A Cup's Story
The odor of black bile wafted in with the morning breeze and brought with it the painful memories of a time he thought passed. It had been years, but a happy marriage and children hadn't grayed the images. The pain of bearing scorching liquid; the days, sometimes weeks, of subsequent confinement; the tortured and water choked cries of fellow prisoners desperate for a salvation from the flood.
Service guarantees the tranquility of the Cabinet. When it ends, all who return are new men; and all who return are crippled, sometimes physically unrecognizable, burdens upon their family and friends.
He told his sons he was proud of them. He kissed his wife with the passion of finality. He fixed the scene in his mind: the five of them—his family—standing at the cusp waiting for the inevitable.