Friday, January 25, 2013

Prompt: Plate of sunshine

Natasha didn’t remember her first mother and father. Her real ones. She didn’t know how she knew, she just did. These parents were nice enough, most of the time, but they weren’t hers. She thought there might have been others before them. Faces she could almost remember, but not quite.

She was sleeping when the men came. She didn’t hear them knock on the door. She didn’t see her parents look at each other in alarm. Didn’t see her mother start to run up the stairs and her father reach into the front closet for a rifle hidden behind a wall panel. Didn’t hear the front door kicked open, or the muffled shots.

She startled awake when a man lifted her to his chest. “Hush, little one. You’re safe now. We’ll get you out of here.” She tried to turn her face from the stinky cloth, but then she felt woozy and fell back to sleep.

The sun streamed through the pink curtains and shone in her eyes. She shook her head and looked around. This wasn’t her room. She had white curtains with little flowers on them, and a matching pillow. And Bunny-Bear.

She remembered the man and frowned. He took her away from her parents. Where were they? Where was she? She looked around for Bunny-Bear. He had fallen onto the floor, and she climbed down to pick him up in a tight hug.

The door opened, and young woman walked in with a tray. She carried it to the table under the window. She didn’t seem to notice the pretty white curtains. Or Bunny-Bear.

“Good morning, Natasha. Come have breakfast.”

“Who are you?”

“Don’t be silly, dear, I’m your Mum.”

Natasha shook her head and buried her face into Bunny-Bear.

“Darling, no play acting. It’s time for breakfast. Then we’re going to go see Daddy in his office, won’t that be fun?”

Natasha peeked around Bunny-Bear. The woman nodded. She looked nice. She had long straight brown hair, tucked behind her ears. Natasha wished she had yellow curly hair like her last Mummy. She climbed down from the bed and sat at the table to eat her breakfast. The woman kissed the top of her head and went out of the room. Natasha heard the click of the lock in the door.

The driver helped them out of the car, and Natasha could see him in the window reflection, admiring them as they walked toward the building. She and her mother were dressed in matching bright blue coats, with white fur muffs and ear cuffs peeking out from their golden curls. She wished her mother had let her bring Bunny-Bear, but he was sitting on her bed at home.

Inside the building everyone bowed to her mother and stepped back to give them plenty of room to pass. Natasha watched everything with sharp blue eyes peering out of her somber face.

“Here, darling, you sit here and play these games for a bit. I’m going to talk with Daddy.” Her mother kissed the top of her head again and walked out. Natasha didn’t hear a lock click, but she knew the door was locked just the same. They always were.

She hummed to herself and played the matching game for awhile. Then she climbed down and wandered around the room, peering into the mirrors. Sometimes if there was enough light behind the, she could see people watching her.

She went back to the table to have tea with Bunny-Bear. He wanted sugar, but there wasn’t any in the pot. She drank her tea plain anyway. She snuggled onto the floor with Bunnie-Bear and looked at picture books until she fell asleep.

She woke up when a man came in the room. She didn’t know him. He looked nice. He crouched down beside her and touched a finger to her chin.

“It’s all right, Natasha,” he said. “Noone can hurt you now.”

She lifted her head, golden curls tumbling around her sleepy, innocent face. Her smile was a plate full of sunshine.

“I know.”

He held out his hand. She reached up and tucked her chubby fist into his fingers.

“Come on, little one. I’ll take you home.”

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

January word count:

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