TITLE: A Fool's Errand
The shadow of night had not yet crept away when five year old Dara Douglas woke.
“Mommy,” she called. The glow of the tiny carousel lamp was not enough to penetrate the dark corners of her room and she hugged Mr. Gruffy closer to her.
When no one came she pulled back the covers and climbed out of bed. Her thin cotton nightie with the image of Josie and the Pussy Cats had become cracked and peeled, the result of one too many washings and offered little warmth against the chill of early April in New England. Little feet met cold floor causing her to shiver. She slid into her mules, a funny name for pink fuzzy slippers, and headed into the hall relishing the scuffing sound they made on the hardwood floor. Passing the bathroom she stopped just outside her parents’ room. Mr. Gruffy hung from one small hand, the other gripped the knob. The door was partway open and she stepped inside the room.
“Where’s Mommy?” Dara asked rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
Her big brother Dash sat alone on their parents’ bed.
“She had to go out for a while.”
“When’s she coming back?”
Dash looked away for a moment then pressed his hands to his forehead.
Just like Daddy does when he gets a headache or when Mommy asks if he remembered to pay Mr. Martinelli the rent. Or like when the angry man came to the house last week.
“Well?” she shrugged.