Be Nice or Else

Mommy and Isabella were in the attic. They were looking for old clothes for the church jumble. Well Mommy was looking. Isabella was helping by wearing an old lady fur coat and a Sunday hat and dancing.
“Careful Izzy!” Mommy shouted as Isabella fell backwards.
Kissing away the tears, Mommy lifted her from the floor.
“What’s dis?” Isabella turned to glare at the box that tripped her. Slowly Mommy started to back away. Isabella wriggled from Mommy’s stiff fingers. “It’s a princess treasure chest.”
Mommy stood in the corner while Isabella explored the chest with tiny eager fingers. It was humped lidded wicker basket with leather straps. A pink ribbon on one strap had a tag that said something Isabella couldn’t read except for her name.
“Is it for me?”
“Leave it. Just leave it.” Mommy sounded funny.
“It’s mine, mine.” Isabella fumbled with the tight buckles. “Help me get it open. Please mommy.” Isabella turned but mommy wasn’t there. She turned back to her treasure chest and the buckles were loosened.
Inside her chest, there was a letter with pretty looping words. With her Sunday hat askew, Isabella studied the letter carefully upside down and then tossed it. Next were lace trimmed squares of fabric with pretty flowers made of thread. She swirled the cloths in the air before tossing them aside. Isabella pulled out a heavy silver mirror with a crack. Gently Isabella set it beside her. Beneath the mirror there was a white leather book with whisper thin pages and a gold cross on the cover. Her name was on the inside cover but there were no pictures. The little girl tossed the boring book behind her. A crystal perfume bottle with a real squeezy thing was in her treasure chest. Isabella pretended to spray the empty bottle and put on imaginary makeup in the broken mirror. Somehow the little treasure chest seemed bigger on the inside. Isabella next took out a bundle of tissue paper. Gently and then less gently Isabella torn at the paper.
It was a dolly, a boy doll. He worn a navy suit with an ivory frilly shirt and an indigo velvet ribbon tie. He was porcelain with shiny blond hair, a serious face, and the most beautiful grey blue eyes with real lashes. Isabella loved him instantly. She hugged him hard enough to break him. The doll didn’t break. Isabella ran downstairs to show off her treasure.
At dinner Mommy and Daddy were not really talking to each other. Instead they are pretending to be polite and spelling things to each other. Isabella talks to her new friend whispering in his perfect ear.
At bedtime Mommy made Isabella put the doll in the downstairs closet to keep it safe. Mommy tucked Fluff Bunny, Blake the Tiger, and Mr. Teddy into Isabella’s bed and told her endless bedtime stories. Through the vents Isabella woke to Mommy and Daddy loud talking. Mommy was mad because daddy had promised he threw away a box and daddy told mommy to grow up and something about mommy’s mother. Next there were bad words. Isabella fell asleep to the soft sounds of crying.
“ Izzy, quit running up and down the halls and go to bed!” Daddy yelled waking Isabella from a sound sleep. Confused she turned to hug Fluff Bunny’s hard body. In the morning Isabella woke up to her new doll nestled in her arms with a smile on his face. She smiled back. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, not noticing the writing in mommy’s lipstick across her dresser mirror. Yawning she headed down to breakfast.

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