I recently participated in a Flash Fiction Writing Challenge based on a photo prompt. Any genre, 500 words or less. I was inspired to write a short story based on the backstory for my young adult fantasy novel. My novel Roots Run Deep is set in modern day but this backstory leads back into the 1800s. Hope you enjoy!
Stepping away from the crowded train depot, Victoria placed her hand on her stomach as tears puddled in her eyes. Liam flooded her thoughts and loneliness filled her heart. Looking at this land, she needed to believe in the possibilities, believe in Liam’s dream and keep believing God would guide her. Even in her darkest hour, the tragedy of losing her love, He had proven His faithfulness and given her hope. That hope came in the letter from her cousin Anita. The letter explained that Missouri was the perfect place to do exactly what Victoria and her groom wanted –build a new life. Now Victoria was here, unannounced and unexpected. How will Anita react when she sees me…here, alone, and with child? Victoria thought. She took a deep breath and turned back to the train.
“Here ya go, ma’am,” said the conductor.
“Thank you, sir.” Victoria took the carpet bag and clutched tightly to it.
“Postmaster’s there. He can help you find your kin.” The man smiled as he pointed to a wooden structure that was a few hundred feet from the depot. Victoria smiled. The man’s kindness didn’t go unnoticed, but Victoria had nothing to offer him for his assistance, except a smile and a thank you. Finding her way to the post office, she was informed that the trek to her family’s place was not for someone in her condition.
Asking about the quickest way to contact her family, he replied, “Seems Edward’s in the habit of making his way to town most Saturday’s. He’s got a stack of mail, so I ‘xcept to see him this week.”
Victoria requested to leave word for the family and was handed paper to compose her message. Writing she arrived in town and staying at the hotel, Victoria closed the note; Please Anita do forgive me for my unexpected arrival. I have no one else.
Leaving the note, she left and meandered through town avoiding the carriages and buggies traipsing down the dirt road. Arriving at the hotel, she hoped the owners would oblige a pregnant woman a two night stay in exchange for help with cooking and cleaning. She silently prayed, “Thank you, Lord for Your kindness thus far. Please strengthen me and give me a glimpse of hope in this hopeless is situation.”
Victoria was greeted with a warm hello when she approached the counter. As she began explaining her situation to the woman, she was interrupted.
“Victoria, is that you?”
Victoria turned to see Anita sitting at a table with two other women. Anita scrambled from her seat and wrapped her arms around Victoria. “I can’t believe you’re here. My precious cousin is here. And look at you, why, you’ll soon be a momma.”
Tears streamed down Victoria’s cheeks as she took comfort in the warm embrace. It was then she knew her hope was not lost. God would bless her with that new life for herself and Liam’s baby.