Casus Belli

2018 FlashBack Fiction Microfiction Competition
Highly Commended


Casus Belli
by Melanie Haws

John Haas went to war, aged twenty-three, a plumber’s helper, with a few dollars saved, and a picture of his Dresden-doll sweetheart he carried in his left breast-pocket; he still had a cowlick; he hoped not to die; he prayed not to kill; he came home, left foot lost to trench rot, his Purple Heart hidden in an upstairs drawer; he refused to march in Armistice Day parades; sunny days he tended his roses, the dead on his mind heavy as scent; nights he pitched in his bed and cried out, “Mad dog! Mad dog!”

‘Casus Belli’ is Highly Commended in the 2018 FlashBack Fiction WW1 Microfiction Competition.

Melanie Haws is a native Tennessean who divides her time between Knoxville and Hollywood, Florida. She is a student in Spalding University’s MFA program. Her short stories have appeared in The Louisville Review, Literally Stories, and the anthology Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South.