A Story by OilsandSyntax

I'm trying to write a book...would love to know what everyone thinks so far.



Is he my new Daddy?” Bethany asked.
            “Sweetheart, he‘s a good man. He’s handsome, and charming, and he’ll take care of us. I know it’s hard for you to understand…and I know you miss Daddy, but Daddy’s with the angels now and we need someone to take care of us here on Earth.” Lauren tried to explain to her four year old daughter.
            “What does charming mean, Mommy?” her eyes shone with innocence.
            “It means he makes Mommy laugh…and smile. I know you’re still hurting, but soon he will make you laugh and smile too…and we’ll both get our happily ever after.” Lauren promised.
            “Aren’t you still hurting too, Mommy?” Bethany couldn’t understand how she was supposed to have a new Daddy. She hadn’t given it much thought before her first Daddy died, but she had assumed that Daddies stay around forever to take care of Mommies and their little girls. So it kind of made sense that if her first Daddy got hurt and couldn’t take care of them anymore they would get a new Daddy. Someone had to take care of them.
            “Yes Sweetie, I will always love your Dad, but we have to go on with our lives until we can be with the angels too.” Lauren explained.
            “Okay Mommy. But when we get to be with the angels I want Daddy to be my Daddy cuz he’s the bestest Daddy.” Bethany nodded her head once to show she’d made up her mind on the matter.
            “Come here, Doodlebug and give me a hug before I go off to bed.” Bethany squeezed her Mom with all her might and believed like children do that she was one day closer to her happily ever after.
*     *     *     *     *
Bethany pulled her quilt up under her chin and snuggled with Blue Belle, her favorite teddy bear. She missed the way her Daddy used to come in and read her a bedtime story. She wondered if her new Daddy would ever do that. She loved her Daddy’s stories. Sometimes he would change the story to see if she was paying attention. One time he said that Goldilocks got stuck in the itty bitty baby chair and the fire department had to come and pry her out. He sure was silly. What was that word Mommy used about making people laugh and smile? Charming…Daddy was very charming. 
Her thoughts were interrupted by the door swinging open. It was Paul. Bethany wondered if he had come to read her a bedtime story. His face didn’t look like a bedtime story face.
“Shhhhhh…” he put one finger to his lips.
Bethany nodded to show him that she was a good girl.
He sat on the edge of her bed and stroked the silky curls on her head. “You’re gonna be my special girl. Would you like that? Would you like to be my special girl? “ Paul’s whisper was warm and kind but there was something in it that Daddy’s voice never had.
Bethany nodded. She knew he was trying to be nice, trying to be a good Daddy, but his smile wasn’t as good of a smile as her Daddy’s had been. His had lit up his whole face and made his eyes twinkle like tinsel at Christmas. Paul’s smile showed his teeth, but the rest of his face seemed empty.
Paul picked up Blue Belle and looked him over. “How long have you had this ole’ bear?” he asked?
 “My Daddy got it for me for my birfday” Bethany tried to make her whisper extra quiet like his.
Paul placed Blue Belle on the bed behind him and pulled from under his shirt a brand new pink teddy bear. It had a bright yellow ribbon tied in a bow around its neck. Paul put the new bear in her lap and said “I bought somethin’ for my special girl today. That other one’s a little on the raggedy side and when I saw this pink one I knew you’d just love it. Pink is your favorite color isn’t it?”
Bethany nodded again and picked up the pink bear. She liked the color but the bear was stiff. It wasn’t soft and huggable like Blue Belle. She tried to see her favoritist bear from where she was sitting but Paul had Blue Belle behind him. Bethany smiled at the new bear and gave it a hug.
“Thank you, Paul” she said in her quietest little girl whisper. She tried to look pleased with the new bear because she could tell Paul was pleased.
“That’s my good girl.” He leaned over and kissed her forehead. He pulled the blanket up around her chin like any good father would do and kissed her one more time on the cheek. “Sweet dreams, special girl.” Paul tossed Blue Belle on top of her toy box on his way out the door.
Bethany was grateful that he remembered to leave the door open a crack so she wouldn’t be scared of the dark. She had forgotten to ask him to. She crept out of bed on little girl toes and rescued Blue Belle from the toy pile. She always slept with Blue Belle. Especially now. It was the closest she could get to sleeping with her Daddy. It was the very last thing her Daddy had bought for her before he went to go live with the angels. She would always love Blue Belle and she would always love her Daddy, even if this new Daddy was charming.
She gave Blue Belle a gigantic bear hug just the way her daddy had taught her to and snuggled into memories of him. She remembered the first time he took her to the park to feed the ducks. Daddy had made her get up early.
“We have to get there before everyone else so the ducks will be good and hungry.” He said.
“Aren’t the ducks hungry at dinner time?” she wondered.
“Well, sweetie…” He got down on his knees so he could look her in the eyes. ”sometimes there are so many people that show up to feed them each day that they’re as stuffed as Thanksgiving by the time we’re eating dinner.” He explained.
