The second chapter of my first novel, and brief chapter of the first night without Lucille
Chapter II: A Night with a Crying Baby 2 February, 1918
About a month and a half passed in the Dance household, and young Lucille was growing strong. Every night, Doris rocked her baby to sleep in her crib, singing or humming old hymns. Lucille never cried while Doris hummed, nor did she when Jim was home from work and visiting the tiny infant. However, on the cold night of the second of February of 1918, Jim hatched a plan.
Jim Dance wanted to see Lucille become a mature child, outgrowing her piers. Doris tried to stop him from his plan, but being the stubborn mule he was, he ignored his wife. He moved Lucille's crib from the master bedroom to the room that was solely meant to be Lucille's.
Doris knew her baby would feel unprotected and helpless without the presence of her parents, which was why she refused to let Lucille sleep alone.
"It will be fine, Doris," Jim said as he moved the crib to the room next door. "We must be firm from the beginning."
Doris only shook her head.
It was ten-forty-seven, according to the old grandfather clock when Jim carried Lucille up to her new room. Doris followed him closely, keeping a sharp eye on her child. Lucille showed no sign of protest as Jim carefully laid her to sleep in her wooden crib, nor when he blew out the fine candles that lined her room.
"See?" Jim whispered as he shut the baby's door. "She will be fine."
The two climbed into their bed, and Doris prayed Jim would be right.
The clock struck one when the first of the fits occurred. Jim had gotten up to fetch a glass of water from their kitchen when Lucille's cry sounded. He set the glass down and lumbered upstairs to his daughter's room. As he arrived, he saw Doris rocking Lucille to sleep while she hummed, I Need Thee Every Hour. He smiled and went back to sleep.
Jim fidgeted, rolling around in bed as Lucille cried again. It was two-o'-two in the morning. Doris rose out of bed and went to Lucille's room, already humming, Life's Railway to Heaven. Jim waited for half an hour before his wife returned.
Lucille must've been a comical young lady, for when Doris had gotten comfortable in bed, she starting bawling once more. Doris was about to rise again, but Jim stopped her, beating her to the door. He banged on the door loudly.
"Shut up, Lucille!" he shouted. "Shut up!"
He waited for the crying to cease, but instead it grew louder. He banged on the door harder until his wife stopped him.
"Jim Dance," she scolded him, "that is not how you put a child to sleep!"
Jim glared at his wife for a moment, but let his shoulders sag. He apologized quietly, and Doris went into the baby's room. She came back, humming, Now the Day Is Over; Lucille was in her arms.
"Jim," Doris whispered. "Will you do me the honor of moving Lucille's crib back into the master bedroom with us?"
The man nodded. "Yes, my dear," he answered.
Eight o'clock rang the grandfather clock and the cold morning sun was shining brightly. Jim arose, rubbing his dull gray eyes and stretched. He climbed out of bed. Lucille was fast asleep in her wooden crib; Jim never recalled her waking after he moved the crib back. He glanced at his wife, who was still asleep, and whispered, half to her, half to himself, "I promise, I will never move Lucille's crib again."
He silently crept out of the master bedroom, down to the kitchen for a glass of water. As he left, he thought he heard Lucille whimper.