Shallow water rippled over a bed of round, smooth stones. Sara sat on a fallen log, her cloth mask clenched between raw fingers, and heard the echo of laughter long past. She had come here with her father and her brothers when she was young. Spring flowers had bloomed upon the banks and the oldest trees had bowed so low over the water that the leaves gleamed wet.
Ash was settling on the surface of the water and the skies darkened. The sun dipped low on the horizon, scattering red light. There was nothing left here but memory, plague, and four shallow graves.
Sara bent down and wrapped her fingers around a single round stone. She pressed it to her lips, whispered a soft prayer, and put it in her pocket.
Then she turned and walked on, away from the river, away from all she’d ever known.
Word Count: 147
This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Enisa for providing the prompt photo!