Boot Prints

Boot Prints

A Story by Alexzandria R.

Holly's husband is away on military duty and, once again, she's alone. Until she thinks she sees someone standing outside her door. A devastating phone call in the morning explains everything.

Holly sat alone on the couch watching television. It was 4:30AM. Her husband Jeff had been away on duty for the past few months and she was lonely. She blamed the Army and just the military in general for taking him from her but she couldn’t do a thing about it. He was supposed to come back later that morning. She knew he was already on his plane home, which left at 2. He was coming home and then she wouldn’t have to be lonely anymore…until he had to leave again. She hated when he had to leave again. Though he was coming home soon, she already felt the pain of him leaving again. She sat alone, drowning in a mixture of anger and grief and listening to the rain on the roof. The show she had been watching was no longer interesting her. She glanced to her left at the patio, damp with the rain, through the sliding glass doors. Lightning flashed, illuminating the back yard.
She kept watching and the lightning flashed again. This time, she thought she saw something standing in the yard. She blinked and it was gone. She disregarded it and told herself it was late and her mind was tricking her. But when the lightning flashed again, she saw it again just as clear as the first time. It had come closer and she could see that it was a man. Once again, he disappeared.
Another flash and he was just outside the sliding glass doors, the palms of his hands pressed to the wet glass. It was Jeff. He was wearing his uniform and though it was pouring rain, he didn’t have a drop on him. And Holly saw something else. Something in his eyes that she’d never seen before. It looked like a cry for help. The lightning flashed again and he was gone. She didn’t see him for the rest of the night. Shaken up from what she had seen, she couldn’t sleep that night. She spent the rest of that night on the couch, blankly staring at the television but not watching. She refused to look through the sliding glass doors again.
When the sun rose that morning, she forced herself to get off of the couch and go about her day. She started to make a pot of coffee. She didn’t like coffee but Jeff did and she wanted to make some for when he returned later that morning. She looked at the clock: 6:19AM. His plane would be landing in just a few minutes. She began making breakfast to keep herself busy while she waited. Just as she got the eggs from the refrigerator, she heard the house phone ring. Who could be calling this early in the morning? She crossed the kitchen and answered the phone.
She listened to the person on the other end of the call speak for a few moments before bursting into tears. Bad news. Jeff’s plane had gone down. There were no survivors. Jeff’s body was one of few that could be identified. He was actually just barely alive when they found him but it didn’t last long. He was pronounced dead at 4:13AM.
Holly hung up the phone and sat down at the kitchen table crying. Then she stopped abruptly. A chilling thought had entered her head. Jeff had died at 4:13 that morning…but she distinctly remembered seeing him out on the patio at 4:30. She rose from the table and opened the sliding glass doors. It had stopped raining hours ago and the sun was bright, yet everything outside was still quite damp with last night’s rain and morning dew.
She stepped out onto the patio onto the exact spot where she had seen Jeff standing. She looked down and what she saw made the blood drain from her face, turning her paper white. She stared for what felt like weeks just to confirm that what she was seeing was real. Beneath her own size six feet…were a pair of muddy size fifteen boot prints. The kind that would be left behind by muddy Army boots.

© 2016 Alexzandria R.

Author's Note

Alexzandria R.
I know I overuse commas so please ignore that. Review based on overall plot. I encourage constructive criticism but please don't be rude :)

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Added on July 16, 2016
Last Updated on July 16, 2016