Author: Fenwood Tolonen – Third Place Senior Division 2020

I was walking around the house again, bored and lonely. I picked up Teddy along the way to the living room. Mommy and Daddy still weren’t home yet. They used to tell me that they went to a place called work. I wonder what they do there and what it is like. I really wanted to have someone listen to what I have to say, so I sat Teddy down and talked to him.

“It’s OK, Claire, they will listen to you soon,” Teddy told me. He always knows what to say!

Mommy and Daddy don’t listen to me anymore. They always look sad…I wonder why. I think that mommies and daddies should listen to their four-year-olds. We have a lot to say, you know. I could hear sounds coming from the door, which meant Mommy and Daddy were home. When they opened the door, I waved but they didn’t wave back. They still looked sad — Mommy looked like she was crying, so I wanted to make them food. Everyone likes food. I went over to the other room and opened the fridge. It was really cold, but I have been cold all the time now for some reason…this time it made me shake. I grabbed a box filled with eggs. I know what they are since Mommy has always told me to hold on tight, so I made sure to. I looked over to see Mommy and Daddy staring at me. I waved to see if they will finally pay attention to me, but nothing.

I went over to the table and tried to put the eggs on it, but it was tall, probably made for mommies and daddies, not four-year-olds. I tried to reach, but the eggs fell and broke, causing a runny, yellow yolk to come out.

“What the hell was that?” I heard Daddy yell. I covered my ears; Mommy does not like me hearing words like that. I looked over at Mommy and Daddy to see if they were mad, but they did not seem mad or sad…yet, they were not happy. They looked just like I do when something scares me. Why?

I left the eggs there since Mommy would come pick them up. I walked over to her and grabbed her shirt and pulled. She looked down, but not at me, with a sad and scared look in her eyes. How can I get her to look at me?

“Did you feel that?” I heard Mommy ask Daddy, but neither looked at me.

Daddy replied, a bit annoyed with wide eyes, “I didn’t feel anything, don’t say stuff like that.”

I sat down and started to cry. That will make them look at me. I threw Teddy to show how mad I was, but they only looked at Teddy and not me. I cried even more. How can they just let me be like this?

They are not very good mommies and daddies. I got up and I kicked the chair they sat on; I was really mad.

“Did you do that?” Mommy asked. She sounded a bit upset. Why?

“I assumed you did that,” Daddy’s voice was softer since I walked away but he also sounded upset.

I walked around the home and kicked all the doors. If I cannot get them to look at me by being nice and sad, they have to look at me when I’m being bad! I heard Mommy and Daddy get up, I started to jump up and down. They looked at the doors; Mommy looked scared while Daddy looked mad and scared. I took Teddy and sat down. Mommy and Daddy got up and started to put their shoes on. They are going somewhere. I ran over to them and tried to put my shoes on, but it was hard. I ran between them so I could go with them too.

I jumped in the car and was singing a song. I was a pretty good singer; Mommy told me so. Or at least she used to tell me so. The car ride was taking a long time and they didn’t bring me any toys. When the car stopped, Mommy and Daddy slowly walked out.

We were at a place where the dead people sleep. It was cold and dark with a lot of stone blocks coming out of the ground. I have been here a couple of times before but I hated this place. I walked with them and saw Grandma and Grandpa. I waved and yelled but even they didn’t look at me. They stood at a block of stone. Someone dead must sleep here. I walked up closer and was able to make out two words: Claire May. That was my name, but I’m not sleeping! I looked at Mommy and Daddy and they were crying. Why?

“It’s a shame that she didn’t make it,” I heard Grandma say, but who didn’t make it? Mommy said that her little girl was gone. But I’m right here. All of a sudden, it hit me. Like when I kicked the doors.

I am dead. I am the person sleeping here.

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