Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dark House

**Prompt from All_Unwritten**

Prompt 153
*Dark House*

Just a little light inside me
It burns bright, burns bright
Just a little light inside me
Burnin' bright in the cold of the night

Singing to herself, she huddled closer in the corner, pushing nightgowned flesh farther into the slatted wood. It was silent now; maybe Mah had gone to bed finally. The girl hoped this was the case, but knew better than to make a sound or move from her position. She tucked her knees closer under her chin, toes curling in an effort to make her slight frame even less.

She looked into the blue-black of the room, seeing nothing in this dark house but sparklers and shades of her own imagination in the gloom. She could hear the kitchen clock tick away the seconds until morningtime, when Mah and Daddy would come back downstairs and begin baking biscuits and frying eggs. Then Daddy would sit at the kitchen table and read the national news, and hand her the Sunday funnies so she could take them and open them full on the livingroom floor, half-remembered scenes with Silly Putty playing themselves out in her mind as she read about Dagwood and Blondie.

That would probably be another six or seven hours from now. The girl swallowed, and huddled into herself more, pulling her thin nightgown over her toes to keep them warm.

A movement, a sound in the doorway. She froze, not even daring to let go her breath. She didn't think it was Mah; Mah turned on lights to find her. She hoped it wasn't one of the ghosts. Her heart beat so loudly she knew its drumming was attracting the thing in the hall. She tried to remember the words to her Guardian Angel prayer, but felt her brain turn to stone as icicle fingers seemed to wrap around it. Two huge eyes flashed close to her, picking up light where there was none, inspecting her. Something cold tried to push its way into her left cheek and she was to terrified to scream.

Her face was suddenly wet and warm, and softness pushed against her thin arm. Her tears began flowing as she wrapped her limbs tightly around the family's Irish Setter who knew what had happened, and knew the girl needed someone right now, even if it was only a dog. The Setter laid down, still tangled in the girl's arms, and gently pulled the girl down as well, knowing the girl would fall asleep with her head at the dog's belly. One red-furred paw rested protectively on the girl's shoulder as her silent sobs faded into the even breathing of slumber.

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