerstommy2 May 19, 2015 / 11:16 pm

    I love a feel good story and you have mastered one here…..the human resolve is wonderful….well done…


    • phylor May 19, 2015 / 11:35 pm

      A finished story with a happy ending — no mystery, no tale wrapped in something else, just romantic story about love (and “human resolve”)


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