The weed choked stairs led down into a gully, the banks of which were built up with rough ironstone walls, between which the rust coloured river Irwell flowed. Broken slabs of ironstone littered the floor of the river. Jack hurried down the steps and waded into the ice cold water, within seconds he had grabbed the floundering child. Their only hope now was the rickety wooden rungs that had once been used by an engineer from the mill to operate a ratchet handle to let water into the mill leat. As he placed the child’s hands on a rung Jack’s feet were swept from under him.
Flash fiction in response to a Friday Fictioneers photograph [15-01-2016] showing neglected steps. Photo credit Amy Reese.