This story is not true, merely fiction. Probably the shortest piece of prose I've ever written. Thoughts and comments are welcome to winterimage(at)

My Son
by Winter

A quick glance at the clock radio tells me it's still a few hours left until dawn. Still drowsy, I wonder if you've sneaked into my bed again, as you always did when you'd wake up after a bad dream. I can all but feel your thin arms slip around my waist, and I know what I must do. Slowly, quietly, I start telling you a bedtime story; nothing fancy, just some fairy tale with talking animals and a young prince on a quest and knights and dragons and dangers and perils and a sweet, happy ending. The kind of story that'd always put you to sleep and give you happy dreams. Once it's over, I stay absolutely still, not moving an inch, doing my best to stay in the half-sleep where might be and could be still feel real, and such things as the truth has no solid hold. But in the end, I have to roll over. I run my fingers through the empty bed sheets, then press my face into the pillow you had claimed as yours, with the impeccable child logic that you slept there most nights, anyway. It smells of you; the sweet scent of boy invades my nostrils and pushes all thoughts aside. I suddenly feel the need to get away, and before I know it I'm fully dressed, out in the dark night, alone, knowing perfectly well where my feet will take me. Soft street light seep into the place, giving me just enough light to find my way to you. I fall to my knees and read your name in a whisper while my fingers caress the ghastly cold stone. Maybe you've had another bad dream, maybe that's why I'm here. So I tell you the story all over again, and once more the young prince, who looks just like you and is just as brave, prevails against all the dangers. Once more there's a happy ending.