His daughter pouted. “I just want to hold hands.”
He reached over to press a finger against the old magazine left on the bedside table. Where skin touched paper, the magazine disintegrated.
“Is this what you want your hand to become?” he asked.
“But you can control it, right?” she said.
“Not always. And all it takes is one slip up. So the answer is still the same. No.”
His daughter pulled her blanket up over her nose, leaving only her expressive eyes visible.
“But my friends get to hold their daddy’s hands,” she complained.
“Your friends don’t have daddies with hands that can destroy anything they touch.”
His daughter fell silent, and he thought that was the end of the conversation.
“Mummy says when there’s a will there’s a way,” his daughter declared.
“There’s another saying. Prevention is better than cure,” he countered the familiar statement.
His daughter’s eyebrows quivered as she fought back tears, and it made him feel terrible, even though his caution was for her own good.
“You can hold my hand,” he said.
His daughter perked up.
“But you can’t touch my palm or my fingers. And if I tell you to let go, you let go immediately. Understand?”
His daughter nodded excitedly, throwing the blanket off her face.
Carefully, he offered one arm to her, resting the back of his hand on the blanket. He pointed out the safe spots on his hand, quizzing his daughter multiple times to make sure she had them memorised before he let her place her small hand anywhere near his own.
Little fingers rested lightly on his skin. It wasn’t quite handholding, but it was enough for his daughter. She beamed at him, and he couldn’t help but smile back.
“Are you ready to sleep now?” he asked.
“Yes, Daddy,” she said and wriggled back into her blanket cocoon.
He kissed her on the forehead, keeping track of where his hands were at all times.
“Goodnight,” he said.
With the back of his hand, he flicked the lights off and nudged the door closed behind him.
Genre: family, fantasy
Part of Hands of Destruction.