I’m delighted to be hosting #BlogFlash2012 – 30 Days, 30 Prompts 30 Posts.
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#BlogFlash2012: Day Thirteen – Forest
I apologize for breaking my own rules on the word count today, but I think if I’ve learned anything from #BlogFlash2012 so far it’s that sometimes you need to go with the right fit not the right count. This extract from my upcoming psychological thriller Nowhere to Run seemed a great fit for today’s prompt so I chose to go with it.
As they rode, Mag’s arms and legs turned to granite and crumbled. Fear begged her to turn back, and fear urged her on. Her mama, daughter of a preacher, had taught her early to be on the lookout, for no good ever comes of not knowing.
If thou shalt not watch, sayeth the Lord, I will come on thee as a thief.
At the fringe of the woods Willis slowed the horse to a walk. As they slipped into the forest, the river bellowed and small white Mourning doves swooped and took wing.
The search party, to the fore, progressed slowly along the bank of the river, the riders swatting at the black flies, the horses switching back and forth, twenty rods east, twenty west, the boggy terrain like quicksand under their hoofs.
Across the river, an enormous gray moose tracked their progress.
Confused, the young farmhand had difficulty locating the tree. ‘It’s in close neighborhood with the river,’ the bewildered boy said. ‘Close neighborhood.’ Close.
Light beaconed through the eye of a needle. The boy pointed, nodding furiously, and reined his horse sideways, giving way to his elders. As the lead horse entered the clearing, the rider pulled up short. His shoulders sagged. Stiffening, he raised his rifle, signaling the others, and the party closed ranks.
Willis halted the nag by a white pine at the outer edge of the clearing.
Squinting, Mag watched through a breach in the cavalry wall, her heart heavy.
The child’s slight body swayed in a soft vernal wind, her skirt fused indecently to her legs, revealing the contours of her slender thighs. Her left foot was bare. Her tiny black boot lay in the dirt, the heel buried in muck, the narrow toe box pointing to Heaven.
Her name was Cornelia. She was thirteen years old . . .
Word count: 314
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