The boy had likely drowned, but his body hadn’t washed up on shore yet, so his parents held some hope he’d still be found. They talked of other possibilities, trying to keep the quaver from their voices. As though their somewhat dishonest certainty that he survived would be enough to make it so.

Boats dragged the river, as men in high rubber boots and dogs walked in a line, perpendicular to the water. The soft muck sucking at their feet. The river had receded, shrunken by half, just like the town’s hope of finding him as the days wore on.

Prompt courtesy of the Daily Post.


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