Little Boy – by Susan Duffield-Lodge

Shadow images etched on sidewalks, imprints — spectral impressions — not unlike the
adipose sludge of death staining the sheets of coarsely spun linen
 as in the Shroud of Turin
Children immortalized for all eternity, their last moments frozen in time
        — playing, laughing, skipping rope —
portraits in stark relief — shadow puppets — charcoal-smudged etchings
likenesses stamped upon leviathan canvases of concrete
 Tenebrous effigies inscribed upon stone
        A bicycle gone — nothing now but a stationary sidewalk silhouette —
a stain amidst a saturation of indigo shadow travelling upon a well journeyed path to a
destination it will never reach
        A blinding flash of phosphorescence — an emission blast of fissile energy—
atoms driven in an incinerating fusion flow within the aftermath of the wayward wind’s wake
        A mushroom cloud of uranium atoms
spawning fungal spores of uninterpretable Rorschach-ish inkblots splayed upon a
pasty bleached palette of concrete slab and stone
        A molecular erasure of human life — the genesis of carbon-dated shadows
Immutable reminders of the horrors contained within the nuclear winds of war
unleashed by a bomb coyly tagged with the moniker — ‘Little Boy’
        A fool’s feeble attempt at portraying innocence under the guise of a childish nickname.

Susan Duffield-Lodge worked in the health care field until retiring a short time ago. She is now fulfilling her lifelong passion of writing. After a lifetime of voraciously consuming books of every genre, she is hoping to write a novel that she herself would find worth reading. Susan currently resides in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and energetic eight month old English Springer Spaniel, Rowan. She and her husband are the parents of four grown men and have three grandchildren. Susan enjoys live theatre, cooking, gardening, writing, and long walks along the Avon River conversing with the resident swans, ducks, and other wildlife. She received an Honourable Mention in the April, 2023 Off Topic Fiction Contest.

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