100-Word Story: Wilted


She lies on left side, right hand flat against her slim left rib cage, left fist under chin. She is too calm, too wrapped in images of southern beaches where she once played. Sleep does not arrive. She seeks shadows: dandelions wilted under clouds of pesticide, a disemboweled garter snake, crows picking at the carcass of a rabbit on the road. Not for her the tranquil images of sun and cool, calm water she might conjure up.  She needs the dark, its exotic counterpoint to her young life, its malicious lure. She succumbs to nightmares, balm against peace. Only the darkness cleanses, purifies her grief.

Daily Prompt: South

Photo Credit: Steve Johnson, Flickr cc

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