First published in Literally Stories.

The eighteen wheelers sound as if one may soon graze the edge of my bed, and the air conditioner rattles like farm machinery in dire need of oil. The motel rug reeks of mildew, and a distant whistle wails every ninety minutes or so. I’m almost home.

When my father passed away a month ago, I knew I was destined to see the farm where he was born during the Great War. Don’t ask me why, but like a butterfly hell-bent for Mexico, I sensed the fates had ordered this trek.

A shy sun peeks through a thick copse of oaks on the far side of the meadow beside a weather-worn house that stands in stoic repose. The spring air is damp and quiet save the chatter of field larks in playful combat. I’m alone.

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