Join in my daily writing prompt! I don’t promise to respond to them all myself, but will try my best! Here is my response to the latest prompt.
The pink glove lay on the ground, almost covered …
The pink glove lay on the ground, almost covered by a mulch of last autumn’s leaves. You often find gloves, hats, even the occasional sock or a lone wellington boot, on forest paths. Mostly they are small, fallen from a child’s head, hand, foot, in a moment of parental carelessness, and discovered on arrival at the car park.
‘Oh no, where’s your glove?’ or ‘Poor little one, your foot is frozen.’ Or ‘Tut, Granny knitted that hat, she’ll be most upset you’ve lost it.’
And heads are shaken while the unrepentant child is bundled into its padded seat and strapped firmly in before any more parts can go missing.
This glove, lying among the leaves, didn’t belong to a child. There were no kittens appliqued on the back. There were sequins. A sweeping waterfall of pearlescent shimmer, dulled by smears of dirt, but proudly beautiful. It shouted, ‘special occasion’.
I picked the glove up by the forefinger and shook it clean of leaves and clumps of mud. Pale pink, long in the arm. An evening glove.
I frowned. Woollen gloves, leather gloves, hi-tech waterproof gloves – these were expected on forest paths. Not this length of delicate femininity. Discomfort lodged in my gut, picturing a young woman in a pale, floating dress designed for the warmth of a room filled with feasting, dancing people. Not the icy air of a winter forest. Where had she come from?
And I knew. A news item, the previous day. A wedding, at a local hotel. A bridesmaid missing. My discomfort solidified. Had they found her? I’d heard nothing more. I should call the police, check, see if the sequinned glove belonged to the missing girl, if she was still missing. I drew out my phone, punched in 101.
‘Emergency services, how may I help you?’
I explained, my eyes exploring the trees either side of the track. I squinted.
‘Hang on. I think I see something else.’
Something palely luminous among the pines. I ran, boots squelching into the mossy floor. The paleness evolved into a limp-frilled bundle, prone and still, curled against a trunk. One arm stretched out, the hand pink-gloved. Blood-smeared.
Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories here!