Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.
On the day of the wake for his parents, Chan isn't sure what to do about his little sister, what to tell her. Death is difficult to explain at best, but to a child who isn't even three? See what's going on in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's going on with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!Super Trooper #44 (10.2)
The next day, Chan was conflicted about what to do about Madhu. She had to be told the truth about what had happened, but he wasn’t sure what the best way to do that was. He and Evan did a little research on the Internet, and what they read suggested she was too young to truly understand death. He felt as though if he took her to the funeral home with them, she would just be confused by what she saw, especially when Maa and Pita didn’t move or respond to her entreaties. So he decided to tell her what he could before he left her with Mandy for the short time they would be gone.
Madhu was very bright, and she’d already realized something was wrong… she just didn’t know what. She wandered from room to room, calling for her parents, until one of her siblings distracted her with a toy or a book or something to eat. But Chan knew that couldn’t last forever.
Chan made pancakes for breakfast, covering the cakes in thick fruit jam, the way his mother had. Naturally, Madhu became a huge sticky mess, but he’d expected as much. While Evan sat with Laksha and Kamal, Chan washed his littlest sister and then took her into their parents’ room. On the nightstand beside the bed were framed photographs of the family. He picked up one that contained Maa and Pita when they were just married. How happy they looked. How young. He showed Madhu and she took it from his hands. “Maa,” she said in a confused voice, so pitiful that Chan wanted to cry. But he held himself together for her sake.
Madhu glanced around the room. “Want Maa,” she said, a requested she’d been repeating frequently.
“I’m sorry, baby,” Chan said softly. He pulled her onto his lap, still clutching the photograph. “I’m afraid Maa and Pita are gone. We won’t be able to see them anymore, because they have died.” He knew that the concept of death would be an alien one to her, but someday she would understand. He just needed to lay the foundation for that understanding now.
“See this picture?” He pointed to the photo in her hand. She nodded mutely.
“They were so happy that day because they got married and promised to love each other forever. And they were happy because they knew they were going to have babies to love too. Lasksha and Kamal and you. They loved you so much. Never forget that.”
She gave him a quizzical look. He was sure this words had gone over her head for the most part. Hopefully she would understand and retain the love message.
He kissed her cheek. “Love Madhu,” he said.
“Chan love Madhu?” she echoed. Chan nodded.
“Very much. Maa and Pita love Madhu too. Forever.” He had brought one of her favorite books with him, keeping it out of sight until the right moment. Now he reached for it. Her frown turned into a radiant smile. “Read story?”
“Yes, I’m going to read the story,” he assured her. The book was about an elephant named Babar, and it was one of her favorites. She snuggled into his arms, holding the photo securely, as he began to read.
to be continued
Now see what the other Briefers are up to!