The craziness has been unprecedented around here, lately! Today was filled with unpredictable disruptions of all kinds, but despite it all, I did finally manage to write a Flash! Friday story – and I even submitted it before the deadline!
This week's prompt swung in the opposite direction of last week's, with this black-and-white photo. The word count, however, remained almost the same, with a limit of 300 +/- 5. Your comments are, as always, quite welcome!
|Bridge girl. Photo by Scott Liddell.|
Leigh never looked back anymore. She clenched her fingers around the loose elastic of his sweater and put one foot in front of the other.
The old bridge creaked a melody she’d memorized long ago. She made this walk at least once a week – sometimes more when there was exciting news to share. Like today.
She wore his sweater every time, but then, she wore it almost always, except when her mom convinced her otherwise. The elastic had lost its snap, drooping low over her hips, and the color had faded until it was nearly indiscernible. But it was still her favorite.
On the other side of the bridge, Leigh paused. Her fingers found the grooves etched into the wood years ago, worn smooth by the constant attention of her hands. He’d marked the bridge to outlast them both. It was their secret.
Leigh hiked the sleeves higher on her arms and brushed back her hair. He loved it long, so she’d never cut it.
She huddled in his sweater, caressing the crude heart that housed their initials. The sun dipped into the river, reflecting off the water to color the foliage around her. Sometimes, she wished she could stay, rather than turning right at the forked trail that led home.
She could make the trip in the dark, but her mom still worried. And they were celebrating tonight. For a heartbeat, Leigh considered turning back. She could sleep in the secluded grass, under a starlit sky untouched by the harsh world that waited. He would be close, and his sweater would keep her warm.
Forget that he would never walk her home.
Forget he couldn’t hold her.
Forget he’d never know.
Leigh dropped to her knees, and the college acceptance letter drifted to the ground. “I miss you, daddy,” she whispered to the wind.