Twenty Thousand Days

Granddad had more than twenty thousand days to tell.

Did he leave the old photos for me? To discover who he was until he had nearly vanished from my memory?

Together with the other past lives left behind in his attic, in the country I once knew.

A young man in grey uniform, standing at the edge of a gaping pit, patches of grey snow on the ground.

Watching.

Men, women and children looking up at him from the bottom of the grave.

Waiting.

Twenty thousand days silence.

And he would never have to endure the look in my eyes.


Jürgen Stahl is German-Australian and has been living in Adelaide, South Australia for thirty years. He is a medical specialist in anatomical pathology and writes about the people who spend their lifetimes in the medical world. History, ancient and recent, fascinates him too. What happened in his native Germany between 1933 and 1945 is something he is still trying to comprehend, and some of his flash fiction stories reflect that. He currently works on a novel that tells a story in the world of mortuaries, drug trials, and human failure in modern medicine. Twitter: @JurgenStahl1. Facebook. jurgenstahlwriter.com.