Short Stories

Writing Photo Prompt

A Photo Writing Prompt:

Angelica escaped to the woods every morning to paint. She wasn’t allowed to paint in the house because it was too messy, so she resorted to painting everything she saw outside until she had a whole variety of tiny art pieces scattered throughout the trees. Yesterday, her Grandpa gave her four unpainted duckling statues, a momma, a daddy, and their two babies. Today she was going to paint them and hide them in the woods.
When she finished her latest creation, painting the little family of ducks white, she knew she had to return home. It was getting late, and she knew her mother would worry about her if she didn’t return on time. Angelica took her time walking back, taking in the scenery and looking over some of her earlier art pieces. She loved seeing them in the woods. Only she knew where all of them were because she hid them randomly among the trees, and not all of them were easy to access and directly on the trail, some were deep in the woods, like her duckling family. She had been a long ways from home when she worked on them. There the woods were thick and the sun barely made its way to the ground floor, but where it did, it was beautiful.
Angelica saw flashing lights coming from the direction of her home, and began to get worried. She hoped her parents hadn’t come looking for her, she didn’t think she’d been gone that late, but you never can tell how much time passes when you are painting. She hurried forward, picking up her pace just in case. The thick trees kept her from seeing exactly what the lights were caused by, but she was nearing the edge of the forest and she knew it would soon be clear.
The blue and red lights at her house caused Angelica’s fear to rise. What could be going on? She ran as fast as she could to the house, tripping over twigs, and the misshapen ground in the field surrounding her home. She ran until she reached the door then stopped breathlessly at the entrance. Her father was standing in the center of the room, emergency personnel and family members surrounded him. She could feel sadness radiating around the room. Her father looked up at her, and reached for her, but she knew. Something had happened to her mother. Something terrible. She wasn’t ready to face it. Tears filled her eyes and she turned away, staring out at the woods beyond the driveway. She began to run. She knew no one would follow her.
She ran back the way she came. She stopped where the trees became thickest, where the sunlight barely reached the ground. She saw her painted duck family. She knew what had happened tonight. She knew without anyone telling her. Her mother had died. She had been sick for months, but Angelica had always assumed she’d get better. Now she knew the truth. Her mother wasn’t getting better, and she wasn’t coming back. She picked up the mother duckling and threw it as far and as hard as she could until she heard it break as it crashed into a tree trunk. She looked down at her ducklings. A father and two children, that was all that was left. It was all that was left in her life too.

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