Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?

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Anne's Randomness

Mother knows best

In the United States of America, this coming Sunday is the date chosen to celebrate mothers. I am working on a longer story as a gift to my own mother, but rather than try to slice out some of it for today's Fiction Friday post, I thought I would write a separate fic, about both motherhood and another idea much on my mind just now.
Part of being a mom, as far as I can see, is the ability to keep your kids guessing. They should know that they can trust you, yes, but they shouldn't know everything. You should always have one or two things up your sleeve of which you, to their astonishment, approve more or further than they ever dreamed you would.
With that in mind, along with the title of my recently-announced upcoming short story collection, I present today's Fiction Friday piece. Please enjoy, and a happy Mother's Day to all those readers of mine who qualify for that title!
"We have to stay very quiet," whispered Dilah to the ungainly creature which lay panting on the floor of her bedroom. "If Mom hears you, we're done!"
The creature raised its two-horned head to look curiously into Dilah's brown eyes. {What is 'Mom'?} it asked silently.
"Mom is..." Dilah shook her head, impatient with words, and concentrated instead on feelings and images. Warm hands tickling her awake in the morning, a soft kiss to send her to sleep at night, a strong voice cheering her on as she rounded third base and bolted for home—
{Home,} the creature repeated, looking around at the stark white walls of Dilah's bedroom, made cheerful with her collection of carefully colored fairy-tale drawings. {Mom is home?} The image it sent was of a nest made of sticks and mud, where a larger version of itself arched a shining wing over a clutch of eggs like the one Dilah had found hidden in the grass in the park three weeks before.
"Yes." Dilah smiled, thinking of the way her heart always lifted when she climbed off the bus or trotted around the final corner and saw her mother waiting for her. The place they called home had changed at least three times in Dilah's recollection, and might well change again (she knew vaguely that it had something to do with her daddy's work), but her new friend had accidentally stated the way she felt about it. It didn't matter what place they were in, so long as that strong love was there to keep her safe.
"Yes," she said again, bending to stroke her new friend's scaly neck. "Mom is home."
"What am I?" said a voice from the doorway.
Dilah gasped and spun around, thinking for one second of trying to shield her friend, discarding the thought almost as fast. Instead she stood up straight and strong, lifted her chin, and met her mother's eyes squarely.
"I found him in the park," she said. "He needs a home."
"I see." Her mother stepped into the room, looking the creature over from every angle. "And does he breathe fire? Or fly?"
"I don't think so. Not yet, anyway." Dilah concentrated on the questions, and got back a tentative {Maybe} from her friend, strengthening to a {Yes} on the matter of flight as slender wings lifted and tried the air. "He'll be able to fly sometime, but he can't yet. And he doesn't know about fire. He hasn't tried."
"He's not going to try in this house," said her mother firmly, and Dilah's heart sank. "Practicing with fire, and with wings, is an outside activity. Just like throwing balls, young lady," she added before Dilah had quite registered what was being said. "And if I find either of you trying it out inside, there will be trouble. Now, I think we could all use a snack. He's a meat-eater?"
"I—yes." Dilah tried hard not to bounce, and got her excitement down to the level of a huge, disbelieving grin. "Yes. But he likes vegetables too."
"Good. That means he'll grow up brave and strong." Her mother drew her in with one arm and kissed the top of her head. "Just like my girl. My clever Dilah, who wasn't afraid to make friends with a dragon."

7 Comments to Mother knows best:

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lilyginnyrose on Friday, May 09, 2014 12:33 PM
That's one heck of an awesome Mother, there.
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Scott on Friday, May 09, 2014 8:43 PM
Awww. Yay, Dila and the mini dragon!
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molly on Friday, May 09, 2014 9:10 PM
Yes, I think all mothers try to be unflappable about the big things. We do our reacting later on. Lovely little story. Thanks!
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Alex Conall on Friday, May 09, 2014 9:38 PM
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NotACat on Saturday, May 10, 2014 3:56 AM
I have no words right now…maybe later. But I'm smiling so hard it hurts!
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Haminac on Saturday, May 10, 2014 5:06 AM
That's a cool mother. I think she should have asked for worms and diseases, but otherwise I could imagine one mother or another which would be the same. That's a really cute piece of work. Is it from an already recorded universe?
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Kathryn Brown on Saturday, May 10, 2014 3:59 PM
Warm fuzzies! I've been lurking for awhile - I'm absolutely horrible with leaving comments and reviews, my sincerest apologies - but I thought I'd just leave a brief note - this particular Fiction Friday post made me squeal with happiness :) although I have enjoyed all of them thus far. (And yay for run-on sentences? My grammar seems to be disappearing today ...) Looking forward to whatever you put out next, whether that's the short story collection or fanfiction or a novel!
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