Emily reached her fingers out to touch the glowing snowflakes. Frosty pine-scented breezes blew in from the forest. She giggled, her brown eyes lighting up, as she watched squirrels scurry up trees and bright red cardinals land on snow-covered branches. The sun grinned then dropped. The moon danced into the sky. Stars settled in her hair. She laughed and took off running along the ground, bare feet landing with soft thuds on plush, purple carpet.
“She’s no better,” Emily’s mother studied her little girl crouched in the corner. “You promised…”
“I said we would try,” the doctor corrected.
“Please. Bring her back to me.”
The doctor stared at the tiled floor, “Emily has been here for three months, Mrs. Stevens.”
“Exactly! Enough! Get her back here from…wherever she is.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“Her vitals are good…”
“I don’t give a damn! She belongs at home! With me.”
“I appreciate what you’re going through.”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Stevens.” The doctor reached for a tissue box.
“I hate this. I don’t understand any of it. I don’t know if Emily’s in pain…” She grabbed some tissues. “Do you even know where she is? If she can hear us?”
“We haven’t been able to reach her. There’s nothing wrong with her hearing, physically, but I can’t be certain what she’s processing. I think,” he glanced at Emily, “she can sense when you’re here.”
“Sense me? She’s my daughter. Is that all I get? Can’t I go to her? Tell her to come back?”
The doctor hesitated, “Mrs. Stevens.” He cleared his throat, “I’m not sure she wants to come back.”
They looked over at the little girl in the hospital gown.
Emily’s hand twitched. She grimaced with something resembling a smile, staring with dead eyes at the twirling snowflakes and playful squirrels.
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Week 30 Prompt: Reach