40 days of story. Day 1.

‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’

Her hands start shaking on the keyboard.

‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn. bbROwn wti…’

She lifts her hands. Flexes her fingers. Makes a fist. Opens her hands. Shakes them twice. Carefully backspaces the letters away.

‘i, t, w, n, w, ORBB.n’

She stops. Lowers her head to her chest and swears quietly to her heart.

“fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck.” She inhales and looks up. Not at the screen but through it. Imagining the baby shoes. Brown with green turtles on the top. Small, but bigger than she’d expected for a 9 month-old. First time parents.. She smiles remembering how excited they’d been.

He’d lain with his head next to her belly, whispering to the baby. Daft things, exciting things, hopes, dreams, the mundanity of everyday life. “Mummy and Daddy walked around the waterfront today. One day, when you’re older, you’ll walk with us too.” Sentences that talked of the future they’d have together.

“She’s awake”. He’s there in the doorway, secateurs dangling from his hand. “Bring her outside. She can look at the flowers” He grins at her. She rolls her eyes, then grins back. Affection zings between them.

She goes to the baby’s room. The baby is sitting in her cot waiting. Her brown eyes are still sleepy from her nap. She picks the baby up and murmurs to her as she carries her through to the garden. When the shadow of the house is replaced by sunlight the baby wriggles to be put down.

The child skips along the grass. “I had a dream.” she pipes, her voice blending with the birds. “Shall I tell you?”

Her parents smile.

“Of course my love” says her father.

“Of course sweet pea” says her mother.

They watch as she skips around the garden. Her feet don’t touch the ground. The grass is unbroken by her passing.

The child begins “Once upon a time, there lived a princess in a castle…”

Inspired by @sallyheroes 100 days of creativity. First line given by @rmi, last line given by @flexnib.

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