Hood in the Hood

[Someone requested this story years ago and I decided to write it? There will probably be more at some point.]

There once was a girl who lived in Hood, her tangle of curls sticking out of her hood, with a very unusual name. Hood. At eleven years old, Hood was small for her age and looked all the smaller for being swallowed up in hoodies almost every day. She liked to be cozy, as she lived in the north, and had started her collection of hoodies quite young. She had them in yellow, in green, black, and orange. She had them in purple, too. Some had designs and some were just plain. A few had zippers but most had a pouch, which she stuffed her hands into while she walked about.

Hood was well known in her home town of Hood – which was actually a city, her mama pointed out. Though her mama worked hard at two jobs to get by, Hood cherished each moment she spent by her side. They laughed so hard when they got to play and thinking on those moments chased Hood’s blues away. Her daddy spent many long months far away, but he wrote and he called and he sent presents her way. When daddy came home, mama always lit up. They had picnics and day trips and wonderful times. Those were Hood’s favorite days, when her family was together, and everything felt right.

But daddy always left again, every single time, and mama said it was because he loved them so much. Hood never understood how that could be so; if he loved them then why did he always go? He would pack his bags and they would get in their car, where they sang to the radio in beautiful harmony punctuated by little bursts of laughter.

They would always eat a special meal at Hoodwinks, their favorite eatery, where mama would let Hood have any dessert she wanted. It was the only times that Hood was allowed to order dessert – a delicacy, daddy had called it. Then the little family would load up into their little car once again.

Hood had mixed feelings about the airport. She was fascinated by the large airplanes as they set off into the sky or circled around in their descent, but she hated leaving her daddy there. He would always hug her tightly and whisper “take care of your mama” before kissing her head. She had a feeling that he would tell her mama to take care of her, too. They would take care of each other, but who would take care of daddy?

Hood’s favorite part of the day daddy left was that he would get all dressed up, complete with his hat. He called it his dress blues and Hood thought he was so handsome and regal. Her daddy was important. She was certain he was the most important daddy in the world. And mama would always wear a nice dress so that she could match him. It was the one day that Hood would not where a hood – she wanted to look nice, too.

On the drive home from the airport, mama was always quiet. She would let Hood listen to anything she wanted on the radio and smile if Hood tried to cheer her. Hood knew mama was sad despite how hard she tried to pretend otherwise. Sometimes Hood would reach over and hold mama’s hand gently while they rode along together.

As soon as they arrived home again, Hood would bound up the stairs and change out of her dress into jeans and one of her hoodies, pulling the hood up over her curls. She just didn’t feel like Hood until she was in Hood in her hood again.

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