Today’s Write Now Prompt by Today’s Author:
The kids must have dragged that thing out of the trunk in the loft.
“Did you hear that?” I mumbled sleepily.
“No,” mumbled Dave, equally sleepily. “Go back to sleep; what is it, six o’clock?”
“Okay,” I acquiesced with a sigh, nuzzling my husband’s shoulder.
Around ten, I ambled down in shorts, a sweatshirt and yesterday’s socks to put together some brunch. “Kids?”
I got no reply. I shuffled over blearily to the stove and put some water to boil. I needed tea. “KIDS!” And possibly a holiday.
Somewhere in the house, a door banged, and I heard laughing voices spill out from the upstairs corridor. “Come down for breakfast. Now!” As much as I hated their inability to come down on time, I was grateful beyond words for the extra sleep I got thanks to their disregard for mealtime punctuality.
“Mom, Mom, look at me! Isn’t it pretty?” Emma, all of eight-years old, came barreling into the kitchen, draped from head to toe in a red, flowy….scarf? Tablecloth? What was that? She spilled some pebbles out onto the counter. “These are magic,” she solemnly declared, just as Ethan poked his face around the door. “These trading cards are so cool!” he said exuberantly, holding them up in front of me. Jerking my head back an inch, I blinked. The Fool? The Magician? The Hanged Man? The cards were larger than those of an average deck and had unusual imagery on them, some verging on pornography, others graphic violence. Somehow I doubted this was part of a children’s trading card game. “Ethan, honey, give me the cards for a minute,” I said, taking them from him.
“Ooh a party! Why wasn’t I invited?” came Dave’s voice from the doorway. His grin quickly froze when he saw Emma’s new costume. He seemed lost and, somehow, nervous.
“What’s all this then?” I asked. “Dave, do you have any idea what these are? I don’t think the kids should-”
Snatching the cards from me, he walked across the kitchen, kneeling down near Emma. “Sweetie, why don’t you give that to me? ‘Atta girl!”
Still suspicious, I cleared my throat. “Any idea where they might’ve found this?” I asked Dave, voice tighter than I’d meant it to sound.
“Oh, um, the kids must have dragged that thing out of the trunk in the loft,” he replied, standing up, still not meeting my gaze. “I’ll just go and make sure they haven’t made a mess up there.” Grabbing the pebbles in one hand, and the cloth and cards in the other, he turned and headed upstairs without looking back. As he climbed the stairs, I noticed him wrap the cards in the red cloth.
Something was definitely up.