scared in the dark

“Follow me into the dark,” she said. 

We were upstairs in the hallway. It was 3 a.m. We couldn’t sleep. She was clutching Lamby to her chest and holding my hand. 

“You’re seven years old,” I said. “What do you know about the dark?”

She stopped. I couldn’t see a thing, but I could hear a plow truck revving and scraping, revving and scraping. I could hear the old windows rattling and feel the icy air creeping through cracks. She let go of my hand.

“I know where the light is,” she said. “That should be enough.”

I reached for her but touched only darkness. l knew she was there but could not feel her and I could not hear her. There was only the scraping of metal on concrete, the rattling windows, and the cold welling up all around me.

“Where are you?” I asked.

She flipped on the light and was smiling.

“Don’t be scared, Daddy. I’m right here,” she said.

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