Jolie wasn’t like other kids. Not since that time.
No, maybe not ever.
She’d spend hours out back in the thicket of woods, sometimes just staring up for glimpses of sky; sometimes running her hands along the tree bark with her eyes closed, whispering. Once she pulled apart the carpet of pine needles and laid them flat in a path all through the grove. She made it magic, she did.
I tried to show Harlan but he couldn’t see. “That one ain’t right in the head.” As he left the glade, his boots scuffed all through her pine mosaic.
She was always giving us things too. Once she wove Jilly a purse from hawk feathers and then there was the bow she made Jobe out a some leavings from the downed chestnut.
Then Ricket died.
And God, that kid loved that dog more than all the rest of us combined. For days after, Jolie’d come home covered from head to toe in Virginia mud. Finally, she asked us to see it. That statue she’d made: a perfect likeness of her beloved dog, crafted from nothing but twigs and earth.
Even Harlan could see it then: that kid was special.
This has been an edition of the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt, courtesy Al Forbes. To read more 100-200 word flash fiction inspired by the photo, or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button: