The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
A Time of Firsts
by Elaine Pascale
It was supposed to be romantic: their first excursion since the world re-opened. Their first trip to Europe. Their first time staying on a houseboat. And it was a novelty that they would not need to cut the fun short to rush back to check on kids or pets. So many firsts.
“The lights look like candles on the water,” she said.
“Like stars. Like the water is the universe and the lights are the stars so many millions of miles away.”
“Poetic.” She winked and kissed him.
When she pulled away, something jumped from his cheek to hers.
She plucked it from her face and dropped it into the water below. Her cheek had a noticeable gash that was incongruent with the size of the bug.
The insect broke the surface, followed by far more bubbles than a tiny body should produce.
The bubbles were accompanied by many, many miniscule organisms launching from the depths of the canal. They were so great in number that they obliterated the reflected lights the entire length of the water.
This was their first time seeing creatures the size of flies with bites that replicated the damage of much larger entities.
This was their first time being afraid for their lives.
This time of firsts was also the last time, as they would not be making it home.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixaby.com
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