The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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The thing that stood out to my mom about this memory was how simply the issue was solved. Elizabeth’s mother didn’t threaten my grandmother, my grandmother didn’t make it a bigger deal than needed, and my mom and Elizabeth were best friends shortly after.

Doreen’s hand stung, the pain slowly reaching her brain as the realization of what just happened settled in. Elizabeth’s mouth hung open, the red spot on her face slowly growing.

“Mom!” Elizabeth shouted as she ran into her house. “Doreen hit me!”

Doreen scrambled down the hill that was the other girl’s backyard, and into the woods behind it. In a pile of stick filled mud lay Cuddles, a gray-furred stuffed koala. Doreen snatched him from the ground, picking sticks from his now matted fur.

“Don’t worry. I got her back for throwing you,” Doreen whispered into Cuddle’s ear before running up the hill, and out of the unfenced yard.

“Here she is now,” Doreen heard her mother say as the door to her home shut behind her. Doreen heard the click of the receiver from the kitchen and watched her mother walk into the living room. Her mother crossed her arms.

“Why did you hit Elizabeth?” Her mother asked. Doreen held up her toy.

“She threw Cuddles into the woods! Now he’s all dirty.” Doreen said. Her mother crossed the room, taking the doll and turning it over.

“She really did a job on him.” Her mother said to herself. She turned her eyes to Doreen. “I want you to go apologize. I’ll clean up cuddles. Hurry on now. They’re expecting you.“

“Yes ma’am,” Doreen said, turning on her heels and walking out the door.

Avenging Cuddles

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