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Flash fiction - under 200 words
Fighting the Light
It really sucked to be poor. As he sifted through the dump searching for food, Dem remembered happier days before his parents were killed by the lighting strike. Back then, the rain still came, occasionally so hard Dem would watch its glistening funnels dance across the river. Now the river was dried up, his parents were gone and instead of clouds, the sky was webbed with deadly golden tendrils of heat.
"That kid is going to get struck," Lara said, lifting hair wet with sweat off her neck. Dem followed her gaze to see a child chasing a ball across the broken bridge. Tendrils coiled above the boy’s head.
"Hey!" Dem yelled, already running, Lara beside him. The boy kicked and played, oblivious to the lightning above. Dem wanted to run faster but he was too weak; the light hit, blinding him. A hand closed around his arm, pulling him to safety. Something sharp jabbed his leg as he collapsed next to Lara.
"We tried," Lara said. Rust from the bridge piling flaked off on her skin.
Dem thought of the boy-shaped pile of ash above their heads. "But it's never enough."