She had a distinct feeling that the moonlight illuminating her way was unnecessary. Darkness would not have impeded her search in the slightest; her heart alone had drawn her to this place. Still, it did offer an excellent view as she made her way down into the valley.
A quaint cobblestone church sat just off the gravel road, nestled between the rolling slopes of two small mountains. Behind it, a lake shining and serene, crowned with the silhouette of pine trees. The full moon had given all of it a surreal quality, like a postcard washed in silver.
Peaceful, she thought, and immediately felt a pang of longing in her chest. Her eyes locked onto the shimmering track of the moon across the lake. Her pace quickened.
She had no desire disturb anyone, and so she gave the church a wide berth, following the curve of the gravel road towards her destination. At the gravel’s end she found a worn path through the grass, leading down to the lake. The water lapped against the shore with a soothing rhythm as she wandered around its edge.
Eventually she found a bench and sat. Her eyes roved across the lake, over the mountains. She didn’t even know where she was, only that it reminded her of home.
Home, the desire for it burned within her, suffusing her entire being. There were things unsaid, rifts unmended. She would be safe, never alone again. If she could just go home!
But that would never happen. She had reached the limit of her journey.
Her cry of despair echoed across the water.
Tears ran down her face, but she did not feel them. She felt only the terrible longing in her heart. It flowed out with her tears, pooled around her like a gossamer shadow in the moonlight. She sat, silently weeping, as the moon sank down behind the mountains.
In the darkness, surrounded by the endless sound of the water, she found herself for a moment. She could go no farther, just a single night’s journey; but she would never have to go back. When the moon rose again, she would not find herself on that dusty, terrible road. Never again. This place was hers now, and no one could ever make her go back.
There would be stories, of course; but they would always be wrong. Even if they found her body along that empty road someday, there would be nothing to connect it here. Just another mystery.
The sun began to peak over the horizon, slowly driving out the last of night’s shadows. The young woman stood, flickered for a moment. Then, with a sigh, she vanished.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to write for my first flash fiction attempt. Then I saw a challenge over at Matthew Wright’s blog, and it caught the attention of my muse. ^-^ So, I went with it! Technically, I kinda failed the challenge… It was 150-200 words based on this picture:
My story is actually a little under 450 words. Still, after my experience working with ‘Romaine’, that’s pretty astonishing. I wish I had a little more time to edit it, but I really wanted to finally share some writing here… and finish a post mostly on time! ^-^ With a bit more practice though, I feel that I probably could write something under 200 words. We’ll see!