The lightning flashed, illuminating the fleeing figure as she streaked down the lane in red trainers. Thunder boomed, and the rain hammered down, soaking her jeans through and turning her long hair to wet rags which flapped out behind her like washing on a line as she ran.
At the bottom of the hill she jumped onto the stile, slipping on the slick wet wood and scraping her arm on barbed wire. She stopped for a moment to rub it, squeezing shut her eyelids through which hot tears forced themselves. On the footpath across the field to the woods, the light from the few houses soon faded and she found herself in near pitch darkness, treading carefully to avoid the boggier patches.
Although the wooded area provided some shelter, the ground underfoot was treacherous; roots conspiring to fling her to the ground at every step, brambles snatching at her shoelaces. Memory was her only guide.
In her heart, she knew she couldn’t spend the night outside in this storm. She had only the clothes on her back and nothing more. If only she could have made it to the cave and waited it out there. Now she would have to return home. Next time, she promised herself, she would make it.
I wrote this piece a little while ago for a flash fiction competition which it didn’t win, so thought I would post here.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/91602646@N04/24965742342″>drop2</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>