Time for Bed

A child's action figures

This is a weekly invitation to write a short piece of fiction (~200 words) based on a photo prompt (above) provided by Alastair Forbes. Click the pic for his site and find more stories you’ll enjoy!

The door to Tommy’s room always stuck but a little hip action helped. Even after ten years, the scuffed trim where the door rubbed was stubborn but, so was she.

“Time for bed little mister.”

Katherine plucked toys from the floor and returned them to shelves and the plywood toy box.

She heard the springs of the bed complain under the weight of a jumping little boy. They could have been squealing with delight. She wasn’t sure where the bed stood in the matter but it ended as soon as she turned. She didn’t even have to give him “the look”.

Katherine pulled back the dinosaur comforter, sat on the edge of the twin bed, and filled the room with Dr. Seuss rhymes. She turned the pages purely out of habit. Muscle memory guided her fingers to the softest spot on each page.

Only the sounds of breathing remained and she clicked-off the lamp next to Tommy’s bed before laying her head next to his on the pillow.

“Just for a bit,” she said.

As they did every night, Tommy’s toys stared through the darkness at Katherine in the empty bed.


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