A couple of weeks ago, the b7friday topic was neglect. 300 words.
Everything was wrong. She was hungry. Mummy was supposed to be here now, leaning over her cot with soft teasing words that made Dayna laugh and wave her chubby arms. She was supposed to be full and warm and happy in Mummy's lap by now. Father, a dimmer figure in Dayna's mind, was there, but he was banging about doing things in other rooms and he kept making a strange sobbing noise that frightened her. She threw Hippo out of the bed in a tantrum and screamed and screamed, but Mummy never heard. She never came.
Hal did his best. He provided a safe home, good food so that Dayna grew up strong and healthy, and an excellent education for her and the little stepsister he found as company for her. He prided himself on always treating Dayna and Lauren as rational beings instead of talking down to them like many parents did with their children. It was strange though. Despite his best efforts, Dayna persisted in cuddling the ridiculous soft toy she'd had as a baby.
"Where are you going?"
"Out to test a new weapon."
"Ooh, can we come too?"
"If you think you're grown-up enough." Hal looked at her, and though Dayna couldn't see his blank eyes behind his dark glasses, she thought they were aimed at Hippo. She tightened her grip on the shabby toy, once a bright blue but now an indeterminate colour.
"I'm big!" Lauren stood tall on her tippy-toes.
Dayna hesitated, then threw Hippo into a corner as if she didn't care about him at all. "I am too!"
Hal smiled and Dayna felt proud and happy. Perhaps if she was as clever and brave and strong as he was, then his approval would fill the strange hole inside her just as well.