The Sweetest Lies

April 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm (Short Stories)

Written in response to Chuck Wendig’s writing challenge “A Terrible Lie”, based around one character lying to the other.
This is my story, I call it “The Sweetest Lies”

——————— 

“I promise it’s going to be ok.” She looked up at him from where he cradled her in his arms, her head gently rocking from the motion as he walked. She frowned and clutched her doll closer to her.

“Are you sure?” She didn’t look convinced. Her eyes were glazed with pain as she focused intently on his face. Snowflakes settled on her flushed cheeks and melted, but more slowly than they should have.
“I’m positive,” he looked at her, trying to look as convincing as possible, “have I ever lied to you before?”
“Well…” She screwed up her face, thinking, “What about when you told me about the monster that eats little girls?”
He felt like she’d stabbed him.
“That wasn’t very nice of me was it? Well except for that. Have I ever lied to you except for that?”
“No. I don’t think so.”
“Well, then trust me now. I’m sorry I told you about the monsters. I promise I will never let anything hurt you.”
She smiled at him then, and when she did he could see the blood staining her teeth pink. He walked faster, his heart pounded in his chest as the panic began to take him all over again.
The blizzard was supposed to be the worst they’d had in Michigan in twenty years. The weatherman had been warning about it for the last day, but they said it wasn’t supposed to get bad until later that night. The weatherman had been wrong. He’d thought he would have time to take her into town. She was his little angel, his first daughter, and every year since her second birthday he’d taken her to the same toy store to pick out her present. It was her sixth birthday, it was an important birthday, and he couldn’t let her down on this birthday. The weather had started looking ominous while they were in the store, but he had still thought he would have time to make it home. When he had gotten halfway home, he had begun to curse himself for deciding to move so far out into the country; the weather was awful, the snow was piling up on the road, he couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of him and he still had another ten miles to go. Then he overshot a turn in the dark, hitting the brakes only spun the car out  and it shot over an embankment and struck a tree. He didn’t wake up for a long time, but when he did she was the first thing he thought of, his leg felt sprained, but he made himself get out and walk on it. He found her in the snow. She’d been thrown from the car and he found her lying in a snow bank nearby. She was awake and she looked up at him when he approached.
“Hi Daddy,” she said, “are you okay?” But then she coughed and the blood was there, staining her white jacket with those terrible red droplets. The doll he had bought her was lying next to her in the snow. He handed it to her and hugged her. He didn’t want to move her, but his phone had died searching for signal and he knew no one would see the car in the dark. So he had picked her up, carefully, carefully and started carrying her the ten miles towards home.
She started crying. He held her close and felt how cold she was. She was shivering badly now.
“You know what I’m excited about?” He asked her.
“I don’t know, Daddy” she said, between chattering teeth. “What are you excited about?”
“I’m excited to get home and have some warm chicken noodle soup. How does that sound to you?”
“I’m not very hungry, my stomach hurts.” Her voice was very quiet now. Her breathing came more and more shallowly.
“Well, we could get the fire going and curl up together and watch Scooby Doo. How about that?”
She smiled wanly and nodded her head slightly, as if speaking were too much of an effort. Her eyes closed again.
“Hey… It’s going to be ok. I promise. I’ll make sure it’s ok.”
Her eyes opened again slowly, big blue spots on the background of white. She looked hurt at the suggestion.
“I believe you, daddy. I’ll always believe you.” She closed her eyes again.
The tears came then that he’d been holding back. He started running. Each step made pain shoot up his leg, but he only ran faster, each footstep jolting him awake with a stab of alertness. He ran until the frigid air seared in his chest with each breath. He ran until he couldn’t feel his feet. He ran until he tripped on a rock covered in snow and stumbled. Her head jerked in his arms as he lost his footing. He fell to his knees, cradling her head against him, crying.
Eventually he stood, tears frozen on his face and looked at her. She looked as beautiful as ever in his arms, but her skin was cold to the touch and white as a sheet. He couldn’t even see her breathing anymore.
“You are just sleeping aren’t you sweetheart?” He asked her, tracing a finger across her face, trying to convince himself more than anything. His desire to walk, to get home to the warmth was evaporating. He didn’t even feel so cold anymore. Mostly he was just tired.
“Let’s take a nap.” He whispered to her, quietly for fear of waking her. He laid her down in the soft snow and curled up in a ball around her. He felt almost warm now, and so tired. He kissed her on her cold cheek before he laid his head down.
“I told you it was going to be ok,” he said, “Daddy’s got you.”

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4 Comments

  1. Louise Sorensen said,

    Beautiful!!! So sad.
    Really good job. *wipes tears*

  2. sarahhans said,

    Good story, very emotional.

  3. Toni said,

    Beautiful. Really.

  4. samiam164 said,

    Thanks for all the positive feedback! I really appreciate it.

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