Congrats to Jennifer Don, the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.
The winning entry is recognized with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.
Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Jennifer Don
Waiting from the sheltered safety behind the tree, I scout ahead and cast my eyes towards the old shuttered windows of the shaded building. My heart sips a beat when I see the pomegranate abandoned on the flake peeling, age-darkened sill.
Instantly I know I’m in the right location, and I must wait within the shade until the rendezvous time arrives, as per the instruction letter. My heart rate quickens with fear, and anticipation. My eyes flicker back and forth between my drop location and my surroundings, eager for movement in the distance, but there is none.
A passing glance down towards the silver watch upon my wrist informs me I must move now, or risk losing my connection altogether. Swallowing hard, I wipe my clammy hands across my thighs and steadily head towards the window.
The hair on the nape of my neck prickles, a warning that something is off. Unable to shake it, I search the horizon once more – still there is nothing out of place. I give a single shake of head my head and turn back towards the window. Only now, I see what it is that set me on edge.
The pomegranate is alone, yes, but the letter that should have been there – the child that should have appeared – is both absent. I drop my heads, and suddenly I see the distinct scuff marks in the dry, rain-parched, sun-baked earth. Drag marks, still fresh, yet out of skill to follow.
Hope gone, my connection missed.