Liz looked back over her shoulder to the river. The sensation of bitter cold and her breath being taken away were fresh in her mind. She held her arms out and looked down at her body. She was dry and in one piece.
The sky was dark. Stars were hidden by clouds and drowned out by the lights of the city. Liz looked up the narrow service road that led away from where she was standing. She saw a chain link fence and a gate with a cut lock. Beyond, were industrial buildings. Plain structured made of brick and corrugated steel, lined with loading docks, and massive roll up doors.
Liz could hear traffic somewhere off in the distance, but she seemed to be alone. She looked along the riverbank and up the road. She crossed and uncrossed her arms, then turned downstream.
An uprooted tree was an arm’s reach from the edge of the water. It looked like it had been black and twisted even before it had fallen. Liz sat on a low section. Her feet were spread wide and her knees tight together. She laid her hands flat on the top of her legs. Her skin was washed and grey. She raised one hand, turned her palm up, then down, and put it back on her leg.
Liz watched the ripples of the water as it flowed past. She knew that she had to do something but wasn’t sure what or how. The world felt different. That meant challenges, but it also meant there was new ways to get things done. Liz closed her eyes and focused her mind on the picture that she kept on her fireplace mantle.
It was a moment in time. A simpler time. If she closed her eyes, Liz could feel the sun on her face. She could smell the sweetness of sunscreen, and hear her little brother’s cackling laugh. That summer had meant a lot to her. It was the last they had spent together as a family.
Image by Kaleigh Kanary