Lovers' Bridge -- FWG Flash Fiction for 10/23/2021
I missed a couple of weeks due to travel to sunny Myrtle Beach, SC for some end of the season golf. The weather was perfect, the golf less so. But, I'm back with this weeks piece, "Lover's Bridge" inspired by this prompt:
The road washed into the canyon sometime when Samuel's grandfather's grandfather was a boy. No one remembered how it was made, nor who made it. Where the stones came from and how they were hauled to the top of the ridge were two mysteries lost to the mists of time. Old as it was, the road had always been little used, anyway, since the towns it connected were home to two long-feuding clans. The root of their deadly dispute was, like the road’s origins, also long forgotten. After the washout, it became a battleground for the clans' children to throw snowballs across the gap, playing at being the soldiers they would one day become. We put up the flimsy walking bridge after Samuel clambered down into the gap during a rainstorm and slipped over the edge. He was returning from an illicit liaison with Gwendolyn, the daughter of the other clan's headman. It seems they had somehow progressed from throwing snowballs to being lovers, then to becoming expectant parents. As his brother, it was my responsibility to carry Samuel's broken body home from the base of the cliff. There I met Gwendolyn's brother, dispatched on the same mission as me. He and I had, as had the rest of the clans’ youths for generations, progressed from throwing snowballs and shouting insults, to shooting arrows at each other.
In grief and despair, we called a truce, and together we searched a day and a night for our kin. Finally, we found the lovers still locked in their final, desperate embrace.
The truce and its symbol, the Lovers’ Bridge, has joined our clans ever since. Our little bridge now hosts many weddings every year.