Prompt: Write about a shade tree (175 words)
It was hard to see the body, at first. The willow’s leaves hung low enough to obscure the swinging shadow, so it took Dylan a moment to realize what he was looking at. When he did, he cupped the back of Nora’s head and pushed her face into his shoulder.
“Daddy!” came out muffled against his shirt.
“Don’t look, sweetheart,” Dylan said as he began hightailing it back home. Only when he was a safe distance away did he loosen his grip on Nora’s head. She raised her head up and took in an exaggerated inhalation of air.
“I couldn’t breathe!” she exclaimed. “What was that for?”
“Nothing for you to worry about.”
“Nora. Enough.” His tone brooked no further argument, but it was enough to bring a sheen to Nora’s eyes. “I’m not mad at you, honey. But Daddy needs to take care of something, and I need to bring you back to Mommy. Okay?”
Silent now, Nora nodded and repositioned her head against Dylan’s shoulder for the duration of the walk home.