Before you read my offering for Saturday Centus, let me give you a little background. The day that Maddie turned 12, she had announced that she was now a big girl who no longer needed the comfort of the rocking chair, or her favorite doll. She asked her dad to put them in the attic, to save them for when she had a little girl of her own. That was before the horror of that warm spring evening, when everything in Maddie's life changed forever. The following is the first post I wrote about Maddie, for a Saturday Centus on May 14, 2011. It takes place in 2010:
The attic lay silent in the heat of an August sun. Beams of sunlight, shimmering with dust motes, fell across the glass of the old mirror. Maddy stood transfixed, her wide eyes staring back at her from the reflection in the mirror. The image she saw was that of the child she used to be.
Slowly, she turned and found her place in the little rocker. Sitting down with her baby doll held gently in her arms, she began to rock and sing. Then she became aware of her father, standing beside her.
"Hi, Maddy," he said. "What are you doing?"
Here is the second part of Maddie's story, which I submitted on May 21, 2011:
In the stillness of an August afternoon, Maddy sat rocking, softly singing, "Hush, little baby, don't you cry..." Her sweet voice echoed in the dusty attic.
"Where is she?" Simon asked.
"In the attic--where else?" Maren replied. “She’s there every day, now. Rocking. Rocking and singing. I should be glad, I guess. I know where she is.”
Simon, frowning slightly, climbed the stairs.
"Hi, Maddie!" he said cheerfully. "What are you doing?"
"Just practicing," came the reply.
"Practicing?" he asked.
"Yes. When I grow up, I want to be just like Mama!"
“That’s good, baby, that’s good!”
Now, here is part three of Maddie's story. The prompt is in bold type.
He brought Maddy's old rocker down from the attic to the porch, where he removed the dust and cobwebs, and polished it until it shone like a new penny. Then he placed it in her bedroom.
"Maddy's coming home," he thought to himself, "and I want things to look as normal as possible. She needs 'normal'."
After tidying up the bedroom, he placed her favorite doll in the chair, and added a vase of fresh flowers on her desk. The chair dominated the small room. He stood back and admired the vignette, satisfied that it looked as if Maddy had only been away for a day.
That's it for this week, Centusians! I hope you found my little story interesting. It's been a challenge trying to write this morning with a 17 pound Mulligan constantly trying to get in my lap. He's such a baby, and needs the comfort of his mom close by all day long!!!