General Fiction posted April 17, 2018

This work has reached the exceptional level
A young girl becomes lost in a forest.

Lost Child

by Beck Fenton

Lost - Flash Fiction Contest Winner 

I grew up in logging camps. My ma was the cook for 30 loggers and me. They all slept side-by-side in a huge tent while Ma and I had a tiny little tent all to ourselves. I helped her as soon as I was tall enough to see over the dishpan to rinse the plates and utensils. I loved helping her.

Ma taught me my letters and the loggers would bring me a book to read on their off days spent in town, leaving their cash in the closest bars. By the time I was ten I had discovered worlds that existed side-by-side with mine. Places like Narnia and Wonderland. The Wizard of Oz was my favorite. One day I decided to follow the yellow-brick road to meet the wizard. I followed the road of yellow Trout lilies until I stopped to rest on an inviting rock. That's when I realized how late it was.

I hadn't paid much attention to how far I had walked into the woods, and the sun was hidden by the tall trees. It was almost supper-time and I had no idea where the camp was or even which direction to start. I felt tears starting and for the first time in my life, I felt despair. I cried for the loss of me to my mother, to the loggers who would never see me again, for the worlds still left to read about. Finally, I stopped crying, blew my nose on the hem of my skirt, and tried to stop hiccupping.

I had worn only my blouse and skirt when I set out and I was getting chilled. I decided I'd try to follow the flowers back and at least keep warm that way. I started hollering every once in a while, but there was never any answer. By the time it got too dark to see the flowers my teeth were chattering so I lay down underneath a huge pine tree and covered myself with pine needles.

Birdsong woke me just before dawn. I heard the squirrels chittering at me telling me to get out of their forest. I was cold and hungry but alive, so I brushed off the needles and climbed the pine as high as I could. I could see smoke to the south and I almost slid down that tree as I hurried to reach the ground. I made my way through thickets of brush and over fallen logs. I would holler every once in a while and finally heard an answer. I raced to jump into the arms of my favorite logger, Jimmy. He blew his whistle three times to let the others know I was safe and I teared up again as I heard the answering whistles.

Eventually, Jim and I were married. I carried a bouquet of Trout lilies.

Writing Prompt
Write a flash fiction story under 500 words about being lost

Lost - Flash Fiction
Contest Winner


It took many years to grow back the beautiful Vermont forests after over-logging decimated the woodlands by 1900.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by cakemp55 at

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