This week's Red Writing Hood Prompt asked us to write about a season of change. I decided to revisit my prior short fiction piece, The Runaway. I gave you the end before; here is a bit more to her story:
- - - -
The aches pulsing through her back were nothing compared to the lightning stabbing her brain.
What happened? Where am I?
She surveyed the small dark room. The furnishings were old and small. The thin and scratchy linens lay rumpled on the bed. An old clock ticked and tocked on the wall. As the moments passed, the fog within her brain cleared.
The priest. My bags.
He was kind. He listened. He picked her up, literally, from the depths of filth. He awakened her fighting spirit. He helped her to grasp her self-worth that had been long gone for all those months.
She had agreed to follow him, simply for the promise of a warm shower and clean clothes. She trudged through the open doorway and let out a gasp as a smiling, chubby woman made a beeline towards her.
“Welcome! We are so glad to have you here!”
What have I done?
The gentle clergyman remained by her side and placed a hand on her shoulder as she signed her name with a trembling hand. Her body was screaming to run, far and fast, back to the street. Only the slight pressure of human contact kept her moving forward.
He is right. I need this. I don’t want to die.
Once the ink was placed to paper, the chipper woman nimbly snatched her tattered bag.
“We have to keep your belongings, hon. Any substances we find will be destroyed.”
No! Okay. No! But I need them!
She shook her head and forced aside the greedy pleadings inside. She remained silent, eyes cast downward, and simply nodded.
Shower. Sleep. Eventually… home.
The time had come to live again.
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