Three Siblings

Three Siblings (500Words Round 2, Week 2, Day 1, 1/22/18)

“What do you think they’re saying now?” Frankie’s big eyes were full of worry as he looked up at his big sister. They’d been in the waiting room for a long time, and the receptionist wasn’t looking at them at all. Maret wished she had an answer for him. She didn’t like the waiting, either, though she was doing her best to mask her own worry so Frankie didn’t throw a fit.

“I bet they’re talking about gremlins!” She reached over to tickle his belly as she said it and it worked – Frankie’s face split open into a big smile as he squealed, their parents forgotten for the moment.

“Gremlins? Happy ones or mean hungry ones? Frankie had scrambled a chair away from Maret and was perched on the edge of the seat like a little frog.

“Oh, the happy ones for sure, Frankie. I saw a sign on the wall as we came in that said it was almost the gremlin’s birthday.” Maret invented the story on the spot. She didn’t think she was good at much more than entertaining her littlest brother with stories, so she was glad this distraction technique was working. Getting involved in the story helped her stuff down her own worry as well.

“Birthday? Do we get to go to the party, Maret? I’ve never been to a Gremlin party!” Frankie bounced on his seat, clearly overwhelmed at the idea of helping with a celebration.

Maret shook her head, suddenly very serious. “Now, Frankie. You know we’re too big to fit in the party house. We can imagine it, though. What do you think the decorations would look like?”

The bounce left Frankie and he flopped back onto the chair, lost in thought. Maret smiled behind her hand. He was so easily engaged, and so ready to believe whatever tales she made up for him. Taking care of Frankie was much easier than being left with Suzette. As the oldest, Maret had spent a fair amount of time tending to her siblings and, though she loved them both, being with Suzette had always required more work. And now, no matter what her parents were deciding with the doctors, it was only going to get harder.

“Maret?” Frankie had crawled over to her feet while she was lost in thought. “What do you think they’re saying now?”

“Frankie, Frankie – I forgot my face!” Maret put both hands on her cheeks and wobbled her head back and forth, hoping the new distraction would take hold.

“It’s right there, Maret! I can touch it!” Frankie giggled as he tried, unsuccessfully, to touch Maret’s nose.

“Are you sure, Frankie? Are you absolutely, undeniably, positively positive it’s still attached?” Maret dodged one last attempt before letting Frankie meet his goal and put his finger on her nose. “Ah HA! It IS attached! Thank you, Frankie, for being so sure!”

Frankie dove into her arms and let Maret scoop him up onto her lap. As he snuggled into her arms, Maret noticed the receptionist watching them with a concerned look on her face. Maret shook her head at her and mouthed “it has to be ok” without disturbing Frankie.



* All 500Words are fiction.  Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *


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