Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #162
For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of a woman with a pensive expression on her face as she sits upon a large, mossy rock deep inside a forest.
She was starving and very cold.
Her feet hurt, bleeding in several places from stumbling on the sharp stones scattered about in the woods. She didn’t know why she ran to this place every time her life became too hard to bear.
There were no answers here; she knew that. No help either. Just the soul-shattering proof that she really was lost and far beyond help.
She had been here so many times, always ending up feeling far more alone than ever. She strained her ears, hoping to hear a bird song or the stealthy movements of a passing creature, but there was nothing.
Maybe today, there would be a breath of wind to move the branches above her head, letting her know the world was still out there.
But this place seemed as dead as her soul.
As she stared at a large oak, the fallen leaves around the base of the tree began to move. So, something did live here, or were they merely visiting, like she was?
A small grey squirrel appeared as she watched, his tiny hands clamped around an acorn. He suddenly stopped, his fluffy tail twitching. He wasn’t looking in her direction. Did he know she was watching him?
He slowly turned his head and stared at her. His dark, beady eyes seemed to twinkle, and she wondered what he thought of her. He slowly nodded his head as if he heard the question, possibly acknowledging another lonely soul?
This thought caused her to look away in shame, and when she looked back, the squirrel had gone. That was when she realised he wasn’t lonely. He had a purpose.
Something she needed to find…