A grieving father finds solace in the last spark of life he has left... his daughter.
Lucy's father checked on her only once, his eyes tired and his mouth tight. He hugged her, stroked her unwashed hair and told her very simply that they had lost her little brother. She thought that was a funny way to say it; how can you lose a baby? But she knew what he meant and not to ask questions. She saw in his eyes that he was grateful. Lucy would wait to ask her mother. If they ever let her in. She always asked her mother because of how her father's eyes went. They would stare through her, then past the wall behind and eventually he would answer, soft voice lilting on and on. Sometimes he would reach an answer, but usually she had to dig it out of his stories. When she was younger this had been quite a game, but now she grew tired of trying, and like her mother, stopped asking.
He had come to her room though, so they sat together, his fingers running through her knots, catching and then continuing, too roughly, as her mother's never would, in the waning sunlight. She wished he would just place her hair behind her ear, leave it be, but she didn't want him to know he did it wrong. So she was quiet. Evening was coming again, and the light filtered in through the sparse trees scratching at her window, but only faintly. This was Lucy's favorite time of day, when night slipped in from beneath. Fom her father's lap she watched their shadow grow long across the floorboards