Yesterday, I posted the writing prompt for Friday entitled Burnt Offerings. Since Inkwell meets every Friday night, I decided to toss it at the other Inkwellers. So, we wrote awhile, and this is what I came up with; unedited and unabridged.
The corners of the photo curled at the edges, the image bubbling and distorting the cherubic face pouting at the camera. The sepia tones burned black as the infant’s face was obscured, burnt black by the flames. Elizabet kicked a stray piece of wood at the fire, embers and ashes exploding upward and dying as they fell. She drew the back of her hand across her tear-streaked face, leaving tracks of soot over her cheeks. The photograph gone, she dropped a lace bonnet into the fire.
“What do you feel this will accomplish?” Avery’s voice jolted her back to some semblance of lucidity. “She was my child, too, Liz.”
Elizabeth whirled around, rising and turning in one fluid motion. Her eyes lit on Avery, leaning on her infant daughter’s open casket. Without a second’s hesitation, her hand flew, striking him full in the face.
It was the resounding crack more than the impact that stunned him, his cheek flowering a brilliant red. “You’ll be sent off if the guests see you like this,” he snapped. “You aren’t the only mother to mourn a child.” Avery, her husband and her love turned cold since the death of their child, left Elizabeth alone with the casket.
She sank to her knees with a sob and resumed dropping tiny Christening clothes into the fire, piece by piece.