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Blind Hope (standard:fantasy, 3108 words)
Author: Peter EbsworthAdded: Jan 01 2007Views/Reads: 1948/1139Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A bereaved father decides to get his daughter back. Whatever the cost
 



Blind Hope by Peter Ebsworth 

Star Light Star bright, The first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I
wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight. 

Late 19th Century Nursery Rhyme 

He had to stop. 

Just for a couple of minutes, but no more, because she needed him to dig
faster, never mind stop. 

But he was so tired. 

Releasing the garden shovel to drop onto the mix of flint and heavy clay
earth at his feet, he hefted himself out to sprawl onto his back on the 
thick, wet grass that surrounded the grave. All the while wheezing like 
a punctured bellows as he gulped the damp night air into his aching 
lungs and waited for his racing heart to slow. Although everything 
hurt, the raw, burning palms of his hands was probably the worst of the 
bad. Protective blisters had formed and bust, leaving patches of 
unprotected skin to peel raw. If only he had been thinking straight, 
he'd have brought along some gloves. But then if he'd been thinking 
straight, instead of riding the crest of an emotional wave, he wouldn't 
be here at all. 

Above him, diamond hard stars dusted the moonless night sky, stretching
away forever in a universe cold to all the trials of men. A universe 
that he had spent most of his adult life observing in the belief that 
it would give him an insight, if not into the mind, then at least into 
the actions of God. 

* 

‘Mrs Templeton says that God performs miracles every day,' announced
Katie, in a very matter-of-fact tone. Quietly, she had come to sit 
beside him in his attic observatory. Just for a while before bedtime. 
If she hadn't of spoken, he wouldn't have noticed she was there, so 
focused was he on the hazy blur of Andromeda. ‘But he doesn't want 
anybody to know, except for the person that he helps.' 

A glance at his seven-year old daughter revealed that while she was
talking to him she was busy dressing her favourite toy, “Dolly-Polly”, 
a rather worn rag doll that still maintained supremacy over later, and 
far more expensive rivals for Katie's affections. 

‘Whose Mrs Templeton?' 

‘Oh, you're so silly, Daddy, you know Mrs Templeton's my class teacher.'


‘Ah. That Mrs Templeton. I thought that there might be two.' 

From the corner of his eye, he saw her brow crinkle in a frown of
concentration as she tucked one of her doll's floppy arms into the 
sleeve of a fluffy, pink jumpsuit ready for bed. 

‘If I asked him nicely,' she continued, ‘would God let Dolly-Polly
smile?' 

The question made him glance at the faded pink material of the doll's
face, noticing for the first time the straight line of cross-stitch 
that constituted her mouth. ‘Just with me, when no one else was about? 
That way, I would know if she was happy. ‘Only I would know, so it 
would stay a secret.' 

Curiosity pricked, he asked, ‘Did Mrs Templeton say why miracles had to
be kept secret?' 

‘Yes.' 

After a long pause, during which he thought that his daughter was going
to elaborate but didn't, he asked, ‘And why is that then?' 

‘Because if everybody knew about all the miracles, no one would need a


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