Innocently Asked

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Writing prompt: His Foot Slipped

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

The road wound into an unforgiving, dark night. The lantern swinging from a pole on Gwath’s pack illuminated a few scant lengths of dirt. Most didn’t even have that much.

They all faced the same darkness and uncertainty. Most without this little light. They were alike in that, Gwath could hear them moving. Hear them speaking as they avoided him.

The voices were quiet. Subdued. Inevitably the wail of a child broke into the still. Children pulled from their beds exhausted and bewildered. Wails turned to whining.

“Why do I have to walk?”

“Why can’t I go back to sleep.”

Overly weary parents responded. One such exchange nearby caught his attention.

“Tell me a story, mama,” the young voice said through slurring a yawn.

“What story do you want to hear?” Gwath could imagine the words were said by route.

“Tell me about Finneviv.”

Gweth could hear the innocence in the question. The weary retreat to a familiar subject. For whom did not know of Finneviv? The child could not have known how it cut his mother. He could hear it in her voice when she started reciting the tale. Easier than explaining why not.

How it cut Gweth. Finneviv the Dancer, guardian of their city. Who moved along the wall between their world and the demons without. Guarding, moving ever present. His love who never faltered…

Until his foot slipped.

Leaving Gweth. Leaving them to scramble into the night. No, the question had been innocent, and innocently it cut.

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Be sure to check out the other Wednesday Words authors’ take on the prompt.

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