Her Father

"I was twelve years old. My father was a correspondence consultant for the Japanese, based in Korea. That is where I grew up. Those were my friends.

When I was twelve my father was wounded. This was three months before the war ended. A bullet to his ankle." She grimaced slightly. "He was on a ship at the time, and they had no medical care, so they dropped him at a medical center in Taiwan. He had gangrene infection almost up to his knee at this point, and they amputated his foot. Not too long after this, the gangrene had spread and they amputated farther. After this, they amputated even farther, and he was sent home to us in Pyongyang. It was quite apparent my father was not going to live very long."

She paused. "I remember having to clean my father's wound. My mother and two other people would hold my father down while I cleaned it. A horsefly laid eggs in his wound... I had to clean them out." She winced, and slowly opened her eyes and straightened her back. "I still have nightmares about that. I'm 78 years old. I still have nightmares. They bother me for days." One last look at her foot, and she seemed to be fine again.

"We had to wait for my father to die before we could escape Korea. Japan was obviously not going to win this war. He could not travel, though. He did finally die toward the end of the war, and we began our flee."

The End

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