In a much-needed break from rewriting K&S's first page for the thousandth time this week, it is time for Flash! Friday! 300 words, +/- 10 on this photo:
|Odd Fellows Home for for Orphans, Indigent, and Aged|
Macey froze just inside the gate. Her legs refused to carry her any further. Her lungs couldn’t find air to suck in. The nearly symmetrical building stretched austere before her, framed by trees that should have been welcoming. She shut her eyes and swallowed.
More than ten years had passed since she had left the Odd Fellows Home. The flaking paint of her past had nearly disappeared from its turrets.
Memories assaulted her mind, mimicking the years she’d spent inside. Hands she couldn’t avoid brushing against her. Days spent in darkness, praying the insects in her hideaway weren’t the kind that bite. Being pinched, and prodded, and pulled to placate visitors in business suits. Investigators.
Her fingernails bit into her palms, surfacing her from the onslaught enough to draw in a single breath. Macey shrugged the memories away and forced her eyes open. Abandoned, the home should have looked worse than in her memories. An impossibly tall order.
The taxi still stood, less than ten steps behind her. She could turn around, drive away. She could leave this place to rot on the outside like it had long ago on the inside. As the one surviving resident, she had been offered the run of the land.
Potential, they had said, over and over.
Hell, her mind had whispered.
Now the windows whispered it for her. She never should have come.
Hands dropped on her shoulders. Macey shuddered, but these wouldn’t be shrugged away. Soft circles brushed over stone muscles. Air flooded the space around her, and her lungs ached with renewed life.
Wind fluttered through the leaves. The hands fell away, but warm fingers soon tangled in hers, squeezing gently. Sunlight she hadn’t been able to feel pierced through the misery around them.
Her gaze fell to an illuminated patch of lawn. A tiny blossom winked a fragile promise.