Photo © J. S. Brand
Haruk used to enjoy her gathering walks. Learning these woods and fields, planning her garden, deliberating on children’s names. She was firm on the first four by now. He could name the rest.
She swallowed, clearing the foul-breath aftertaste of those dreams. At least she was out, free from the servants’ pitying eyes. Her husband couldn’t ignore her if she wasn’t even home.
The stone steps interrupted her thoughts. Had she gotten lost? Impossible: these paths were drawn onto her feet.
The steps were grown over, yet Haruk was sure they hadn’t been there before. The hill, neither. Nor the sign post, with the strange writing.
Could she have died, and this path led to Sambar? No. Surely she would have noticed dying.
Magic, it had to be. All the stories about magic ended badly. Lured by fairies, kidnapped by witchers, turned into a snake.
Haruk touched the first step with her toe. It felt solid – more solid than anything she’d felt all day. She set her basket down before walking up. Let them wonder.
Word count: 175. Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers photo prompt challenge. Big thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting! Click here to read the other stories, or to submit your own.