Genre: family, fantasy, slice of life
Luciano snapped awake with a strangled gasp.
Two months had passed since the ‘heirloom fiasco’, as they had started to call it. The Turnery and Sharoon houses had done a great job at restoring everything that had been damaged, but there were some things that even the Turnery’s miraculous rewind ability couldn’t reverse.
Everyone had their own fears and demons. He had learnt to deal with his, or at least, ignore them at the back of his mind. What Minnie had done was drag those nightmares into reality and spice them up to make them even more terrifying. Thanks to that, his old nightmares had spawned new ones that continued to haunt his dreams.
Luciano sighed. Minnie had really gone full out. She always did. Small tasks, big tasks, she tackled them all with everything she had. It was only this time that her vigour had ended up hurting them so badly.
And he couldn’t even be mad at her.
He crossed his forearms over his face. Tears of frustration trickled down his cheeks.
In the end, there was no true enemy he could direct his turmoil at, just a bunch of misguided people who accidentally got in each other’s way. Anyway, at the end of the day, they were all family. Hating family was like cutting off his nose to spite his face.
Something soft nudged his arm. His breath caught and his heart jumped, then he remembered the plushy his sister had left on his bedside table. He dropped his arms down beside him on the bed and turned his head. The puppy plushy watched him without a word.
Ever since finding out about the nightmares that plagued him every night, his sister had left the plushy at his bedside. Some nights, he sent the animated plushy to his sister, too terrified of the
hidden threats shadows to seek the comfort he needed. The rest of the time, the plushy went to get her anyway. It didn’t matter what time it was, his sister always came over to his room.
“I’m okay. Let her sleep,” he told the little puppy.
The plushy hopped back onto his bedside table, then jumped off and dashed out of the room before he could stop it. For something without muscles, that plushy could run.
Not long after, the plushy returned in the arms of his only sister. Eyes still half closed, Lilibeth clambered into his bed.
“You didn’t need to come. I’m fine,” he said.
“Don’t kick me out now. Meanie,” she grumbled and burrowed under his blanket.
“Of course not.” He pretended to be insulted, but his sister had already slipped back into sleep.
His sister never complained, but she must be as tired as he was from the interrupted sleep. He was older, so he could deal with it better, but what she lacked in age she made up in stubbornness. And a touch of guilt.
He didn’t understand where the guilt came from, but like everything else, it faded day by day. With a content sigh, he closed his eyes and dreamed eagerly of the day when shadows went back to just being shadows, and people laughed easily again, freed from their self-inflicted burdens.