Charli Mills is in reflective mood this week with her prompt
August 31, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a goodbye. It can be the last polka until next time; a farewell without end; a quick see ya later. How does the goodby inform the story. What is the tone, the character’s mood, the twist? Go where the prompt leads.
The Vet, as a child, hated bedtime. I get it but when she woke in the morning like a Mammoth who’d just been de-thawed and realised the reason he jumped into the ice in the first place was the awful toothache, making sure she had enough sleep was critical.
It was the farewell, the ‘night night’ that did upset her most. The abandonment. The uncertainty of sleep, not knowing if everything would still be the same after that small death. So we had stories and books on tape and a slow moving routine for leaving her alone. Often times I’d go to put her to bed and she would appear in the kitchen to tell the Textiliste I had fallen asleep and could ‘mummy stop daddy snoring’.
One part of that routine was a chant that developed over time. It didn’t matter which of us started it but it was very important that it cointinued to an end. An old fashioned version, perhaps, of the Snapchat ‘streak’ that I believe is rather a la mode amongst the pre-pubescent generations.
Don’t let the bed bugs
Nibble Nibble Nibble
See you later
In a while
Not too soon
You big ba
Usually we ended up laughing, wrestling to plant the best raspberry on the other. Not the most obvious way to settle someone to sleep but, then again, our family motto, if we have one, and which is carved on the small plaque next to Dad’s grave, states
Always leave then laughing…
As for Mary and Paul, it’s Paul’s friend’s funeral…
leaving can be so hard
Paul nodded. ‘I feel a fraud going to Jerry’s funeral. I barely knew him.’
Mary held his hand. ‘So don’t go.’
He shook his head. ‘No. I feel guilty, how I ignored his overtures. Now I know how tough things got, I just wonder. If I’d called him…’
‘Shh. It wouldn’t have mattered. If it helps, then go.’
Paul stood by the door. A woman stared. ‘Paul North?’
‘And some. Mrs Marchand now. Why does it take a death to bring people back together, eh? Come on, lots of old faces, lots of old memories.’
If you want to catch up on Mary and Paul’s story click here.