Willow’s First Visit to her Grandfather after Lockdown. Flash fiction by Sandra Behan

He snuck in to the room for the third time to check on his granddaughter Willow.

She was sitting upright against a soft yellow cushion reading her favourite book on the sofa by the window.

Her blonde hair had grown since he last saw her and fell around her sweet face.

She had taken a stretch during lockdown and lost her baby look. It had broken his heart when he had to watch her on a zoom call blowing out her candles on her fourth birthday.

She was now a cool little girl in her blue t-shirt and denims, her long legs were crossed where her grey and red socks had slipped down over her ankles.

He was thrilled when he opened the door to find his daughter and granddaughter on the doorstep.

Instead of running into his arms for a big hug Willow ran into the bathroom to wash her hands. He could hear her singing,

‘Wash your hands, doo, doo-doo, doo-doo
Wash your hands, doo, doo-doo, doo-doo
Wash your hands, doo, doo-doo, doo-doo

She was shy at first and kept social distance.

He wanted to scoop her up in his arms and give her the biggest hug or feel her soft little hand in his as she dragged him out to the garden to say hello to Buddy his black and white cat.

Her eyes lit up when she saw all her paintings that she had sent to him displayed across the kitchen wall.

She went on to tell him how she had made the red heart shaped man with squiggly legs and white buttons for eyes. She told him that her hen was upside down and pulled over a chair to fix it. He hadn’t the heart to tell her that he thought it was a fish.

The highlight of his week during lockdown was the packages that Willow had sent him with a different bar of chocolate every week or a bag of scots clan.

She sent him beautifully painted pictures and hand made flowers.

In her last package she made him a card with ‘I love you to the moon and back’ written on it which brought tears to his eyes.


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