Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Broken Glass, Revisited

So I decided to do Finslippy's "The Practice of Writing." The third prompt was: "Go back to one of the prompts you've finished already, and see where you can expand. Flesh out a scene, slow down the action, or examine an aside you brushed past and really focus on it. Expand and expand and expand some more, for as long as the fifteen minutes will allow."

“Honey,” she said. “Would you go wake up Dad?” Her teeth were grinding, loudly in her own ears, and the tendons in her neck hurt, but she hoped her voice still sounded calm. “OK, sweetie?” Her stepdaughter nodded, eyes wide, and tiptoed towards the bedroom.

The towel was already soaked through. She pressed it tighter and looked around wildly for something else to add on top of it. Her own shirt? His? She smiled, or hoped she smiled. Her teeth were still clenched. She could see his were, too. The blood was hot between her fingers.

“It’s OK, baby, it’s OK.” She tried to think of something else to say. She could see white all the way around both of his irises. She wondered what was taking so long. She wondered how anyone could sleep through that shattering crash. She tried not to move or fidget, though standing still was impossible. Her feet were bare against the carpet, surrounded by glittering shards of glass. She could see spots of blood here and there on the carpet. Was it club soda, she thought, stifling a shriek of laughter, that gets out blood stains?

The little girl’s steps moved slowly, and slower, through the bedroom door. It seemed critically important both to wake and not to wake her father. He slept because he worked; he worked because he loved. He loved her. He loved them all. Not to wake him was the most important lesson of her young life, expressed a thousand times with whispers and stern looks. It was what her new Mom wanted most, and her brother: don’t wake Dad. She was afraid, not because of what he’d do to her if she woke him, but because she didn’t want him to be disappointed in her. If he were disappointed, he might leave, too. So she creeped in slowly, on her toes. And she whispered.

“Dad, wake up…” She gingerly reached out a finger to touch him, then pulled back. “Wake up, Dad…”

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