"Ready to meet your baby brother, Chief?"
Ally clutched the vase of blue daisies close to her chest and nodded at Daddy.
He pushed on the door to Mommy's hospital room then stopped in the open doorway to crouch down and stare her in the eyes. "Mommy and I are very excited your baby brother is finally here."
Ally wanted to roll her eyes but didn't. Daddy hated it when she did that. He said five year olds should behave like smart girls instead of smart alecks. Besides, he was wearing his serious I-mean-business you-better-listen face. He placed his big hands on her small shoulders.
"There will be some changes in our lives and how we do things but you'll always be my special Chief. Ok?" He looked in to her eyes and waited.
"Ok, Daddy. Can I see him now?"
"Absolutely." He her her hand in his and led her to the side of Mommy's bed. Mommy's face was read and shiny and her hair stuck up in lots of different directions but she looked happy. really really happy. In her arms she held a long white bundle. "He looks like a pig in a blanket!"
Her parents laughed and the little hot dog opened his eyes. They were blue! Just like Ally's and Mommy's eyes. Poor Daddy. His eyes were green like grass and his favourite football uniforms.
A little hand moved at the top of the blanket. "Ten fingers and ten toes," Mommy announced.
Her baby brother turned his head towards Mommy's voice.
"Look how he tracks who's in the room." Daddy chuckled. "Do you want to hold him, Chief?"
Ally couldn't hold back a grin. A baby brother was way better than a new doll.
"Be careful. Hold his head. Like this." Daddy slid his arms beneath Ally's to help her support the baby's head.
Mommy gently lay him in her arms. "Got him?"
Ally nodded. Daddy pulled his arms away.
"I'm doing it! I'm holding my baby brother!" Ally turned her head to look up at Daddy.
The baby squeaked like a little mouse and Ally dropped him. She stood there holding the blanket as he tumbled from her arms straight to the hard floor. The heaviest part of him, his head, hit the floor with a wet thud.
Ally and Mommy both screamed. The baby just lay there, quiet and not moving.
Ally covered her mouth with her hands and hiccupped until the screams stopped. Big tears filled her eyes and made it hard for her to see him. She pretended she was a fort and the gate was closed. Nothing could get in or out. The screams and tears stopped.
A nurse ran in and scooped up the baby. "What happened?"
Daddy used his Big Boss voice to explain the baby fell. He didn't tell her Ally dropped him.
"I have a pulse."The nurse took him from the room.
Mommy started to cry quietly, like she didn't want to make any noise. Daddy held her by the shoulders. He didn't say everything would be okay.
Ally stood by the fort gates. Afraid to move. Afraid to make a sound. It was an accident but that didn't matter. She hiccupped back another scream.
Daddy held out his arms and Ally ran to her parents. With his arms around both of his girls, he told Ally it wasn't her fault. He didn't call her Chief.
But Ally knew he was wrong. It was her fault. Her baby brother was going to die and it was all her fault.
Both Robin Berkley and I wrote about brothers today, despite the fact that it wasn't one of our prompts.