Bethany giggled because she remembered how her Papa’s belly had gotten so big after Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma Mary had teased him about giving Santa a run for his money and Bethany didn’t realize that Santa ran races.
Brad tousled his daughter’s hair and stood back up. “C’mon sweetheart, let’s go feed some ducks.”
“I’ll feed the baby ducks and you can feed the Daddy ducks, ‘kay Daddy?”
“Okay, doodlebug.” He smiled at her. He always smiled.
 They walked hand in hand toward the lake until the ducks saw them coming and waddled at warp duck speed ahead toward their first meal of the day. Bethany stopped. She had never seen so many ducks before, and never any this close. She liked the baby ones, but she was a little afraid of the bigger ones. The scariest part was that those big ducks weren’t the least bit afraid of her.
Brad got down on his knees again and looked into her saucer blue eyes. “It’s okay, honey. They won’t hurt you.” He gave her a big bear hug and stood back up.
“I know Daddy, I’m not escared…See?” Bethany puffed out her chest, took a step forward and threw the first handful of bread crumbs as far as she could. “Look, Daddy, look! They must really like bread.” She beamed up at him with all the pride of a little girl who had just conquered her biggest fear. They took turns throwing handfuls of bread crumbs to the ducks and when they were all done Bethany slumped her shoulders and threw the bag to the ground. She sat down on a nearby tree stump and sulked.
“What’s wrong Doodlebug?” he picked her up and sat down on the stump himself, putting Bethany in his lap.
“Daddy, I forgot about the baby duckies.” She sniffed “I threw big handfuls and all the big duckies raced to be first and the baby duckies didn’t get any. Daddy, I wanted to feed the baby duckies. What if all the other people who come to feed the ducks throw big handfuls like me and no one feeds the baby duckies…I don’t want the baby duckies to die.”
Brad wiped away her tears and told her the truth “Don’t worry, little angel…God will take care of the baby duckies. He loves them very much and He will make sure they have what they need.” He wrapped his arms around her and held her the way Daddy bears always hold their bear cubs…safe and warm. Daddy’s words always had a way of making her feel better. She hoped someday she would be as smart as Daddy. He always knew what to say.
Bethany liked to remember her Daddy’s words at night. “Don’t worry little angel…God will take care of you and make sure you have what you need.” Every night ended the same way. She wished she could see God the way Daddy did. She would drift into sleep wishing that she knew the way her Daddy always seemed to know what God was going to do next. She wished he was here to tell her more about God.
*          *          *          *          *          *
She heard the soft click of her bedroom door shutting. No! I’m escared of the dark. She looked toward the door but her eyes hadn’t adjusted yet. Everything was black. Daddy always made sure she had a night light plugged in next to her night stand. She smelled something bitter and gross. She could hear breathing near her. She wanted to sit up but she was afraid. She ducked her head under the covers. Someone was in her room. She could hear her own heart beating. She tried to breathe as quietly as she could. Someone put one big strong hand over her mouth. What was happening?
“You’re my special girl.” Him? His whisper smelled sour. He yanked Blue Belle from her arms and threw him to the floor. “I thought I got you a new bear so you don’t have to sleep with that ole’ raggedy thing anymore.” Before the question was even out he had used his other hand to rip her cotton Care Bear underwear down and pin her wrists above her head. She heard music playing in the living room. He was on top of her. He was so heavy and his breath smelled so bad. The music was so loud and in a split second she knew why. She screamed out at the top of her lungs at the pain that was ravishing her body but it was muffled by his hand covering her mouth and drowned out by the music in the living room. Her mother couldn’t hear her. All she could feel was the pain. The pain and the warm blood covering her legs. The pain and the darkness. No one saved her that night or any other night, but Bethany learned how to be a good little girl. And she learned something else… that Paul wasn’t charming.






© 2009 OilsandSyntax

Author's Note

This is just something I'm working on. It's not refined or in any way edited or finished...just posting it for feedback.

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I read this last night and finished it without a break. It is such a subject to tackle thatsometimes people feel guilty reading it. Yet I think it is important that is done. I would love to read the 'refined' version as I think it reaches something in every caring separated father of a daughter and is something that many feel is a walking wound that we daren't even imagine.

I would truly appreciate it if you would read my piece Estranged and my book Consequences?.

Thanks for the read.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on October 27, 2008
Last Updated on February 4, 2009




Hello. I love art as well as writing, though I'm a novice at both. I have five senses, four children, three dogs, two dimples, one husband, and a garden. Most of my time is dedicated to domestic engi.. more..

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