Forever Count

Humming to himself as he was busy preparing her lunch for the next day, he started to slice some fresh bread when he heard….

“Daddy, read it to me again. PLEASE Daddy…”

“Not again,  now go to sleep. You must rest for tomorrow.”

“Please Please Please… Daddy. Just one more time?”

“If you don’t go to sleep, I’ll have to… count your toes

Immediately he heard giggling in the other room. Counting toes meant pulling toes and she was ticklish like crazy. But she loved the attention and loved her Dad. He always had time to read to her at night. Always had time to talk with her about the day when he was there waiting after school to pick her up.

This time with the toe pulling game she had a plan. THIS time she was going to hide in her closet, be quiet as a mouse, and burst out at just the right time to scare her dad. That’s if she could keep from laughing.

“Here I am…” Dad said, “Ready or not.” He suddenly heard giggling in the closet.

Pretending not to notice, he opened one of the drawers of her desk and said “Are you in here?” More giggles from the closet.

He moved over to the bed. “Are you in here?” he asked, holding up the covers and peering underneath the bed. Another round of giggling and scuffling.

Slowly he tip-toed to the closet and opened the door…. “Here you are…”

Suddenly he was bathed in a pure white light. Nauseated, he fell to the ground and closed his eyes. After a minute of time, or was it 10?… he slowly opened his eyes again.

Everything was blurred and out of focus. Panic was starting to overtake him. He thought he saw a round light and the faint shapes of people around him. What was going on? He closed his eyes again and tried to think….

“Daddy, are you still looking for me?”

He opened his eyes and everything was back the way it was. Very strange!

“It must have been an hallucination” he thought, “I’ve just been working too hard, that’s all. Just to be safe,  I’d better have the doctor check me out tomorrow. I pray it’s not my blood pressure again. I can’t afford those pills every day… not with the school I send my daughter to.”

“Daddy, I’m still waiting…” she said, “I’m hiding real good this time. You’ll NEVER find me.”

He started to open the door again and white light immersed everything. His head was spinning and he fell to the ground in a heap. His thoughts screamed in his head.”What could possibly be wrong with….”

Then he suddenly heard voices. Voices right beside him in the room.

“I just don’t know what’s causing it. It’s been a year…”

He closed his eyes and prayed… “Please, please let me live. My daughter NEEDS me. Please!”

He opened his eyes again but he was laying on the floor and his daughter was kneeling beside him.

“Daddy, it’s okay. I’m okay” She said softly.

“What happened to me? Why are you saying it’s okay? Tell me, please!”

“I have to go now…” she whispered then got up and went back to her hiding place and closed the door.

He scrambled to his feet and ran over to the door. But when he opened it, he was struck again with the same blinding light.

“So he’s been like this ever since it happened? Did you see his house? Completely blown to rubble. This hovering death from the sky, sent to kill a terrorist and damn the people around them? They judge us from 3000 miles away and press a button?””

“Yes, they found him in the rubble only because of his screams. He was covered in blood..  just rocking back and forth… holding his daughters body in his arms. One of the ambulance technicians also said that he was counting something but who knows? When they got him in the ambulance, that’s when he went into the coma.”

“But there’s no reason why he should still be in a coma. I’ve tried everything. I know it sounds strange… but it’s almost like he’s fighting us, like he WANTS to be in coma.”

He closed his eyes again. Slowly he opened them again to see that he was standing in his kitchen, preparing a lunch..

“Daddy, read it to me again. PLEASE Daddy…”

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About Krell

I used to have superpowers… but a therapist took them away.
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9 Responses to Forever Count

  1. osori says:

    Dang, Krell! It started so peacefully against my better judgment I thought it was gonna be a nice story about a dad and his daughter. The white light hooked me, and I had to know – great idea to place such a tale in an urban environment – it hit me hard, and this line gave me chills:

    “I have to go now…” she whispered then got up and went back to her hiding place….

    She knows the connection is tenuous, and is trying to help keep him there?

    Wow.

  2. Krell says:

    It’s a dark, bleak story but that was the intention.

    I was trying to express a loving, caring, relationship that every parent could relate with to create a picture of humanity. Give the reader an emotional connection and make the people in it more than just non-entity “collateral damage”. Something that is so easily dismissed and forgotten in the news.

    His subconscious is struggling with his emotional side for self-preservation of his body.

    But the Dad’s choice is this brief “loop of reality”, this last caring moment with his daughter, that gets played over and over in his mind over the unbearable.

    • oso says:

      You did it well, it hit hard man – maybe some will understand others suffer as we do.Loop of reality, wow.

  3. Gwendolyn H. Barry says:

    Yes, dark, black. And if we don’t protest with these dark, black words… everyone thinks it’s okay to kill, ok to torture, ok to burn with nasty chems, ok to lie to whole countries, ok to gouge and poison the Earth….
    Of course, I’m still crying.

    Til everyone understands… the light remains hidden, the dark prevails. Not all the time, but gee, so much of the time.
    A good story David. TY.

  4. scaredstiff says:

    Even a badger cries now and then. This story hit me hard. As you know I think about things and reflect on what was said and what I feel. This story will be with me for a long time.

    • Krell says:

      It can be really tough to tell a story that gets a reader hooked into it emotionally in a short 4 or 5 paragraph post.

      Sorta funny because Morgan read it this morning and when I asked her how she liked it, she said “.. sorta reminded me of one of Oso’s stories.”

      To me that’s about the best compliment. He’s the master of the storytelling and “a sorta” is plenty good for me.

  5. Norman says:

    Goodness Krell, Glad I take my meds before I start my old machine up. This really touched this old man. You sure expressed a parental love, along with the darkness that this Government has entered a stage that doesn’t bode well for humanity, whether by design or. . . . . . . . . . . ! Thanks for the post, this is what’s needed in this country as an eye opener, hope it will get wide exposure.

    • Krell says:

      Thanks Norman.

      Yes, it’s sorta bleak. Perhaps it should have come with a warning not to read before a couple of hours to wake up in the morning.

      De-humanizing the enemy is one of the first goals before or during war. Hopefully this brought some of it back to the reader.

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