Author: Ruby Zehnder
“Eight…Nine…Ten… Ready or not, here I come,” Elaina called out.
The five-year-old started her search and destroy mission in the bedroom. She explored the closet. She looked under the bed. She even emptied the sock drawer.
I held my breath as she entered the bathroom. I knew she’d never find me in hyper-space. She was too young to know about these things.
She searched the shower. She looked in the hamper, which made me snicker. As if a sixty-five-year-old grandma would hide in such a stinky space given all the other possibilities. When she left the bathroom, I exhaled loudly. She hadn’t seen me hiding in the mirror.
Next, she searched the living room and found her mother right away, lying on the couch covered by a blanket. Her mother had made a bold choice, hiding in ordinary space. But, of course, it wasn’t clever enough to fool Elaina.
“I can’t find grandma,” Elaina complained to her mother. “Maybe, she’s dead.”
Her mother said nothing, knowing that I was close by.
“Don’t give up,” her mother encouraged. “Think… If you were grandma, where would you hide?”
Elaina stopped to consider this. She thought about the little talk that we had shared when Blackie died, and she was sad. She had asked me where her cat had gone.
“The same place the stars go during the day,” I had replied. “They are in plain view, but we can’t see them because the brightness of the sun hides them. Dimensions are like that. Some hide others. Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”
Elaina knew that her grandma never lied. Her mother fibbed to her all the time, but grandma — she always told the truth.
“If I were grandma, I’d hide where nobody would look for me,” Elaina said out loud, searching the room using her imagination instead of her eyes. “I’d hide here,” she shouted with excitement as she ran over to the bookcase and took down a Dr. Seuss book. She opened it eagerly, and there I was.
Clearly written, and surprising.
Loved how you made the Grandmother the truth teller and the parent as the fibber. usually it’s the other way around.