• Newton Webb

The Lost Child // Flash Fiction // Completed

Updated: Feb 3

As Hugh walked through the crisp winter morning, his boots crunched through the frosted grass and his cane thudded against the icy mud. He took deep breaths of the fresh air. He gazed around him in wonder. No matter how often he trod this path he was always struck by the beauty of the moors.

He saw her then, sat alone on a stile. Small, shy and coy she couldn't yet be twelve. A ponytail fought to hold her wild hair into place with three bands of twine. Her dress was worn, much patched. Once red, it had faded to pink apart from the odd stubborn patch. Her face was clear of freckles, her cheeks white and she shivered in the cold. Her tiny feet were held in shiny, scruffed shoes which gleamed through the fresh mud.

* * *

She looked up at him with a sad smile.

"Are you ok?" He asked stooping down over her.

She huddled back up against the mossy wood, clutching her dress to her body. Hugh walked closer.

"Are you ok?" Hugh repeated. She shook her head. Removing his hat, Hugh knelt. He rested his cane on the fence and touched her on the shoulder. She shuddered.

"I'm so cold" she muttered. Her face was white as snow.

Hugh touched her face with the back of his hand. Her skin was like ice. He recoiled. He took off his jacket and offered it to her. She shrugged it around her shoulders.

"Please can I hold your hand? It looks so warm." She said, her eyes wide and imploring.

Touched by her plight, Hugh complied. He pressed the palm of his hand against her cheek. A small, frozen hand reached up and pressed it into place. The cold radiated from her, and despite the heat from his thick tweed jacket, the cold radiated through her into his hand. His whole body began to shake with the cold. He tried to withdraw his hand, but she held him with a grip like granite. Her face was rosy red now, and her breath hot. Yet Hugh got colder and colder. He staggered to his knees.

She stood. "Thank you, you are so warm, Hugh." Her hot lips kissed his frozen, shaking cheek, and she walked away as he collapsed against the wood. Frost covered his skin and his breathing slowly stopped.

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