FFfAW: Out of the Ashes

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.

Photo Prompt: © Priceless Joy

Photo Prompt: © Priceless Joy

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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42 thoughts on “FFfAW: Out of the Ashes

  1. It’s funny (well, not really funny) that when you mention “stomping boots”, I automatically think of Nazis. But with names like Layton and Sylvana, I think more of a futuristic dystopian society. It doesn’t really matter which one it might be. Either is frightening. But your writing is great! You have such an ease in telling a story and capturing my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy for you to picture it set in any time you want but I was thinking either historical or fantasy as I wrote it. I quite like the thought of it being a futuristic dystopia, actually… I’m very glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

      Like

    • Thank you Ameena. I think you could be right. 🙂 It was a historic or fantasy setting that I’d intended but I decided not to include a specific genre so people could read it as they wished. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is Layton? I hope it is else she’ll be so lonely and devastated. Love your story, can’t stop reading till I reach the end. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • It might be Layton. On the other hand, there might be someone else nearby who knows her well enough to call her by a nickname… I’m really glad you enjoyed the read. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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