Well, I tried to post this to Flashy Fiction ( a cool flash fiction prompt site recommended by Poetic Bloomings), but once again Blogspot denied me the ability to post. Aggravating. Anyway, here is the photo and my depressing flash piece.
She kept herself busy most of the time. It was the best cure for overwhelming loneliness. Their basement apartment had been turned into a laundry where she washed sheets for the army hospital. Everyone did their part, and with the men all gone the work was left to the women.
There was a never-ending supply of sheets. The wounded seemed to come in faster every day. She did not mind the work; it was hard and left her tired at the end of the day when sleep threatened not to come. The bleach was harsh on her hands and the washboard hell on her back, but she knew it was nothing compared to what her husband endured. Like the other wives, she dealt with her discomfort stoically; happy they had at least been spared artillery and air raids thus far.
They adapted; there was no choice. Every attempt was made to maintain some sense of normalcy. Stores were still open, though often poorly stocked. Meals were often sparse as well; cabbage plentiful but rarely any meat. They could get flour for making bread and that served well to fill empty stomachs.
She only allowed herself emotion twice a day; before going to sleep when she missed him the most, and when she woke and could still feel his arms around her. But every day she was hit once more with a force like a punch to the stomach. Even though she tried to prepare for it, she always had to turn away.
Each day after school her boy would come home and stand in the window. He would lean out over the bricks bleached out by the wash water they dumped on the walk. Every day he would stay there until dark, scanning the faces of the men in uniform that would wander by. Looking for the one that called him son.