“Frozen in Black Ice”
By Susan Flemming
The moon slipped behind a veil of clouds as Howard stepped down from the cab of the truck. He reached across the seat and carefully lifted the bag into his arms. He knew which pole marked the spot and he made his way through the grass and weeds in the ditch to it's base.
A fine mist of rain fell. Howard felt the wetness soaking through his shirt; felt the chill wind begin to freeze the fabric. It had been drizzling and cold that night too.
He set the bag down and began clearing a circle at the base of the pole. Memories flooded his mind. Always they brought with them the questioning; the if onlies. How many times over the years had he played the if only game.
If only they had waited until morning to head out. If only he'd been able to maintain control a moment longer. If only they'd hit the ditch a few feet further on. If only...
When a large enough circle was cleared, he opened the bag and lifted out a bouquet of white lilies and a wreath. He nailed the wreath to the pole and laid the lilies on the ground.
He stood a moment longer remembering and then returned to the truck. As he pulled away, Howard cranked the heat to high and felt the warmth spread through his body. Somehow though, it could never quite thaw that place in his heart frozen in black ice.
[Published short story and article writer Susan Flemming is currently working on her first fantasy novel set in ancient times; where the magic and mystical meet. Visit her at her website: www.susanflemming.com.]