The outcrop was low and Emile had to crouch for it to work as a windbreaker. Crouching made her thighs burn, but so did walking, and crouching in a low crag meant she could almost feel her face again.
She unhooked the water-skin from her belt and weighted it in her hand. Tried to judge how much she would need to get her down the the mountain.
More than she had.
She put it back and swallowed her thirst. Ignored the wind stripped skeletons propped against the same crag, one holding onto the withered trunk of a sapling to stunted to reach beyond two foot. She closed her eyes to the wedding bands.
These memories were left here with the trees, broken, dead, or dying.
Emile stamped her feet and braced herself.
She was not going to join them.
She’d promised herself more.
I’ve been trying to turn my attention back to my novel Darkened Daughter, and in doing so I’ve been working on some new characters to incorporate to the redraft. Yesterday I played around with Hanson and Raven for the #WeekendWritingPrompt and tonight I’m trying to work out Emile’s story. I might not use any of them in the novel but I’ve found that flash fiction can be really helpful in sounding out characters that might otherwise get lost in a novel.
Isabelle watched the foam settle as the speedboat winked out of view, scurrying its way back to the city. The old man hadn’t been keen to take her, counting her money twice before letting her aboard and then lingering for longer than necessary when she leapt out into the shallows.
Her skirts were damp, but she’d kicked her shoes free before getting off the boat. Her feet had dried while she waited.
She checked her watch and scowled. The glass was cracked, had been since earlier that morning when a cyclist outside her apartment careened into her. It was her own fault. If she’d not spent so long on land, she might have noticed him before he had chance to get close. Instead she’d been thrown from her thoughts by the bite of handlebars into her ribs.
The wind picked up and threw the waves higher along the beach. Isabelle waded out, shivering as the water closed around her ankles.
‘Please,’ she cried. ‘I’m sorry. I have learnt my lesson!’
Above her a seagull cried out but that was it.
The sea did not answer.
Isabelle dropped to her knees and sobbed.
‘Please. I’m ready to come home.’
Make sure to check out Sunday Photo Prompt for more writing prompts and the rest of this week’s contributions for this photo.
If you’d like to read something a little longer I’m working on redrafting my Safe Haven series. In the meantime Solitary Creatures is also available and a fifth installment is on the way some time this month.