After you guys award me with the “Least Consistent Blogger Ever” trophy, I’ll make sure to mention how two weeks in to my brand new weekly feature I managed to lose track of it and skip two weeks in a row. My most sincere apologies. I will try to get back on track next week.
I know I promised you a full story, and so here it is. It was written while I was listening to a country song of which I no longer remember the title and/or artist. So if you can figure out which one, you win at being Kat’s mind.
I hope you enjoy our long overdue trip on the magic carpet!
The man trudged into the house, needing to see his son, but dreading what was coming. He dragged his hands through his hair, rubbed his tired eyes, and walked down the never-ending hallway that led to his son’s room.
The door creaked as he eased it open. The boy was half-lying, half-sitting up against his pillows. His drooping eyelids snapped open as he noticed his father. His eyes shone with an excitement that dimmed as he looked his father over, seeing the shadows under his eyes and the strained look to his face.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” he asked tremulously. His hand reached out to clutch his father’s shirt.
“I have a story to tell you, champ,” he said. He rubbed his palm on his beard, paused to think. “A long time ago, there was a little boy about your age,” he started.
His son interrupted. “Am I going to like this story, Dad?” In that strange way children have, the boy already knew the answer.
“I don’t think so, bud. Let me finish.”
The boy’s eyes filled. “Okay.”
“He was going fishing with his dad one day. He’d woken up early, dug up the bait, and gathered what they’d need. He’d even made bologna sandwiches for lunch. They were just about to walk to the river when a little girl came through the front gate, holding a fishing pole.
“His father looked at her and smiled, then told him, ‘We can’t leave her behind.’ The boy begged and begged his father not to take her. This was a man’s outing, he claimed, and she’d just get squeamish when it came to gutting the fish. He had a whole list of objections, all perfectly valid, to his way of thinking. But his father just waited, patiently as ever, for the deluge to stop. ‘Someday, son,’ he said, ‘someday you’ll feel differently.’
“So they went fishing, the three of them. A wise man, a furious boy, and a sweet girl.” The man paused, heaved a sigh, and pressed his fingers to his tired eyes. He looked down at his son, and his tears almost spilled.
“They grew up together, got older, fell in love. They eventually married, and were ecstatic to find out that they were to have a son.” As he said this, the man reached out and put a hand on his child’s cheek, needing the comfort of touch.
“They were parents, and they loved it. They decided they wanted more children. It took longer this time, much longer, but there came a day when they found out that they were having another.” His voice broke, and a tear finally did roll down his cheek.
“So the day arrived for the girl to birth her second child. After hours and hours, the doctor came out to speak to the man. The father. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. The man jumped to his feet. ‘What do you mean, you’re sorry?’ he demanded. The doctor looked sad and tired as he patiently informed that the child had been stillborn, and that—” He broke off, unable to continue.
“And that what, Dad?” the child asked, tears already tracking down his cheeks.
“That there had been complications. And the girl had died giving birth to their daughter.”
The boy sobbed. He looked at his father, his hero. “The story’s about Mom, isn’t it,” he said, more statement than question. “About you and mom and the baby in her tummy.”
The man’s heart broke at the understanding and love in his son’s eyes, and the resignation in his voice. “Yes, champ, it is.”
They reached for each other, and wept in each other’s arms in the darkness of the night.
As always, input is welcome, and thanks for reading!