The Freedom of Walking. Flash Fiction by María Ángeles Mañueco-Ramos

The wind swept the tall albino grass high over darker leaves, and on top of the laden branches of a variety of trees. A note of colour from budding flowers amid weltering tulips, not a cloud in the sky. The narrow path went in a serpentine design down the hill, a few benches stood here and there. In the distance despite the howl of the foliage, she could hear the chatter of people approaching.
She made her way down until she could see the road and the parked cars through the vegetation. At that moment, a train passed, a metal ghost peeping through ancient branches. The breeze smelt of cut grass and seaweed. Earlier, on the bridge, she had seen the waves forming like ripples in an ice-cream machine, salted caramel on her imagination’s palate.
A woman was lying on her belly, two sandy Labradors by her side, wagging their tails and sniffing around the bushes with gusto, hot under the cover of their thick coats. They would enjoy the gusts of wind, she thought, a smile on her face.
A family walked by with three small children, a mother’s solicitous hand extended to the younger one, little steps in the climb from the lower path among the trees to the splendour of the lower garden. She let them pass and then looked up, to the imposing silhouette of the big house above, the pretending turrets, the grandeur of a way of life long gone, except if one is a rock star, of course. The thought tickled her mind. Either way, she would be staff or a paying visitor at best.
It was warm in that sheltered area, the sun glorious in the afternoon sky, nothing shimmered in the air, even on the far horizon over the sea. Before entering the stretch of the trail under the trees, she looked back, just for another minute, to the harmony of nature and man-made structures, their contrast remarkably mingled.
She strolled down the less steep trail, her hand caressing the trunks of the trees, some with ivy reaching for the light over the canopy of leaves. The roots protruded in places. There were little noises that small creatures made as they scurried around, screened by the overgrown vegetation of that forest apprentice that hugged the estate away from the rail tracks.
The steps at the end were wide and modern, an eyesore for art connoisseurs. Once she reached the actual bridge, she could see like in a tunnel an endless surface of rough sea and the sky merging into each other in the distance. It was peaceful, not much traffic underneath, all the noises softened by the protective fences each side of her. She lingered for a few minutes at the other side, taking in all the beauty of nature at its best. At the bottom, a gap in the overgrown vegetation showed the way down to the private beach. She moved on.
Bio & Link
I write in Spanish and English and I’m member of a local writers’ group. The lockdown has been very challenging for all, and being able to exercise and enjoy the local ammenities have been an important part of our well-being


  1. Very nice piece. Enjoyed it.

  2. Good stuff Maria. I would say that though.

  3. This is a very evocative piece capturing the solace many have found in nature. For most of us the opportunity to experience on a daily basis the beauty around us has been truly revealing and has allowed us the opportunity to take a breath away from the stresses of daily life.

  4. Hola Angeles!
    I love this piece. Your descriptions leave a lasting feeling in the reader, a smooth thread that sometimes breaks unexpectedly with a surprise.
    Hope you get to take lots of walks with your Family , Nikki ( née Godoy)

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