This is a piece of flash fiction I wrote for a contest. There was a very tight word limit, which is why it is so short. I didn’t win the contest (which was huge and international so I really wasn’t surprised), but I think this piece has the potential to say a lot about manmade destruction versus nature with some work. Please let me know what you all think! I love suggestions and criticism, as long as it is constructive. Thanks for reading!
Molly stepped through the garden of carnage, placing her feet gingerly as if the field would crumble beneath a misstep like an eggshell. With each footfall, the lifeblood of the battlefield bubbled up around her soles. As she tiptoed over scattered muskets and stone still hooves of horses, her schoolbooks slipped loose from her pudgy fingers and fell with a soft pat onto a tattered blue wool chest. Reminded of school, she turned slowly to gather up the curling bundles of pages. A low sound, like the hum of a sewing machine, broke the silence of the misty morning and she paused, fearful. Her quick breaths had been the only sounds she had heard since straying from her path. Molly knelt next to the body from which the sound emanated – could he be alive? The little girl’s skirts ballooned out and parted the sea of bodies, soaking up mud from the field. She gently touched the gold Union insignia on the chest of the man’s uniform – there was movement there. Not breath, but a stirring from within. Suddenly, in a maelstrom of yellow and black, a riot of wasps burst from the festering entrails in which they had made their nest. Molly let out a small gasp of shock and held perfectly still as they swirled around her and dispersed. Not a single one harmed her delicate skin.