Friday, 9 March 2012
Forty Fifth Friday Flash: The Lost Girl
2012 Artwork Copyright: Irena Lazovska
*This week's flash was inspired by Irena's suggestions of place, items/plot points and emotion (moon, isolation, lost girl, an orphan boy and his rabbit) as well as her beautiful original artwork. Hopefully I have done the image justice.
Brett and his pet rabbit Chompers were going for a walk, a very long walk, because there was no way he was going back to that stinky, horrible and hurtful home. Not for all the chocolate in the world.
It was cold, maybe it would have been better to have chosen a warmer night, but he couldn't take it any more. He had to get out. He just hoped his friends there would understand, maybe he could find help for the others. He hugged Chompers closer, the rabbit nudged his head under Brett's blue and white striped pajama top for warmth.
It was hard work slogging through the muddy fields. He lost one of his shoes in the mud along the way, he tried to fish it out, but it was useless, in the end he grew so frustrated that he threw the other shoe into the distance. He forgot the coldness for a few moments, but it soon returned and with vengeance.
Feeling more alone and isolated than he had ever before he trudged on, until a forest came into view, his spirits were lifted, maybe he would be able to find some shelter.
The forest wasn't much of an improvement. There were odd sounds all around him, he had taken no more than a few steps when a small deer came shooting past him, he jumped back in surprise and landed on the hard ground. His pants now muddy too, he did his best to get the worst of it off before continuing. Chompers scrambled on his chest to try to get a better hold, he seemed to like the forest even less than Brett did.
Just when he thought he would be lost forever he saw a flashlight in the distance. He ducked behind a tree, what if it was someone from the Home looking for him? He waited, breathing slowly and holding Chompers.
The person with the flashlight shouted, it was a girl's voice, she sounded afraid. “Hello! Anyone out there?”
He peeked around the tree, the flashlight was moving away from him. He jumped out, scared that if he didn't act now he might never get out of the forest. Brett picked up Chompers to protect his eyes from the light.
The girl screamed, it looked like she was going to run away.
“No! Wait!” he cried.
The girl froze and turned around. Her flashlight shining on him, Brett blinked against the harsh light, he had to let her see that he was harmless.
“Phew!” she said clutching her chest. “I thought you were a monster with a rabbit's face!”
“Oh no, it's just my buddy Chompers, he's harmless.”
“Good,” she said, moving a little closer. It hard to tell by the light, but she seemed about the same age as him. “Are you lost too?”
“I'm not lost, I ran away.”
“Oh. I'm lost, I went exploring on my own and got lost, my parents are going to be so upset with me.”
“It must be nice to have parents,” he said with out thinking.
“What was that?” she asked moving a little closer.
“I was just saying that you are brave.”
“Silly more like,” she said with a laugh. She had chocolate brown eyes and darkish hair. “It's so cold tonight!”
“You can hold Chompers if you like? He's been keeping me warm.”
Brett handed Chompers over. “Be careful of his claws.”
“I will, maybe we can find our way back together?” she asked, looking everywhere but him.
“Okay, but please don't tell anyone I run away, I really don't want to go back.”
“Deal,” she said. “I'm April by the way.”
“Brett,” he said. “Let's follow the moon, at least we will be going in one direction.”
The moon was full, and it was kind of comforting to know that there was something constant in the surrounding world they could rely on.
For an hour or so they walked and talked, finding they had quite a lot in common, they took turns carrying Chompers, he was rabbit that loved his carrots after all. Just when they had been talking about finding shelter for the night they stumbled across a search party that comprised of a lot of police, concerned parents and community members.
April screamed with joy when they found her parents, they were unhappy with her, but over the moon that they were reunited again. Brett stood back, not sure what to do with himself. Suddenly, just when he was enjoying the warm blanket that was wrapped around him his ear was gripped hard and he was pulled back.
“There you are you little brat!” He couldn't believe it, it was Miss Hammersham. He had obviously not run away far enough.
“April!” he shouted.
April came running over.
“Hey! Leave him alone!”
“Get lost, you scallywag!”
Brett watched as both April's parents ears' pricked and they both came over quickly. Miss Hammersham let go of his ear, but kept him close.
“What did you just call my daughter?” asked April's father, Brett could see barely controlled rage in the man's eyes.
Miss Hammersham looked down at him like she did all other people.
“I was just telling her to mind her own business.”
April's mom put her hand on April's father's shoulder. “Is this the boy you were talking about? The one who helped you?”
“Yes, he was wonderful.”
“And you are?” asked Miss Hammersham.
“May Perryweather, social worker.”
Brett couldn't help but smile, when he felt his tormentor flinch.
“Good for you, but I must rush.”
May Perryweather folded her arms, “Not so fast. Hand the boy over.”
Miss Hammersham stamped her foot. “On what grounds?”
“I have reason to believe you are mistreating your charges.”
“Nonsense!” Miss Hammersham pulled at Brett to leave.
“Sheriff!” called May.
The sheriff who had just finished debriefing the search party came over. “Mrs Perryweather?” he said tipping his hat.
“Care to accompany us to Miss Hammersham's home?”
The sheriff looked at the two kids, and the tight grip on Brett's shoulder.
The Home was closed that night, all Brett's friends were taken in by social services and Miss Hammersham held until further investigations could be made.
May found a great home for Brett and Chompers in the very same town, he didn't go to the same school as April, but they kept in touch and when they were old enough they started their own safe haven for kids, a place where children they looked after didn't have to ever feel lost and alone like they had.