word count 691, little girl's experience of dad coming home from prison.
Prompt: Once upon a (blank).
The day daddy came home from prison, me and the sisters sat on the front porch waiting for mommy to come home. The sky was a misty grey, full of clouds, and we all knew it was going to storm.
"Do you think daddy will still love us?" Gery asked, the youngest of us all. She had been only 3 when we found out daddy had gone to jail, been separated from us all.
I hugged her body tight to my chest, resting my chin on her blond curly hair. I didn't say a word. I just kept my eyes fixated on the dirty, asphalt road and slid my hands up and down her arms. The truth was, I didn't know.
A drizzle began to fall gently from the sky and blanket us with cold water. I shivered from the chill that had been set upon me and hugged Gerty closer. I could feel the goosebumps sliding down her skin and knew she was terribly cold, but we all stayed out there under the soft downpour of sparkling rain. We were going to wait...
Finally, our old dusty grey minivan pulls into the driveway. Our eyes trace its movement into the misty air and the rain erases it from our surroundings. I feel Ella, the second youngest, scooching closer to me and Gerty and I know she, too, needs comfort. Someone to hold onto. I allow her to join our huddled hug and we snuggle closer, eyes still glued to the windows on the car as we await the arrival of him. Daddy.
Mommy steps out first. Her face seems ages older as she emerges from the car door. She looks at us, her dark brown eyes meeting mine, the oldest, and then looks away from our soaked clothes and droopy noodle-like hair. I can't tell what it's going to be like from her expression. We are heading into unknown territory.
Slowly, she makes her way to the side door. Her footsteps make imprints in our concrete driveway. I know I will always remember those steps towards the change of my life.
The car door opens slowly, fitting the mood, and I am suddenly consumed with fear. I am encouraged to close my eyes, not open them wide and truly see daddy. I am forced to choose whether to face him, or coward from the new frontier before me.
Ella clutches my arm with a grip so strong and full of fear and Gerty pulls her knees to her chest. I know now I have to be brave. For them and the rest of my little sisters.
Small strands of greasy brown hair begins to show as the door continues to open. A greying goatee and small moustache emerge from the growing crack Gerty whimpers and I hug her tight. I begin to pray. What for, I do not know.
The being is in full view. His movements are like that of a robot and he seems unstable as his feet touch the ground.
I shed my eyes as he walks towards us. I hear his footsteps splashing in the small puddles caused by the diamond-like rain. They slosh and squeak until they get closer and closer... They're next to me.
Slowly I look up into a pair of blank eyes and a pale, wrinkled face. Ears stick out from his skull like misshapen horns and his nose seems deformed.
He looks down on our huddled mass of 6 sopping wet children and does not seem to recognize us as his own. His pupils stare right through us.
"Hello." He says.
"Hi." I say for all of us. None of us has known what to say since his drunk driving incident. We are all at a loss.
Softly, he steps around our tangled mess of bodies and enters the house.
"He loves us. He's got to." Gerty whispers, though we can all hear it. Tears well up in my eyes and I give her a squeeze. "Can you tell me a story, Annie?" She asks.
Once upon a crime, my daddy was torn away from me.