Madame Dubois entered the dull, grimy mill, shook out her umbrella, and called brightly: “Henri, François, I hope you didn’t get too wet.”
Spreading the quilt created a dust storm, but Madame held a hander-chief to her face, and the choking was minimal. “I must bring a broom again next time,” she thought.
She unpacked the basket: plates, knives, 2 kinds of cheese (Henri and François had different tastes), fresh baguette, newly churned butter, ale, milk, honey. Heavy load to carry from the farm house.
“Come along,” she called, listening for their whispers, their laughter, and running footsteps. Soon the old mill echoed with them from a thousand corners and cracks.
Her boys. Always at play. Always wanting to explore, discover, enjoy.
Madame Dubois packed up the left overs. There was a definite sadness in her eyes. A rarely shed tear streaked down her cheek. It was hard for her to come every week, to bring their luncheon. But how could she abandon them. She knew they died that day, playing in the mill; the boys just hadn’t realized it yet.
Witten for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge 12: Henri Rousseau and abandon