Sweat trickled down her back despite her breath being visible in the early evening light. It was a miracle she’d got this far. She stopped for a moment, to adjust her grip, then staggered on, pushing with all her strength.
The last fight had been the worst. His cruel words finding their way to the most fragile parts of her mind. Her barren womb, her scarred face and all her loneliness and doubt. He aimed and fired, his missiles honed and obliterating whatever they touched.
He was normally so exact in his attacks, stopping at just the right moment, with her hovering on the brink of sanity. But this time had been different. This time she had slipped over the edge and into the abyss. He couldn’t hurt her now.
It had taken her two days to figure out what to do next. Then she just had to wait for tonight.
She smiled at a passing family pushing a wheelbarrow identical to hers.
“Looks to be plenty of Guys for the bonfire this year” the man called.
None quite like this one.
She could see the lake now, the pink sun casting its final sparkles on the surface of the water.
She watched and waited as the cover of darkness slowly descended. Then with a satisfying splash, she was finally free.
In case it’s not clear to those of you who don’t do Bonfire Night, the Guy referred to in the story is a Bonfire Night tradition, which marks the anniversary of the Gun Powder Plot synonymous with Guy Fawkes. The story was also inspired by the idea of hiding in plain sight in the wheelbarrow story, which came to mind on seeing the photo.
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Al Forbes. The idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in 200 words or less.
Photo credit: Dawn Miller