Candlelight Choices

Typical, father said

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

The wood creaked under her feet despite of Darle’s best attempt for stealth yet. “Typical,” Father said. His voice drifted unreal from the parlor. Wood scraped over stone and a small flame sprung to life, quickly followed by the brighter candlelight.

Darle blinked twice tightening her grip on her bag before her eyes adjusted. Denials streamed through her mind ending with “They aren’t bad people.” She winced as she spoke. The words confirmed his suspicions, and he’d never believe them. No one in Habric would.

Leaning heavily on the armrest, Father rose from his chair. “Not bad people?” Darle could hear his derision. He stepped toward her limping. “Not bad people?”

She glanced toward the door and escape, and yet… Darle turned back, Father stood just beyond reaching. She locked her gaze on his. “No, they aren’t bad people.”

“They took your mother!” The words exploded from Father in a violent rush loud enough to wake the neighbors.

“No one took her. She chose.” Darle shook her head in denial.

Father swiped his hand through the air. “They won’t have you as well.”

“That’s not your choice.” Darle dodged backward, her pack swinging. She felt the tug as Father grasped it and pulled, nearly yanking her backward. Releasing the strap she dashed forward, threw open the door, and ran into the night.

“Darle!” her father screamed, but she didn’t listen. Ahead a howl cut through the night, and Darle ran toward it.

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