Short Story: Melancholy Day

Today she’s feeling melancholy.

There’s no trigger, no reason. It’s just one of those days when even the brightest sun feels like a waning nightlight running out of battery.

Old her would have stayed in bed, losing hours, sometimes even days, without even realising it.

New her has a new family who has spent years training her to look for them when all her thoughts and feelings are leaking out of her control. The her right now is just a shell, shuffling down the hallway with only one thought in mind: find someone, and they’ll take care of everything.

She finds her foster brother in his room, a cooling pad on his forehead as he sleeps off a fever. She moves forward and wriggles under the covers. His skin is hot and clammy, but she burrows into his side anyway.

That wakes the older male up with a sleepy grunt. He mumbles something neither of them understands, and she ignores it. She found someone. Her part is done.

Sinking back into a haze, she hears a dial tone, distant like it’s coming from the neighbour’s house.

“Yes, sweetheart?” her foster mother’s voice answers.

“Melancholy day,” he slurs.

“Alright, I’m coming back.”

The call ends soon after, and her foster brother falls asleep just as quickly. She matches her breathing to his faster than usual ones, and lets everything else drop away.


Genre: slice of life, family

September post count: 8/12

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