“Only the elders remember a blue sky,” he said, helping his daughter don the necessary layers of clothes. “If she were here, I’d no need to do stitchery,” he thought, tugging on the too short sleeves of her overdress.

He sighed; he missed the child’s mother. Those dreams of her, close upon awakening, left him aching and wane.

“But father, I did see it. The blueness of it fair hurt my eyes,” his daughter replied, scrunching her face in frustration.

“Little one, I tell you tales of the eld days at bedtime. I speak of colours long past. The last words you hear afore sleep are shades of blue and green.”

“I saw the forest without cloak of snow; smelt flowers, felt butterfly wings . . .” she stopped for a moment, eyes closed.

“Then, I am a fair wordsmith,” he said, “For I have given you dreams of beauty.” Good that she slept in wildflower meadows, not in drifts of snow.

He could not dissuade her of her belief. She nattered all day of brilliant colors, sweet air, warm sun. Even as the snowful chorus of winds mourned outside the windows. Perhaps he would tell her, someday, the truth.

That her mother was never a shape-shifter, dancing in the full clear moonlight. That she was not off on a quest to find and return with the Awakening sun. Her mother was the Wintering; she was ever present.

“Father,” the child asked at bedtime, as always, “Tell me again of how . . .”

That night, the little one woke to a strange sound. A steady one-note repeated. Coming from outside, up by the eaves. Drip. Drip. Drip.

a bedtime tale told for mlmm first line Friday: “Only the elders remember a blue sky

To listen to more of a father’s bedtime tales to his daughter:

a father’s tale; a mother’s dance

a wintering’s tale

a dreaming tale

@ copyright the author