There’s nothing like a good foreshadowing to whet the appetite for fictional drama. As a storytelling tactic, I almost unilaterally love it. You can hint at things to be fleshed out later, give the reader a glimpse into the past, suss out motivation for actions…anyway. I’m thinking of starting my next book with this…Enjoy.

“Lucy!”

Fae heard the scuffle of little feet nearby.

“Lucy gal! I know you hear me callin’ you!”

There it was, a familiar giggle.

“If I call your name one more time little girl!”

“Here I am, mama!”

A dirty blonde cherub popped out from behind the pig trough.

Fae clamped both hands on her skinny hips and tried to look stern. Her tiny daughter was in no way fooled.

“You are filthy, little girl. What is your daddy gonna say when he sees you? Huh?”

“Nothin’.”

“You sure about that?”

“Yeah, ‘cuz I’m gonna throw myself in the pond real quick, and –”

“In the pond! Lord have mercy. You are a hooligan, little girl. You get your tail in that house and into that tub quick fast.” She pointed sternly behind her at the front door. “Go on. Get. And get them ears and every nook and cranny. I want you clean as a whistle and smellin’ like a rose.”

Lucky shuffled reluctantly inside and did as she was asked. Of course, once she was in the tub, she forgot how much she disliked baths and began to have fun with the bubbles and her tub toys.

“You ‘bout done, missy?”

“Yeah! Woulda been faster ta throw myself in the pond.”

Fae ignored this and pointed at the still dry bar of soap.

“Come on, now, wash, don’t just play. Come on out so I brush that hair. Your daddy likes to see his little princess lookin’ like a little princess, not a chimney sweep.”

Lucky’s blue eyes narrowed as she assessed her parent. Her mama was wearing pink lipstick, with her brown hair curled and shiny.

“You look nice, mama.” Lucky whistled appreciatively.

Fae laughed. “What I tell you about whistling like some construction worker? That ain’t no way for a princess to act.”

Lucy just grinned and stood up, water running from her tiny body as she held her arms out.

Ready with the towel Fae swooped her from the tub and rubbed her dry, handed her independent little girl her gown and watched her put it on.

“No drawers I see.”

“I’m savin’ ‘em for tomorrow.”

“Uh huh,” Fae grinned and pointed to the rug.

Lucy plopped down between her knees with a sigh, and by the time her long, golden blonde hair had been brushed smooth she was yawning.

“Come on, little bit. Let’s get some food in you before you fade away.”

Fae picked her up again, sighing with contentment when her baby lay her head on her shoulder. She didn’t so it so much these days. Lucy was too busy running and exploring and hiding and running some more. Hugs were sparse, but when they came they were wonderful.

The little girl ate her dinner quietly, carrying her plates to the sink when she finished.

“Daddy’s late.”

Fae frowned. “He is. It’s not like him.” But she smiled at her daughter. “Well, come on, then. You can wait for your kiss good night in bed same as you can out here. He’ll be along, and I’ll make sure he comes in. He musta got hung up at work.”

But he hadn’t. They found out the next day he’d left work on time. He’d run into trouble on the road, and he wasn’t coming home at all…

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