This piece has been inspired by the photo prompt. I have borrowed it from Picture it and Write. After 5 edits I finally got it down to only 5 words over the upper limit. I couldn’t actually bear to cut any more out. I got to the point where I felt I would lose impact rather then improve the story. As always, please feel free to leave constructive criticism.
Abby huddled into the scavenged blanket. Wet from the rain; it was ice. Abby huffed into her palms, pleased with futile warmth. A discontented glance at her woollen hat informed Abby that tonight would be spent in the shelter. Abby daydreamed of hot showers and warm rooms as the pennies winked mockingly under street lights. Her ‘earnings’ were barely enough for a hot drink…
It was a wretched lifestyle. In a bitter realization Abby knew it wasn’t miserable. Misery was living with Her. Abby choose the freedom of uncertainty over oppressive manipulation; infrequent, random harassment over certain abuse. Unbidden, the memories stirred; smiling faces from before Her time taunting Abby. She imagined her brother, Callum, looming over her. Ah~ now I’m hallucinating. “I found you,” He said. Is he crying? Callum’s strong arms settled around her wet shoulders with her sense of reality. “Come home. Pa is worried.” He was so warm. Abby’s resolve snapped.