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from The Brightest Firefly by Dacia M Arnold

The Last Piece

The Last Piece






Soon after starting my first novel, I got stuck. I researched ways to work through blocks and stumbled on the suggestion of working on something else. This began my journey in writing short fiction. “The Last Piece” is my first short story as an adult writer. Note: Grab some tissues and proceed with caution.

If there were ever a perfect place, this is where it would be. The roar of the water would drown out her crying. The search parties had moved through the area already and focused their efforts downstream days ago. It was here where he was last seen on his school field trip. Her baby was lost. The park rangers assumed he fell through the railing into the rushing waters of the creek that ran through the national forest. It was day three. The sky was turning orange. She had not slept, showered, or eaten at all.

Jessica sat down on the wooden path that ran up the height of the waterfall with landings and stairs climbing up, up, up to the top. She felt her feet swell upon relieving them of the pressure of standing. She slipped her back pack off, unzipped it, and pulled out a flag folded into a triangle, a picture frame, a notebook, a pen, a lantern, and a bottle of wine arranging them neatly. She also set aside her coat and a pillow with a cartoon Iron Man where his little head had lay.

The picture was of her, her late husband, and their one and only son three years ago. Her knee-length sundress was yellow and white. Her sunglasses hid her puffy eyes and lack of makeup. Jake was only five and knew his daddy was going to fly helicopters in the desert. He knew about good guys and bad guys, but none of them knew this would be the last time they would all be together. Hank’s Blackhawk was shot down. He had not survived. If it were not for Jake, Jessica Warren would not have survived either.

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