“Come here, small one.”
The words are no question, but an acknowledgement that they must act now: obey the desire.
“I have done what was asked of me.” The quiet voice said, “May I rest now?”
Laughter choked on a noise of disgust at the very notion.
“You don’t ask the questions.” was all that was given.
A single finger pointed, silenced, commanded, and crushed the hope that had glinted so promisingly.
Not willing to risk presenting another opportunity, they quickly followed the order and made for the door.
Just outside, a man oozing with slime that greased his hair only a portion of the way it greased his words and hunched shoulders spoke:
“That’s pure pedigree. You’ve gotta work and work and work if you want your kids or your kid’s kids to be like that. Be smarter and keep trying, you know? Only the smart and hard working get there.”
When the night came and they returned to their love to sleep, they waited until the change in breathing greeted sleep, and then they cried. They cried of frustration for the life they lived and the set ready on stage awaiting their children’s arrival. When the day returned they thought they had found the right words to inspire and educate the children with, yet the children knew only of the lives they had lived. Never before had they felt the heartbreak of life’s misgivings or the diminishing shadow of the richer and fortunate. Silently they wished better for them, but out of the corner of their mouth cursed them for not appreciating the weight of the future.
No longer children, they’d learned through the years of dust coating that old memory of family breakfast. They’d pushed as their parent had prodded, and the sores from the prodding ached most when the well cared-for fingers would point, silence, command, and crush the accursed hope which returned like weeds no matter the efforts. Their riddle filled nights of never-ending circles would prompt the new-old tears and lead to clashing wishes for the children of their own.
Then their children would age…..