This week’s prompt from Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction was
I only stop for a second to pick another flower so we can make a daisy chain when we get home, and then when I look back she’s gone, vanished as though conjured away into the ether.
Until then she was holding my hand as she always does, scolding me when I drag my feet, ignoring me when I sulk because of her refusal to buy me an ice cream and occasionally reassuring me when she can see I feel threatened by big dogs and boys on skateboards.
In an instant my surroundings look different, darker, threatening, even though she often brings me here to this place where we feed the ducks, and she points out the trees and flowers, giving them names from that vast store of knowledge that she seems to possess.
I realise I need the toilet, and panic strikes because she’s not there to help me, and I don’t know where she is, or whether I would be able to find my way home if she didn’t reappear.
And suddenly, she’s there; my world rights itself as I recognise her dear face, and I wonder, not for the first time, whether I’m truly up to this new journey on which I seem to be embarking, this puzzling, frustrating and frightening road through the mists towards dementia.