Blankets of Night

(very short story inspired by the track by Hammock)

The cold glow of the street lamps shrank from the bent man treading down the empty, rain-dampened street. He paused at one weathered door, glancing up at the peeling façade and black, barred windows. Under his hand the door knob silently surrendered; he slipped inside, careful to make no noise. The apartment was dim, shuttered against the night. A shadowed stairway pulled the man upward, delivering him into a still, darkened hallway. The nearest door was barely ajar; he pushed it open quietly.

A sliver of moonlight crept into the cramped room, settling upon the face of a young girl sprawled in sleep, breathing as soft as a dove’s wing. The man drew closer, slowly reaching over the small figure. Sable lashes fluttered open, freezing him in place.

“Daddy,” she murmured, her voice hushed with slumber, “We saved you some cake.”

The man smiled as he tenderly tucked the blanket round her slight frame. “I’ll have some for breakfast,” he whispered.

“Love you,” his beautiful brown angel sighed, drifting back toward dreams, magically melting the aches of the last relentless day of his fortieth year.

The man straightened, gave her another gaze, and gently closed the door behind him. The glow of the moon breaking from its cloudy constraints glimmered in his deep, black eyes. He’d go kiss his beloved, take a quick shower. Then it’d be just about time for some cake.