Word count: below 500

Inspiration: Lori's idea: I asked for a drabble idea, and she gave me one, and here it is. :)

*note* Formerly from Riley's Awesome Blog, moved to another story.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to LORI for checking this over and pointing out the obvious wrongs, thanks for Esaul reading this over after I kinda went all blargh on editing, and thanks to the reviewers and readers who still read my fics even if I'm awful at updating...

Riley had always been afraid of the dark, of the monsters that lurked whenever the lights were off.

His Dad was the one who always turned the light off. He would give Riley a kiss on the forehead, pull the covers up to his chin, and flick off the switch. When Riley was sure Dad wasn't around anymore, he would grab a flashlight and leave it on until dawn.

Then Dad surprised Riley with a night-light – he would plug it in before he flicked the switch off. Riley didn't need the flashlight anymore: it might have been a good source of light, but it cast horrible shadows.

Dad did this every night without fail. He always chased the monsters away.

Then came the day when Dad didn't come in to say good night.

Riley knew something was wrong. He may have only been four then, but he knew Dad would never forget. Riley relied on Dad's presence every night, knowing that every time he turned on the nightlight, the monsters ran away. Dad was as reliable as the sunlight shining into his window every morning.

And so, Riley got up from his bed and walked downstairs, blanket in tow.

He saw Mom crying, and there was red and blue lights flashing in the living room. He had thought it was cool, even if he was having a hard time deciding if it was an ambulance, a fire truck, or a police car. Mom took him in her arms, and Riley held up a hand to wipe tears off her face.

"Mom? What's wrong?"

"Riley… listen to me baby." Mom smoothed his hair back, and hugged him closer. "Your dad was really sick, and then his body couldn't take it anymore. So, he went to heaven."

He remembered his friend, Amy, whose mom went to heaven, too. She was crying for her mom when her dad carried Amy home from school. Riley did not understand much when his parents explained everything. Mom had talked about Amy's mom living in heaven where everything was all better.

At least Dad went there. He could go talk and maybe play with Amy's mom, or whatever adults do.

But Riley had more pressing issues on his mind. "Daddy's in heaven? When is he coming back? He was supposed to give me a good night kiss."

Mom just sobbed into his hair. Riley never saw Dad again after that.

After Dad was gone, Mom was the one who tucked him in and turned off the lights. Riley was happy about that, but Mom always forgot something important.

She always forgot to turn on his nightlight.

Since Riley was always too afraid to move, he just grabbed his flashlight from under his bed and turned it on. He also hid under his blanket every night to be sure.

His Dad wasn't there. No one chased the shadows and the darkness away from him again.

Author's Note: Warm-up before I post something for Fall Out - well okay, I was scrambling for inspiration for Fall Out and I found this baby crying in a corner in the folder, so I thought I'd fix it.

Life isn't as free as it used to be, but, well, I try anyway ;) I love writing in general, so yeah. :D Here's my call for prompts:

I want to write a whole new drabble bit, and I'm asking for help from readers. :D Asking for PROMPTS. Just PM me the prompt, on whose POV it should be, and I'd do a drabble on it. It could be ANYONE, yes, anyone, even Riley's car. Seriously, go nuts. You could even give me an exact number of words, if you want (no more than 500, not less than 50), and I'll do it! I'll even credit you! If you can't pm me with it, drop a line as a review.

I prefer PMs, though. Exceptions and further rules would be on my profile, but I'm posting it here anyway: If you give me a prompt, you can't tell me in detail what it should be about. Gotta give me some creative space to work in. ;) I'll be the one to figure it out. And you cannot give me a deadline. Real life doesn't agree with deadlines. Heh. That's all. Send away.

You know how I write, so please don't expect any slash and explicit drabbles, please. thanks!

By the way, reviews will be totally appreciated. :)