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April L. Smith

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Member Since: Jun, 2004

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   Recent stories by April L. Smith
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His Chicky Babe
By April L. Smith
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A special day with Daddy...

I look up at him, adoringly, my strong Daddy, my knight-in-shining armor. No man will ever compare to him as I age. I am not quite aware of this yet, but it’s true .

"Smile for the camera. Say cheese!" His authoritative, booming voice is like a down blanket, comforting to me in its warmth and substance. I grin, showing pearly white teeth, hoping I don’t blink as the camera shutter clicks.

The scratchy sequins irritate my sun-kissed skin, forming a flaming red rash. I pull the costume away from my body, to breathe, and to escape the itchiness. A wisp of brown hair falls into my eyes and I blow it away.

"Just a few more" My Daddy says. The sun is high in the sky and casts bright rays of gold down upon us. The balmy air blows, tickles my heavily rouged cheeks.

"Hurry up, Richie. We have to leave soon." That is Mommy, standing on the back porch, leaning on the railing, her arms crossed in front of her. She is smoking a cigarette and I can’t help but watch in fascination as she pulls in her cheeks, sucking in that horrible, choking gray smoke, than releases it in a foul puff.

"Are you excited?" He asks, interrupting my brief reverie. I think of the stage, the bright lights, the flowers I’ll surely get. Pangs, like butterflies, beat frantically in my belly.

"Yes!" But as I say it, prickles of unease form along my bare arms. I nervously dig the toe of my black tap shoe into the dirt. I can almost see all the blobs in the audience, their faces a blur of black with grinning lips. It’s too hard to make out features with those blaring lights shining on me.

"Don’t be nervous, Chicky Babe." Daddy says, as if sensing my apprehension. His nickname for me always makes me smile. Chicky Babe. I almost want to cluck in response. Instead I giggle. "Just smile and dance your heart out. We’ll all be watching."

It’s comforting, knowing my family will be out there, but especially my Daddy. I know my dance recitals aren’t the most exciting form of entertainment for him, but I couldn’t imagine one without him. I watch patiently as he slings the camera strap over his shoulder and turns to walk towards the car. He pauses then turns back with an inquiry in his eyes as I hesitate. Daddy holds out his hand and with a huge grin, I eagerly slip my small fingers into it. We walk hand in hand to the car.

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Reviewed by Jean Pike 7/3/2007
A beautiful memory, beautifully preserved. I love the small details, your mother's cigarette smoke, the scratchy sequins of your dress. This is a story so many can relate to. It made me think of my parents, and how they came to all of my chorus concerts and parades. Just full of beautiful imagery and warm, wonderful feelings. You captured the moment so well, April!
Reviewed by S Cardin 7/24/2004
This is a nice, heartfelt story of a daughter's love for her father. Thanks so much for sharing, April. You really captured the reader's attention.

Reviewed by Debra Conklin 7/17/2004
Very nice memory, April. It's obvious that you were both devoted to one another. Have you ever tried submitting any of these memories to the Cup of Comfort series? Check out their website, they might have a father book coming out or something.
Take care!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/16/2004
Delightful story, April; thanks for sharing! It is obvious just how much you loved your daddy; what a testimony of a father's love for his daughter! You were blessed to have such a loving, caring daddy! (I thank God I still have mine!)

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D

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