A Far Away Place

by Joseph Grant

All the men went to war that fall, my brother Ryan among them. I remember the last Thanksgiving we had; he was full of youthful hubris, patriotism, Mom's turkey and more than a little bit of Dad's scotch. He joined up and after basic was shipped off to a far away place, a place of which none of us had ever heard. He was killed a day before his twenty-fifth birthday by an IED and I often wonder how he would look all these years later. I reflect back on that time as a turning point; as we would never be that young again; nor our family as whole or as cheerful. Now, when we get together during the holidays, his chair remains empty and self-consciously, we try not to stare at it too often, but we all do.

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Joseph Grant, originally from New York City, currently resides in Los Angeles. His short stories have been published in over 40 literary reviews and e-zines, such as Byline, New Authors Journal, Howling Moon Press, Hack Writers, New Online Review, Indite Circle and Cerebral Catalyst. Upcoming pieces will soon be published in Literary Tonic. His work has also appeared in The New York Bar Guide (as a reviewer) and in various newspaper articles that have appeared in The Pasadena Star, Whittier News and the San Gabriel Tribune. "Indigo," a work of verse, was published by Alpha Beat Press, and he has recently completed his first novel.