Sandelina, p.1
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       Sandelina, p.1

           Jenny Brennan
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  J K Brennan

  Copyright 2013 Jenny K Brennan

  For more about J K Brennan, go to

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  She wasn't there. That's just the way it was. Sandelina was not on the bed. She was not even under the bed. Old Grumbler was there, and the really old Teddy. Teddy was kind of broken though, a little bit blind and deaf and hairless. He had been a good teddy for the longest time, until he started loosing bits and pieces of himself. After that, he started looking at Chrissie a bit loopy-eared and squinty-eyed. Teddies can look a little bit mean when they drop pieces of themselves. But Teddy never looked mean even after losing one eye and other bits. He looked sad. Chrissie didn't like sad toys.

  Anyways, old Teddy could stay under the bed where he couldn't look at her so squinty-eyed and sad. And Grumbler could stay there too. They could sit under the bed with Chrissies busted up book about blue balls and green houses. Because houses weren't green, not for real, and Chrissie was too old for baby books anyways. Grumbler and Old Teddy could learn about green houses and purple buckets; what a silly thing, buckets weren't purple. She guessed that maybe they could be; there were red buckets and blue buckets after all. But Chrissie had never seen a purple bucket so she didn't quite believe there were any. There were bunnies under the bed too. That was another silly thing. They were just pieces of hair and soft stuff, sometimes little pieces of other things like paper or dirt and grass, but Chrissie knew that real bunnies had legs and a head and a tiny fluffy tail. No dust bunny Chrissie had ever picked apart had any of those. They were just kind of long and almost round, made up of all the things the vacuum cleaner didn't find.

  Dust bunnies. Mommy really was silly sometimes.

  But she still couldn't find Sandelina. Not in the plastic toy box, not under the blankets. She was definitely not on the window sill chatting away with Porky, Tuft-tuft, or Tiny Evelina-Bob. Sometimes Sandelina crawled into the corner behind the big closet, but she wasn't there either.

  Chrissie thought hard and long. After looking through everything she could think of, even inside the closet although Sandelina would never go there, she went out on the landing outside her room and even looked on the floor there. No Sandelina. Chrissie scrunched up her face and scratched her head with one stiff finger.

  "Hm." She stepped over to the table where the upstairs phone stood, surrounded by all kinds of letters, and papers, and pads and pens, and all that stuff that Chrissie wasn't allowed to even think about thinking about drawing on with her crayons. But no one could stop Chrissie from thinking about something. A little bit of thinking never hurt. She didn’t always have to do what she was thinking about doing, right? Well, she wouldn't draw on the important papers and letters. Again.

  She dropped down on her knees and looked under the table. There was a space there, a dark little corner between the table and a big plant that Chrissie wasn't allowed to touch. Or eat. She wouldn't do that either. Not ever again. Sandelina was not in the dark space where she could have been. Sandelina was really good at hiding.


  She scratched her head again and shrugged. It couldn't be helped; this was a problem she couldn’t fix. She bounded down the stairs with one hand hovering above the round wooden railing. She didn't need to hold it anymore, Chrissie had good balance. Mommy even said so. She bypassed the last step at the bottom with an elegant hop and pin wheeled only a little at landing. She walked through the hall and into the living room.

  Mommy sat on the big sofa with papers all over her legs, a pen in her mouth and the sparkling new glasses almost all the way down on the tip of her nose. The pen wiggled back and forth and papers rustled. Mom took the pen out of her mouth and scribbled something on one of the papers, and then she put the pen back and started moving papers around again.

  "Mommy?" Chrissie knew that mommy was working and didn't really have time to talk. But it was an emergency. And if anyone had answers to everything… well, almost everything, it would be mommy.

  "Uh huh." Mommy didn't look up, but she was listening, kind of.

  "I can't find Sandelina. I think she ran away." Chrissie stated her case decidedly and made sure to speak every word carefully, putting just a little bit of emphasis on the running away part. She nodded slowly and wrinkled her forehead to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.

  "Again?" Mommy mumbled in that far away way that meant she wasn’t quite listening.

  She still didn't look up, so Chrissie dropped the frown and stepped in front of the paper shuffling mommy. It wasn't as easy as it may seem. The table and the couch stood close together, and between them, were mommy's knees and briefcase. Once in position, Chrissie placed her hands on mommy's knees, bent forward and tilted her head. Her nose almost touched mommy's nose. She waited. She could see mommy's eyes move back and forth, looking at a paper lying on the sofa next to her leg. Chrissie leaned that way, and down a bit more, until she could look up into mommy's eyes. She waited. Mommy’s eyes twitch, blinked, tried to look through Chrissies head and at the paper with all those important things written on them. But Chrissie also saw one corner of mommy’s mouth move a little. Chrissie smiled. "Mommy, can I have a minute of your time?"

  Mommy straightened up and laughed. She sat back and looked at her daughter for a long moment. "Where did you learn that, Chrissie?" Resigned but still smiling, she continued. "Oh, don't answer that. Now, Sweetie-pie, how can I assist you?"

  "Sandelina is gone. Really gone. She is nowhere. I looked everywhere. Even under the bed, and in the closet, and on the bed, and the hall table."

  "You didn't move anything on the table did you?"

  "No mommy, just listen. Not in the toy box and not on the floor."

  "Did you look under your clothes?" Chrissie nodded. "Under your pillow?" Chrissie nodded again." Mommy frowned a little bit. "Well, honey, I can't really help you look right now.” She sighed and shuffled papers around for a bit. Then she looked at Chrissie again. "Don’t pout. I'll help you look when I'm done this..." She sighed and didn't look happy one bit. "It’s a nightmare. It needs to be done tomorrow. But I'm almost ready. We'll look together when I'm done ok?"

  Chrissie nodded but it would feel like forever. It wasn't like Sandelina to be gone just like that.

  "I'll tell you what sweetie; while I finish this, I want you to look in your room one more time, do it for me. Maybe she came back already, who knows. And you can see if she is hiding in my bedroom if you don’t touch anything. She might have crawled up in my bed. You know she comes with you sometimes right. So my bedroom, your room, and she might even be in the kitchen. Do that, and if you still can't find Sandelina, I’ll help you when I'm done."

  Chrissie sighed but looking for Sandelina was better than not looking for Sandelina.

  She started with the closest room, the kitchen. But there was no way Sandelina would go there. Maybe she had followed Chrissie there for breakfast. She dropped down on all fours and crawled under the kitchen table. She didn't really have to do that, but making sure Sandelina wasn't on any of the chairs was easier that way. There were no dust bunnies under the kitchen table, but she found three dried macaroni spirals, a pink hair band, a piece of Barbie, and only one chair had anything sitting on it; a big crooked pile of more papers. She put the little piece of Barbie in a pocket along with the hair band and the three macaroni spirals. She flopped down on her tummy and looked out from under the table, through all the chairs. She could count all the chairs, if they weren't more than ten, but she thought there were more t
han ten legs, almost like a cage, but she could escape. It was easy. She crawled out on the floor proper and looked back at the wicked cage that had tried to catch her and maybe eat her too. She looked around the entire floor by way of sliding around on her tummy, head up, kicking feet and pulling with flat palms until she had made a full circle. She made another circle just to be sure, but Sandelina was not on the kitchen floor.

  Chrissie stood up and scanned all the counters and flipped the lid up on the garbage bin. "Ew!" Whatever was in the garbage made her nose crinkle up and tickle. She pinched her nose and peeked down at the nasty. "Ew!" She said again. No Sandelina, but why was there a pink sock in there? It lay jammed under an empty jar of icky stuff. She tilted her head and leaned a
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