Emmie liked to talk. She talked when her mother pulled up the shade in the morning. She talked when brushing her teeth – foamy white painting her chin. She talked while she pulled her purple panda shirt past her ears. She talked at the kitchen table, her tongue bouncing off consonants and cheerios.
“Esmeralda, if you don’t stop talking, your head is going to fall off,” said her mother.
Emmie talked to her bus driver as she bounced to school. She talked to her best friend, Yasmarie. And to Perilla, Jules and Marjoram. Yasmarie tapped her toe and sighed.
“Esmeralda, if you don’t stop talking, your head is going to fall off,” said Yasmarie. Continue reading
Esmeralda held her father’s hand crossing the street in front of the great green field. She stepped onto the curb and let go – her father tried to hang on, but Emmie won – and sprinted through the field sloping to the stream that fed the wide pond beyond the trees.
Emmie toed the polished stones in the stream’s bed to make sure they would not move as she stepped from one to the other, the cold current flowing around them. When she felt unsure she put up her left hand, her eyes still studying the stones. Her father’s hand was there to steady her. He kept pace on the bank. Emmie withdrew her hand when her confidence returned. She continued on her path of stones until the stream widened, meeting the pond. She stopped on the last stone, raised her arms and her father swung her onto the grassy bank. She ran along the pond’s raised embankment to their favorite spot. Her father followed, walking. Carrying the bread.
Emmie waited on a wide white embankment-stone a couple of feet above the pond’s surface. As soon as they saw her, they would come. She was Esmeralda. Continue reading