Continuing my run of flash fiction, here’s another bite size story:
He came for me yesterday. I hadn’t been expecting anyone on such a viscous night. I had just stoked the fire when the knocker thudded, once, twice, three times. Somewhere inside me, a familiar sensation exploded, memories prodding and poking their way to the fore.
My fingers fumbled with the catch and then the door was open and free. He stood before me, so different and yet I knew him straightaway. I wondered whether to close the door on him or to clasp him to my chest and never let him go.
I did neither. I stood staring at the disheveled and dusty coat, the chapped hands and cloth cap perched askew. Perhaps he wasn’t so different after all.
Questions popped into my mind. Where have you been? Why did you go? Why have you come back? What do you want from me? Are you going to hurt me again?
Pain pushed its way to the front of my mind. I looked down at my hands, unclenching the fists to reveal deep crescent-shaped cuts where my jagged nails had dug. I gasped as he stepped forward and took my hand. Tears pricked his eyes as he stroked first one palm, then the other, his rough skin somehow soothing.
I closed my eyes remembering the bedtime stories, trips to the park and the zoo, fun times at the cinema and playing games at home. I couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t there for me or for Mum – until he met Janet.
I opened my eyes and my tears joined his. Suddenly the whys didn’t matter. I let myself be held in his strong arms, a daddy’s girl once more.