Penitent Specter, by Giovanni Alfonso Valentin

I still try to wriggle the fingers I don’t have. I’m not sure I’ll ever learn to stop.

The fragmentation Mark IV bounced beside McAllister, Frost, Kunjay and me. Instinct demanded I chuck it like a Pete Rose strikeout. Instinct spoke. I didn’t listen. Fear made me pitch the frag in the wrong direction.

My team was blown away.

The fingers that aren’t there still feel like they’re moving, trying to grasp that grenade, take another shot. That phantom pain will never forgive me. I hadn’t meant to throw it at them.

I don’t deserve the medals; I deserve death.


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