Writing prompt: TELL YOU WHAT
Provided by: I’m not sure who gave me this one, but I loved it! If it was you, just give me a shout-out, and I’ll link to you.
Tell me a story, Ana says, like she says each night, tell me a story, Daddy.
Tell me that one about the squirrel and the tree, where the tree was not a tree, but a city where the squirrel became king. Or the time you met that black-maned lion on the way home, and got late for my swimming lesson.
I shake my head and smile, there isn’t enough time for stories.
There is all the family still to see her, each one to try and smile at that wee little face grown smaller in the last few months, the tubes and machines running through and into her tiny body. There is so little time.
I try to talk past the rock in my throat.
Then hold my hand and let’s travel, she says, and I remember her first injection last year. When she started crying , I said, “Ana-kins, hold my hand, and let’s travel. We’ll be off together on a plane to never-never land and that injection won’t touch you.”
I had lied, because today, her six-year-old hand is riddled with punctures, and a small needle still wages a losing battle.
I’ll get Mommy, I say.
Don’t go, Daddy, and don’t be afraid, just hold my hand and we’ll go to never-never land, okay?
Okay, I say, I’m right there with you.
Another lie. This time, when she’s really going, I can’t take the plane with her.
Tell you what, my Ana-bel.
I feel a story coming on… I’m going to tell you a story.