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Page Turner Challenge: Picks

Ashes and Dust by Gina MacArthur

Simply beautiful.

They were the first words -the only words - that sprang to mind as he looked down at her face. 

The curve of her nose was perfect. Her eyelashes -wispy and delicate -lay softly against her skin, unblemished and smooth.

Then suddenly he was struck by the memory of seeing her just yesterday. Or was it last spring? He couldn’t place the image that leapt into his mind, but he remembered it vividly for some reason. 

She’d been working in her garden, carefully separating the weeds from the tender new shoots that had appeared at the base of the lilies. It was her favourite way to clear her head when the world had crowded in, pressing against her soul and demanding her attention. Her garden brought her peace -gave her wings.

Rising from her knees, she’d splayed her hands in front of her like a little girl, showing him the dark earth on her hands. The stark contrast of the loamy soil against her creamy skin stood out, like a harbinger of the moment he was now experiencing.

As he remembered the smile that creased her face he suddenly realized that he’d never again see that mischievous glint in her eye, nor would he hear the lilting, girlish giggle that passed her lips.

With a sigh, he picked up the scalpel. This would be the hardest autopsy he’d ever performed.

Gina MacArthur is from Kippens, NL

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