The door beckoned me. It looked like the door to Mom’s house, white wood decorated with a “Family Welcome” sign and a mat bearing the same message at its foot. I grasped the handle and my body started to tremble from its warmth. I took a deep breath to steel myself and twisted, pushing and rushing inside.
The glare blinded me for a moment and I raised my hand to shield my eyes. A myriad of voices assailed my ears, while the smells of turkey and mashed potatoes wormed their way into my nose. I swear I tasted Mom’s pecan pie on my lips.
My vision adjusted and my jaw dropped as I stared at the scene in front of me. A large wooden table, stretching out toward infinity, seated thousands…no, millions, of men and women. A knight bearing the cross dueled with a Saracen wielding a scimitar, both men laughing and joking as they attacked with vicious fury. A North Vietnamese soldier clinked tankards with an American Green Beret, while a Japanese Zero pilot spouted haiku behind them.
I walked toward the head of the table, drinking in the cacophony. A Revolutionary War soldier paused in his debate on philosophy with a British Redcoat to lift a tankard in greeting. A Roman centurion walked up to them, pulling him back to his conversation.
Others, many clad in uniforms I couldn’t recognize, pointed me forward. A voice boomed out, “Welcome, warrior, to Valhalla!” A giant man with wild red hair and beard, wielding a massive hammer, extended his hand. Reflex raised my own to clasp it.
He grinned, lightning flashing in his eyes. He called out in a voice that stopped millions in their tracks. “My friends, we have new addition brought to us by the Valkyrie. A toast!” Countless tankards raised in unison. “Remember the living, for they are the ones for who we fought and died!”
My mind flashes to my wife and daughter. I grab a tankard a drink deep.
Word Count: 333
Trifecta time again! This weeks word is Remember, using the third definition: 3 a : to keep in mind for attention or consideration b : REWARD – <was remembered in the will>
This piece is for all of those, regardless of race, religion, gender, or any other divider we use to classify humans, that answered the call of their home or conscience. Moriemur ut vivatis and In morte sumus, omnes aequales.
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picture found at The Valhalla Project