Whenever Ed and Djamila visited the gardening center it was usually a day of smiles and excited conversations. On this particular Sunday the two were quiet and subdued. Their six-year old daughter, Fatima, had been plagued by nightmares for several weeks. Sometimes she’d wake up twice in a night nearly inconsolable. Their bright and smiling child became more morose and withdrawn daily. As they walked between the rows of flowers and gardening gnomes their conversation returned to the merits of finding a psychologist.
That’s when they found the stone dog.
Ed patted its head and said, “I’d almost want to put this in Fatima’s room. You know, like a guardian.”
“It might help,” smiled Djamila.
“It wouldn’t really do anything, but still…”
“Don’t be so sure.” Djamila said sternly. The beliefs of her family were still fresh within her. “A child’s imagination can do anything.”
They bought the dog, and Ed struggled to place the thirty-kilo statue in Fatima’s room. Their daughter was delighted, but still cautious and guarded. She immediately named the dog Clancy and began decorating it.
Two nights later, Ed heard a familiar moaning coming from Fatima’s room. He threw back the sheets and sat up, steeling himself for the sobs of his daughter. That’s when he heard a dog’s barking.
Fatima heard it too. “Listen!” she said. “Clancy’s protecting her.”
Ed rolled his eyes. “She’s making that sound.”
“Get him!” shouted Fatima. “Get him, Clancy!”
Scrabbling sounds, snarling, and Fatima’s shouts erupted from the girl’s room.
Djamila said, “How can she yell and make the dog’s bark at the same time?”
They charged into the room and found the bed sheets everywhere. Toys were scattered, and Fatima’s hair was a mess. Something in the room was different.
Fatima’s brilliant smile blessed it once more.
Later, as Ed and Djamila sipped tea downstairs, Djamila watched Ed staring into his tea. “So thoughtful,” she observed.
“What? Oh,” muttered Ed. “I was thinking you were right about a child’s imagination.”
“It’s true,” smiled Djamila. “In her nightmare, Clancy fought her demons.”
“Yeah, but there’s more to it.”
Fatima frowned, “Like what?”
“Well, you know how I, a grown man, struggled to move a heavy statue into Fatima’s room, right?”
“Well, I don’t understand how a fifty-pound little girl could move a seventy-pound statue to the other side of the room!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here to see what other folks wrote: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/sunday-photo-fiction-october-18th-2015/