Through her tears, Gentle Breeze reached down to pick her daughter up, and hug her.
“Mommy? What’s wrong? Why can’t daddy come home?”
Gentle Breeze couldn’t talk through her tears. She could only hold her child. It was Eyela that spoke. “Because he’s dead. He died in a fire. Trying to save a little girl.” Eyela placed a hand on Verdant Green’s cheek. “He’s gone, little one.” Eyela was crying too. “He’s gone. And even if he wanted to come back, he can’t. Your daddy doesn’t exist any more.”
Daddy doesn’t exist.
Daddy can’t come home.
Verdant Green didn’t know, before that night, what death was. Everybody just lived forever. But that night. In that room. With her mother, and the Queen. She realized that sometimes, people end. And become no more.
And she cried. Oh, how she cried! Her world was changed. Her world was destroyed. Everything she’d always known changed. And her heart cried out in pain. “Daddy’s gone.” And little Velvet Rose realized she’d never see him again. Ever.
And oh, did she cry.
And as she cried, the sky outside filled with clouds. Black clouds. Blotting out the stars, and moon. And the wind started to blow. Growing stronger, and stronger. Until it howled between the houses, and the buildings of the kingdom. Screaming down the streets. Blowing over anything that wasn’t anchored down. Rattling windows. It grew colder. And as it did, the wind grew that cold bite it has when it’s cold. That bite that makes you shiver. And huddle up indoors around the fire.
And then, it rained. Slowly at first. But the rain grew. Becoming a downpour. Streets flooded, floating things the wind had blown away down streets.
It was the worst rain storm anyone in the kingdom had ever seen.
And Verdant Green cried.
Daddy was gone.