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Forgotten Child


Hiking in the woods, the owners of a newly built cabin found a simple headstone bearing the inscription WILLIAM T. JAMES, BORN JULY 26, 1864 - DIED APRIL 19, 1873.  Through research at the local Historical Society they learned that eight-year-old William had died while rescuing his mother and siblings from their burning cabin that had stood nearby.  He had led them out one by one, but then collapsed, overcome by heat and oxygen deprivation, never to recover.  Rumor had it that his father had started the fire in a drunken rage and then stumbled away into the woods and was never seen again.  William's mother and sisters had moved away, leaving him behind, abandoned and forgotten until the night that lightning struck the new cabin, and the owners were awakened just in time to escape the flames by the terrifying screams of a small boy accompanied by someone unseen pounding on their windows and door.

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I'm linking up with Lillie McFerrin for Five Sentence Fiction
where the writing prompt this week is "forgotten"  

12 comments:

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    1. Yes it is, perhaps he is still watching over folks and rescuing them from fires.

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  2. You made me shiver...just the right amount of emotion!

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    1. THank you Lisa! I wanted it to be more about the sense of sadness.

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  3. Brilliant and beautiful! I love where you took this prompt.

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    1. Thanks Jayne! When I saw this photo and realized how young the boy was, I wanted to write a story about him being there all alone... still!

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  4. You gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes imagining that poor little boy, so brave, and then so alone... Very powerful.

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    1. Thank you Trusting Poet! I loved that his little spirit was still trying to rescue people. Surely he has earned his way into the light and chooses to return just to lend a hand.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)