The crack of dawn came inexpressive and the cold weather planted a chill to the spine as Bret, a man in his prime, walked this muted avenue one Sunday morning. The world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown as the trees set pallid hues of decay and began strewing the ground with tawny leaves that now lie thick and sodden underneath his feet. Nature’s death masked with a dramatic display of the autumn beauty, he thought.

This morning would have been just another mundane stride if not for the vague form that now becomes clearer as he draws closer to it. Nestled in the heap of decaying leaves under the deciduous tree, like a bird curled at the core of its nest, was a young girl of about five or six.

“Child, wake up,” his voice meddling with the girl asleep.

She roused, looked around, her voice gradually breaking into a sob, “She told me to stay. Have you seen my mommy? Where—I want my mom!”

Grief crept in his chest as he stared at the equinoctial darkness in the depths of the eyes of this fallen angel, withered and curled like the autumn leaves.

Word Count: 198

This is in response to Sunday Photo Fiction’s prompt.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Alastair Forbes where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using around 200 words. The piece doesn’t have to center around exactly what the photo is, it can be just used as a basis for a story.

Enjoy more stories here. 🙂