There she lay, the graceful forest maiden somewhere between woman and fae. She slept peacefully, sheets drawn around her waist, loose hospital gown exposing a set of graceful limbs. He let out another breath and went to sit beside her bed.
Her airy hair piled in scrambled cobwebs atop her skull. It fell to her waist, but it was so messy it appeared shorter. Her tiny fingers looked worn and tired, each nail bitten down short with scabs around them. Her hands folded at her stomach on top of her sheets.
He took her hand and kissed the knuckles.
“What’s been happening with you?” He whispered.
Her only answer was the ragged rise and fall of her chest.
“Dad says someone attacked you. Do you remember what happened?”
More heavy breaths. He rubbed circles around her hand with his finger. He stared at her hand.
“I miss you, anyways. Dad doesn’t engage much, and everyone at school is weird. It smells like mothballs and rotting wood… I painted something last night. I would have brought it with me if I thought you would be awake. That’s the only good thing I have to tell you right now. Everything else is crap.”
He placed his other hand on top of hers and held it to his face.
“Everything is so lonely without you. All the magic is gone. I think dad knows it. Don’t tell him I told you, but he wore your robe today. He hasn’t worn it since you left. I feel like this is hitting him really hard, but you never know with him.”
He stopped for a second to inspect her face. She had moved in her sleep, her face softening. Suddenly her fingers curled around his in her sleep. A trace of a smile appeared on her pink lips. He repositioned his hand around hers to fit the new shape. Her breaths became gentler.
“Mom- I think…I think I’m going crazy. I’ve been having dreams again, but these are different. Sometimes they don’t stop when I open my eyes.”