Come, Child

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This was intended for the recent flash-fiction contest, but a seemingly irredeemable glitch meant it couldn't be entered.Enjoy.
A child at the water's edge. A mysterious voice.

Submitted: February 06, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 06, 2017



“Come, child. Don’t be afraid.”

These words, barely heard and maybe only felt, but the barefooted girl in the flouncy red dress skipped across the rocks, unaware or uncaring of the cuts to her tender feet. Her arms flailed with unhindered joy and her hair, flaming like sunset, flapped and wiggled.

Her father called out, “Careful Sweetheart, the water’s choppy and the rocks are greasy.”

She didn’t turn at his words, only kept on skipping.

“She’s always been a free spirit.” remarked the father, as if to the wind.

A response came, but was it the wind?

“She is mine now.”

The father began to run towards his daughter. His precious princess, his only child. She was scant metres ahead of him now and pirouetting in the breaking water, barely up to her knees. Her innocent giggle defied all other sound as he slipped on the slimy rocks and fell.

Dizzy from the cut on his forehead he looked up and saw only her hand as it slipped under the water not far from the shore.

He screamed out, but his voice was overruled by the other.

“I lay claim and I collect. Be content that she was once yours.”

© Copyright 2018 Art Greenway. All rights reserved.

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