This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by PJ herself. Thank you PJ! The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.
Out of the Ashes
Sylvana emerged hesitantly from the treeline, her shaking hands clenched into fists as she stared at the smouldering ruins. It was gone. Tears coursed down her cheeks in endless rivulets. Everything was gone: cottage, livestock, all of their winter stores. And Layton… Layton was…
She was alone again.
The raiders had struck their home while she foraged in the woodland, her skirts cradling the berries that soon lay scattered. She’d heard their shouts, heard a scream that tore at her heart, and she’d hidden among the trees as only someone forest-born could. Time stretched interminably as she huddled, her eyes squeezed closed and hands covering her mouth to silence sobs. Acrid smoke filled the air as the homestead burned. Coarse voices and stomping boots passed nearby and she shivered at hearing their plans for her.
It was almost dark before fear released its grip enough for her to leave the forest’s shelter. Her dream – her happy life – was in ashes.
Scuffing footsteps made her spin, her heart racing as a voice said, “Sylvie?”
Word Count: 173
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