the little one knows

Children, like animals, are instinctual. They can sense an approaching storm. The little girl’s ears perked up and the hair on her neck stood at attention. She sat up in her bed and looked around. Her small, pink bedroom looked the same as always but something was wrong. The atmosphere in the house had changed. It was like a vacuum, like someone had sucked the life and air out of it. The little girl crept downstairs, her nightgown drifting silently behind her, and into the new bedroom where the living room used to be. She saw her father on the floor, his back against the base of her mother’s bed, knees to his chest and head in his hands and she knew. Immediately, instinctively, unquestioningly, she knew.  She knew the world had ended. 
[by Nora Ames]