Celica always got ready for bed on her own.
She had a routine for every night before she would sleep. First she would undress and carefully shimmy into her long, light nightgown. One rope-sleeve, another. Then she would wash her face, all of the dirt and dust she’d picked up over the day washing away, just like the bad things that had happened. Every speck of dust, every particle of dirt was another bad memory to wash away before she slept so nightmares wouldn’t catch up to her in the night. And then she would tuck herself into bed, shuffling under the covers and closing her eyes, and drifting away to the world of dreams.
Her routine was broken today by a familiar face. Ever beaming and full of joy, he came into the room calling out her name. Celica froze at her water basin. Not yet. Come back tomorrow.
She heard her name again, closer to her bedroom door now. The water trickled through her closed, tense fingers and she willed him go away. Come back tomorrow. Go