Our next #flashfiction offering is from Lindy Greaves.
You can find Lindy on Instagram and Twitter @lindy_greaves and just search her name in Facebook and she’s top of the list 🙂
by Lindy Greaves
I cling on though the water is rising. My girls are with me. Tharushi and Kalpani shuddering against the surge. Tharushi won’t look at me. She knows – I think. I hang on. Kalpani, just stares wild into my face. My soul. Fear and trust searing me. Breaking me. Her hair is plastered across her tiny face and she blinks away swirling and filthy rivulets, holding her breath. My wrists are weak; my fingers brittle. I try not to see the body face-down amongst the debris that flows past. I recognise the red shirt. He is a neighbour. Was a neighbour. There is no neighbourhood now. I choke on a mouthful of silt and dread. That’s when Tharushi’s branch fractures. I snatch at her clothes with my one free hand. Grasping frail fabric. Wrapping my legs around the tree’s submerged trunk. She splutters. Holds on. To me. To the tree. Unspoken thanks in those deep wary eyes. She knows.
The water is rising. Nearby screams engulfed in the roaring. I hold on. I hold on. Tharushi is five. She knows I have to make a choice. Soon. My hands are weak. I feel my knees buckling under the tide. Leaves, limbs from trees, bits of houses churn by. A post cracks into my head. I look at Kalpani. Remember her scrunched up baby scowl. The painful pull on my breast as she sought her sustenance. Her grip is slipping. My fingers are weak. We will all die if I don’t choose. I look at Tharushi. Black eyes focused on the brown water. She knows. The choice no mother should have to make. I turn my face to heaven. And I let go.