This is a flash fiction I wrote a few weeks ago, in a sudden burst of inspiration. This is a scene from a much bigger, discombobulated storyline that I have no plans of formally developing anytime soon. The characters have backstories, names, personalities, but I think a touch of ambiguity helps to make this ficlet palatable to the rest of the world. 😛
She’s the first thing he sees when he finally opens his eyes, the faint traces of pain hazy through the medications. “Hello, Dad,” she says quietly. Her words are laced with sadness and longing. There’s more she wants to tell him, but now’s not the time – will there ever be another?
He greets her weakly by a name that’s not hers. But she holds his hand and lets the conversation run to mundane things, things that hadn’t happened to her. She’s making up the answers as she goes along.
Someone tells her it’s time to go – the voice is impatient, gruff. The gruffness conceals years of jealousy, and pain.
She excuses herself, promises to return later. A lie. “It was nice seeing you,” she says, glancing over her shoulder. It was nice meeting you, she wants to tell him.
The medications are potent. He drifts back into a dreamless, restful sleep.
Some hours later, he receives another visitor.
“Hi!” Her familiar eyes shine bright with relief. “You’re feeling better!” She’s holding back – she can’t tell if it’s a good idea to hug him around all the tubes and wires.
Faintly, he returns the smile. “Good to see you again,” he says, studying her from the cot. “You changed your hair.”
She runs a hand through her hair. “What do you mean? It’s always been like this.”
His scarred brow furrows in puzzlement. “Hm… It looked different when you came in before.”
“Before?” Now, it’s her turn to be confused. They’ve had him on a lot of drugs since…. “You must’ve dreamed it.”
He grows silent. Somehow, that doesn’t seem right.