“I know, darling”

I decided to write a slightly different type of short story this time, let me know what you think …

Entering the premises, Doug noticed a dolly in a shallow puddle. He crouched to look at it and gingerly shook his head (as gingerly as a ginger can) and continued up the path. He walked into the kitchen and was instantly engulfed in silence, but something just wasn’t right. There were chocolate chips strewn across the counter and sticky smears on the table. Then he heard it: an odd, hiccuppy sound was coming from upstairs.

Curious, he put his hand on the banister and his foot on the first step up to Emily’s room. Sticky. He raised his hand to his face and examined it – obvious globs of apricot jam clung to the crevices between his fingers. He responded with a small sigh. Wiping them with a not-so-clean hankie, he slowly ascended the staircase, whistling the tune that had always managed to soothe her in the past – but he had to remember she wasn’t a baby anymore.

“Em, darling?” he called from the doorway. No reply, but a definite Emily outline in her bed. He pulled down the Hello Kitty covers and there she was, fully clothed with fists to her eyes; his only reminder of Jess at her most beautiful. His lovely daughter curled up on her side and hugged Marmaduke, her rather ratty stuffed elephant. “I miss Mommy,” she whispered. “I know darling,” he said while gently patting her on the head.