Tom crested the hill and sighed with relief as he got his first glimpse of the farmstead. The walk out here had been more painful and taken longer than anticipated. He could have asked nearly anyone in town for a ride, but had walked instead. It had been six years since he’d seen her last and bringing someone else along hadn’t seemed proper.
He hoped the years had been kind to her. They’d been inseparable back in high school. She hadn’t been much to look at even back then, but she was his. She had a strength and reliability to her that meant more to him than looks. She deserved better than the way they’d parted.
He’d joined the Guard for extra cash, not to get sent off to Iraq. He’d be gone a year at most and then they’d be together again. When he returned, he’d have the money to make a lot of their problems go away. That had been the plan, but things don’t always turn out as planned.
He saw her on the edge of the woods by the old fence line. It was as if she hadn’t moved from the spot where he’d waved goodbye to her that spring morning. So much time forever gone, but he was home now. They need never be apart again.
He stopped and massaged his leg before heading down to see her. The sleek black titanium limb was still taking some getting used to but, in time, he knew he would. With an ironic smile, he reflected how fitting it was that neither one of them still had all their original parts any more.
Author's note: This story was written for the Friday Fictioneers weekly writing challenge. The challenge caters to stories of approximately 100 words or so. Anyone familiar with my writing knows I can bring a story in dead on at nearly any word count imaginable. The photo this week planted an idea in my head of a tale I wanted to tell regardless of word count. All I can say is that, sometimes, the Muse wants what He wants and sometimes I indulge him.