Tracking A Nomad

This was my entry for the weekly Flash! Friday competition. The picture below was the prompt and the special challenge was a “missed deadline” to be incorporated somewhere in the story. As always, max word usage is 160. My story received a special mention for “use of language.”

mill-creek-watershedThey were getting close. Boots pulverizing snow. Lungs heaving consumed oxygen. Their grave pleas screaming at the white expanse, thunderous and primal. I kept silent and extinguished the small fire with a kick of dirt and slithered further into the cave. A chameleon the hue of rock and shadow.

There was no arbitrary deadline when hunting me down. Night would kill day but they kept searching, always locating me at some hideaway that wasn’t our home. My urge to vanish never diminished, nor did their prowess at rooting me out.

As they veered north, away from me, relief washed over me. Undiscovered and autonomous. I cherished and loved them but the father of their youth was gone. Dissolved. Solitude was my family now, my mute companion. I craved the quiet like a hungry vein begs for the sweet needle.

A faint echo of “Dad” bounced off the mountains and filtered into the cave. The arduous process of forgetting began. Again.

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