Flash Fiction: Hide and Seek

I was shortlisted for Retreat West’s recent Micro Fiction competition – I unfortunately didn’t make it to the top three (and definitely check the winners out because they were all excellent!), but thought I’d share mine here anyway. It was inspired by the following photo prompt:

Hide and Seek

Ellie held the fern to her sister’s face. ‘If you hold it like this, monsters won’t see you.’

Vhairi frowned. ‘What sort of monsters can’t see through a leaf?’

Ellie sat her sister down in the undergrowth. ‘We need to be quiet too.’

Vhairi fell to her knees, her eyes zipping nervously across the woodland. Ellie didn’t tell her that behind her, trees were bending unnaturally, cracking and shaking. She sucked in a breath and scooped up some mud, smearing it across her cheeks, before reaching to do the same for Vhairi.

‘Yuck, what’s that for?’

‘Camouflage.’ To mask our scent. She then threaded grass in Vhairi’s hair until she looked like a mandrake plant. ‘Now, the last part of the game,’ Ellie whispered, hugging Vhairi into her. ‘We lie down and hold our breath until the earthquake passes.’

Vhairi squeezed her eyes shut. ‘Next time, can we play hopscotch?’

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