This is my entry into the Picture it and Write creative writing challenge hosted by the authors of Ermiliablog. I’ve seen a number of entries for this challenge in my reader over the last few weeks but I’ve never before entered. I found the picture prompt this week so inspiring that I couldn’t resist having a write. I hope you enjoy it.
Dair’s heart sank. He could hear the rush of water long before the river came into sight. The crossing stones on which he’d pinned his hopes were barely visible above the treacherous churn of ice melt. Home and safety lay unreachable on the far side.
He sank to his knees on the bank, damp chill seeping into weary muscles. Exhaustion morphed into despair. Memories of the past week flashed through his mind: the attack on the road; the glassy stares of his father and brother as their blood seeped into the dirt; waking, his head pounding from the blow that rendered him unconscious, to rough men rifling through their wagon; the long days of threats and forced servitude as they argued his fate.
“We could get a good price for you, boy…”
He forced the memories away, the determination that kept him fighting refusing to desert him now. He didn’t know whether they pursued him still. Their shouts had faded hours ago but, after his final act, he doubted they’d let him escape. He shivered, recalling the feel of the knife sinking into Marken’s chest.
His options were limited. If he waited for the flow to reduce he risked starvation or death from exposure. If he headed towards the bridge in Newhaven he risked encountering his attackers. If he tried to cross the swollen river he risked being swept off his feet.
Only one option really offered success. The icy water swirled around his ankles as he began to cross.
Word Count: 250