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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2244377-Fiddleheads
by Kris
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Emotional · #2244377
A story about a father's desperate final message.

We finally found him. Bent over, scraping his arm through the field of green fiddleheads that had burst through the melting ground last week, Father's nightgown was soaked through. He had wandered the woods for hours. Saturated with droplets of sublimed snow, the air diffracted morning light in every direction--around Father's frantic silhouette.

I have a message for you.

When no phantasm received his words Father resumed his search and targeted another cluster of ferns.

I have a message for you.

We watched from afar. Uncertain.

Last time Father did not take kindly to our interference and lashed out as we tried to bring him back to this world. Last time he had taken to picking scabs on his chest, exposed by his gown's open neckline.

You're in here somewhere. I know I'll find you.

At least last time Father had stayed in bed.

We approached him cautiously. Not wanting to burst his fantasy too quickly, we played along. Tell us.

Father stopped, stood up and looked towards us. His eyes were wild. Red and unfocused. He had been crying. Tell us.

Father's eyes darted up to the sky, then to the fiddleheads below and in a moment of respite, he saw us.

Will you tell her for me?

The morning was getting warmer, but Father shivered. We took a few steps forward. Who, dad? What do you want her to know?

The illusion lost, he let us approach. We wrapped his grey wool coat over his shoulders. His pleading eyes moved between us on either side.

Your sister. The one I lost. Tell her...I miss her.

As we led him out of the thicket, Father's body slackened in relief. His memory of our sister, whether real or a creation of his mind, was a mystery for another time.

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2244377-Fiddleheads