He paused at the top of the stairs. The gigling had stopped, but he could still hear movement. There was no light at the bottom of the door, but he didn’t move on.

The hinge squeaked as the door slowly opened. There was enough light from the window behind her for him to know who it was. Only Caeri had hair that bushy.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Dad! You scared me!”

He flipped on the hall light.

“I was just going to the bathroom,” she said.

“With the popcorn bowl in your hand?”

“We’re still hungry.”

“You should be asleep.”

She looked up at him imploringly. He chuckled.

“All right, come on. That’s not the only popcorn bowl you brought up here, is it?”

All five of them followed him down the stairs to the kitchen.

Copyright 2013 Loretta Miles Tollefson

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