Flash fiction pieces that speak to the mysterious pull of the wild
Opal took a step onto the forest path. Her posture relaxed as she centered herself on the forest path. Opal’s parents were a few steps behind her. She lightly ran ahead. Opal didn’t want the unusual hike to be filled with the sounds of her parents talking to her sternly, the sounds that filled the rest of her life.
Opal made sure to stay ahead of her parents, who seemed content to talk to each other for once. She allowed herself to indulge in a fantasy that came into her head on every hike like this, where she would disappear into the forest, leaving all her problems behind.
The hike wore on. Up ahead, Opal saw slabs of rock, seemingly piled on top of each other. She ran up on light feet. This was a moment that came, at one point or another, on every hike. Opal had the desperate urge to dash off the path, take a leap to freedom in the forest.
Opal hovered there, caught in the moment between two possible futures. She looked back. For a moment, her eyes caught the eyes of her father.
With one swift movement, Opal turned and slipped into the forest. Her parents, listening, heard swift light footsteps running away into silence.
A girl opened the door, looking quickly back before stepping out and shutting it behind her. It was night, but the moon was full. If the squirrels in the trees around her had been watching, they would have seen the girl’s eyes fill with tears that reflected the moon like a mirror.
She shook her head as if shaking away her thoughts, then walked in among the trees. A doe saw the girl reach her destination, a small clearing surrounded by dense trees and bushes.
The girl sat down against a tree and put her head on her knees. The doe ran off through the forest, leaving the silent stars and the bare branches as the only witnesses when the girl began to weep.