Promises in the Early Morning Light

Finian scampered along beside Da, clinging to one hand. He was enjoying the music from the performers on the side of the street. It made him want to dance.

Da chuckled softly and glanced back. “Connor,” he called, “Do you want to stop and enjoy the music?”

Finian spun to face his brother. Giggling, he released Da’s hand and ran to his brother. Connor smiled faintly, hugging his stuffed bear a bit closer. He nodded at Da. “Is it all right?” he asked, his voice soft.

“Of course,” Da said. He smiled and made his way over to a market stall. While the children played, he’d get their groceries.

Finian released Connor’s hands and spun away, still giggling. Connor swayed to the music, twirling with his bear, like it was a dance partner. Finian danced around them in circles. When the music stopped, he bounced over and took Connor’s hand.

“That was fun,” he chirped.

Connor nodded and hugged his bear close once more. He gave Finian a shy smile and then bounced over to Da, dragging Finian behind him.

Ezra woke and blinked rapidly. He wiped at his eyes and frowned. It had been years since he’d thought of Connor. Where was his brother now? Was he safe and well? Had he died? Tears filled his eyes and Ezra grabbed a somewhat oversized stuffed bear from the little chair beside his bed. Hugging it, he choked back a sob. Somehow, somewhere, he would find his brother.