Strong Enough

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

An aging vet’s past brushes with death endow him with a hard-won inner strength. Photo of portrait by Vicki Brocksen De Ville. 


Many times the darkness swallowed him up, but always the light returned, blurred by tears. There was the time his boat sank just inside the bar and he clung to that bloated sturgeon till the cold took him. Woke to find Chris hadn’t made it. Then there was Nam. Khe Sanh. ’68. Round glanced off a rib, came out his hip. Adams ate a bullet dragging him out, went home in a bag. After that came rotgut and mainlining and prison and knives in the dark. They say if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. He’s strong enough.

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