the skeleton key

The Skeleton Key by

Her husband was fourth-generation Army. After three tours in Afghanistan, it was ‘three strikes, you’re out.’ A cluster bomb hit dead overhead of the mess—where he ate his final meal of ham ‘n’ beans.
A food fight of bad jokes exploded in her head. That’s when the thought dawned on her.
Cathy ran to the basement and rummaged for her husband’s ACU to scour the shrapnel tears. She desperately looked for a skeleton key hidden among the camouflage. And, finally, there it was, directly above the hole that severed his aorta… The key that opened his war chest.  


Keith Hoerner (BS, MFA) lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois, USA.



Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

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