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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2264413
1/2 flash fiction contest entry.
Prompt: must use the words "frog", "button", and "hair"
Word Count: exactly 300

A Moonlight Flight

Ten-year-old Elle Palmer woke with a start.

Her father was standing in the doorframe of her bedroom holding a lantern. A tall man casting a tall shadow across the dingy lodgings. The flickering light threw strange shadows on his face. His eyes glowed with intense fear.

“What’s wrong, papa?” the girl asked.

“Never mind,” he said, traversing the room in three large strides. He threw some clothes into the young girl’s lap. “Put those on. Quick.”

She started crying. “I didn’t do anything bad, papa.”

The man had been gazing out the bedroom window. He turned on the girl with frank anger. “I swear to hell, Elle, you get dressed or I’ll spank-”

He raised his hand to smack the child. She shrank back in terror.

“Aw, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. Get dressed, baby.”

She did. Her father waited impatiently, finally doing up the last button on the nondescript beige-colored shirt himself.

“Where are we going, papa?”

“Never mind.”

They stole out the backdoor, the father roughly dragging the girl by the hair. They crouched low among the cattails and pickerelweeds, watching the mob of shouting men moving further up the yard, torches burning in their hands.

“I’m scared,” confessed the girl.

Her father’s grip tightened. “Yeah.”

They pulled a wooden canoe into the nearby river and boarded it. Once they were a good distance out, the man permitted himself a backward glance. The entire cabin was up in flames now. The sound of the mob had subsided. Frogs croaked in the darkness.

“I’m sorry I killed the stable boy.”

“It’s okay, baby.”

“Where are we gonna go, papa?”

“That’s a good question.”

“Is there somewhere out there with other people like me?”

He studied her thoughtfully. “Perhaps.”

She smiled, her fangs gleaming white in the moonlight.

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