A 299 word story written for the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 8/14/19.
Winter came in hard and fast. One day it was mild, breezy; the next, bitterly cold.
There was no snow, not a flake, but ice formed on top of any moisture. Puddles proved to be the downfall of many an unsuspecting pedestrian, and vehicles could do no more than crawl along the gritted streets.
The river had frozen over too. Not all of it, but the parts where it flowed more slowly.
Irene leaned towards the edge while Brynn kept a tight hold of her hand. “I’m sure I saw something...” she said.
“Come on, Irene, it was most likely just the light reflecting off the ice.”
“No, look...there! I did see something.” Irene pointed. A flower had been frozen in place, prevented from continuing it’s way along the river by the sudden freeze.
“Yeah, lovely. Now come on before we both get frostbite!” Brynn began to pull on her arm when he heard his girlfriend gasp.
“There’s someone under there! I just saw a red stripe, a white one. We’ve got to get them out!” Letting go of Brynn’s hand, Irene made her way to the water’s edge. She picked up a stone and began to hammer at the ice.
“Are you crazy?” Brynn asked, incredulous at the risks the girl was taking, but also nervous of what he might see. If there was someone trapped, they’d most likely have already drowned.
“I can’t just leave,” Irene insisted, slamming the stone down hard, cracking the ice.
Brynn grabbed a branch, snapped the end off and leaned out to push it under the frozen surface. It took him a moment to hook it, to pull it back to the bank. A glove, a stripy one, no hand inside.
“Now can we just go home and get warm!” he said.