This week's flash fiction prompt is below. The events of the last week have been so front-of-mind that I had to say something hopeful.
Through the Knothole
It happened first when she was a child. Tamara’s treehouse in the woods, old and weather beaten, was her refuge from the terrors of the world. A refuge from the shootings and diseases and all the ugliness the world had to offer.
She was hiding out one evening when the sunset cast a golden beam through that knothole in the wall. She had been meaning to patch it for weeks, lest the squirrels found their way in. But that night, exhausted, she watched dust motes dance in the beam, mesmerizing in their randomness. Her head nodded and her eyes fluttered, then closed against the glare shining from the East--wait. Tam's eyes flew open. Something wasn’t right. The sun sets in the West, but the knothole faced the other way. A shiver of fear ran up her back at the wrongness of it. Someone, or something, was invading her sanctuary. Every instinct told her to back away, to run from the light, but she would not be cowed by fear. This was her special place and she would defend it.
Crawling on her knees, Tam snuck up to the hole. She gulped, fear tasting metallic in her mouth. Taking a deep breath, she put her eye to the knothole and peaked through into a new world. A world free of pain, free of hate, and full of love. She smiled.