via the Daily Prompt
It’s morning and the snow is hidden in the shadow of the house. Everything is still, silent, piercingly so, my ears are ringing with the roar of a far-off airplane. Upstairs I know my daughter is sleeping, and in the car, my wife is jumbled on the back seat, asleep, I can see the condensation on the windows. Soon she will wake up and leave.
Underneath the porch stairs I find the pot of paint and take ten minutes trying to pry the frozen lid from the tin with a screwdriver. My fingers start to burn and the cold metal leaves red stains on my palms. I take the brush I found in the kitchen drawer and apply the turquoise paint to the door of the house.
I hear the car door slam shut, and I know she’s standing there, watching me paint. I wait for the crunch of her foot on the grass, but she stands still.
After a moment, the car door closes again, and the engine starts.