#7 Flash Fiction B&W Challenge
The river ran deep, as deep as some of the deepest sorrows she had to fight every day. She often sat on the wooden pier, watching the river flow through the aged planks, oblivious of the multitude of sounds exploding around her. She would scratch the surface of the rusted nails holding the pier in place.
If the pier collapsed, she wondered time and again, how she would react. Would she be so startled that she wouldn’t have time to react? Or would she struggle to swim back up, grasping for air?
For some reason, she imagined herself floating downwards, as in the films, into the unknown. She shook her head. That was silly. Her survival instinct would definitely kick in and make her fight, as hard as she could, to live.
However, she didn’t want to live or rather she was undecided about that. The past few weeks hadn’t helped either.
The big question was to leave or die. Neither seemed feasible.
A long string of phone calls brought her nothing but more pain; although the police assured her they would protect her. They didn’t.
The saddest thing was actually the only thing that made her happy. They had no children.
That last day, when an overly concerned husband called the emergency line yelling for help, the detectives went to their house, but found nothing.
“I didn’t do anything,” her husband swore repeatedly. “I didn’t.”
They had to let him go.
A few weeks later, an envelope arrived at the police station. It contained a wedding ring and a white piece of paper saying “Go back and look for it”.
The police did search the house again. This time, they found a transparent plastic bag in the freezer, with a finger inside. The DNA matched.
Her husband claimed to be innocent till today, almost ten years after she went missing. The neighbors remembered seeing her sitting on that pier and some even ventured a theory or two about what had happened. He was convicted, of course. Circumstantial evidence only, yes. Apparently a finger was worth more than nasty bruises, a swollen eye and a broken arm.
As she sat at the beach, the warm water splashing at her feet, she thought of that river, as dark as it was, that had saved her life. Her survival instinct did kick in. And besides, she still had plenty of fingers left.