She giggled as the monarch flitted in front of her outstretched fingers.
Blonde curls knotted across her forehead, bare toes crunched decaying leaves through the open meadow while her white sundress caught the wind.
At the edge of the field stood a willowy woman, frozen in thought.
"Emma, time for us to go!"
The toddler ran further, determined to touch the butterfly.
"Emma honey, we need to get home to make some dinner," the woman said, not moving.
The blonde curls reached the edge of the open space.
"Emma baby, Mommy is serious now, it's time for us to leave."
Tiptoes headed into the first of the trees.
"Emma you need to turn around now, Daddy is waiting for us at home. Mommy is going to count to three! One..."
A loud crack signified a tree branch breaking behind the dark haired woman, but she didn't flinch.
Unnoticed by the woman, a rough hand reached out for her shoulder.
An arm whisked her around to face a blonde man towering over her.
"Emma's gone honey. You know this. She's been gone for two years."
This flash fiction piece was written linking up with Catherine Valentine: feel free to join her creative writing challenge for October!