The woman and her friend stumbled along a jagged trail to meet another river, this one strong at the start and weakening as it passed over a dense tangle of broken logs.
They climbed and traversed the ridges of the mountain range, which in this area were stripped of life for miles in every direction.
Following ten yards behind her friend, seeing the dark, shifting emptiness that formed the shape of his shadow, the woman was anxious because her friend had become so sullen and withdrawn.
They shuffled through layers of ash obscuring the trail, crept along one ledge as weak as a cracked flowerpot, and wandered into a wilderness of secrets.
Flash fiction: With a Friend Into the Wilderness © 2012 by Shawn Radcliffe / Branáin
Modeled after “Walking Out” by David Quammen, from Blood Line: Stories of Fathers and Sons