FFfAW: The Children

Photo prompt – Phylor

The Children

“For your disregard of our laws-”

“Father, please,” Lia said, tears flowing. But no trace of her doting parent was visible. It was the High Councillor who faced her: stern and forbidding as he passed sentence.

“-you are hereby banished.”

Her hand tightened on the pony’s reins, and she avoided looking at the children on the animal’s back. It had taken weeks to gain their trust, to persuade them to leave their rusting shelter in the city. She’d promised they’d be welcome in the compound.

“They’re just children.”

“They’re abominations!” He spat the word, his face twisted in disgust.

The gates clanged shut.

Later, as firelight glinted on cat-slit eyes and sharp teeth, Lia’s certainty wavered. In daylight she could overlook their differences. At night their mutations became clear.

Trusting hands slid into her own. She squeezed reassuringly as the pair curled, kitten-like, against her.

No. Her father was wrong. They might not look like children born within the compound’s shields. But abominations…?

They were just children, and she couldn’t let them fend for themselves.

Word Count: 175

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Phylor. Thank you Phylor!

Yes, I know – this is incredibly late. I actually wrote the first version of this story last week, hoping to post it on Wednesday or Thursday. Unfortunately it was nearly 400 words long. This is actually the fourth version I’ve written, and I had to cut even this one down from nearly 250 words! The original story had her exploring the (forbidden) ruins of a city and finding the strange children hiding inside the rusting remnants of an abandoned car. The link to the prompt was a little clearer, as was the dystopian future they inhabit. Hopefully it’s not too confusing now. I think I’ll probably work on the longer version for inclusion in my flash fiction collection. 🙂

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog.


14 Comments on “FFfAW: The Children

  1. This is wonderful, Louise! I love it! You captured my attention immediately and kept me captivated throughout. I think your longer story sounds awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, PJ. 🙂 I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I don’t like posting so late in the week, but I was determined to get it finished. It seems I’m out of practice at writing to the lower word limit after a month of writing longer pieces! But at least I now have another story for my collection. 🙂


  2. This is a great beginning to a kid’s book. Like a novel. Some stories can’t be reduced to 175 words.
    Of course don’t listen to me– I’ve got over 100,000 words on a novel and I’m not done yet😃


  3. A lovely story capturing the love, kindness and understanding she has for the children. 😃


  4. Great stuff! Definitely the start of a novel. The kids are lucky someone can see past their mutations to the children within.


  5. Intriguing story, would love to read the longer version. Iain


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