Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gabrielle in the Sun (Blogophilia 28.9)

The little girl in the sun was Gabrielle, twirling the nerf sword and trash can lid shield in the grass between the cars and building. She didn’t want to be Xena. That was Sarah’s job. She had the dark hair and was older than her. The makeshift cape fluttered over her arms as she twittered
“I’ll save you, Xena, Warrior Princess!” 
The balcony door opened in Momma stuck her head out.
“Gracie, go get changed and we’ll head to the pool.” 
That didn’t have to be said twice. She’d been waiting all day. Dropping the props, she flew through the front door. Skidding to a stop, her yellow top sailed off and landed on the bedpost. Shucking out of her pants, the mirror caught her eye. Wonder if Momma would let her go like this? Swimming nekkid in the lake was fun. She thought a moment. No, that wouldn’t work, too many people around. But, still… 
A pale face rimmed with carrot strings looked back at her. She made a sword move laughed as the imaged copied her. Looking close, she saw little black smudges here and there. Wonder if I need to take a shower first? Absently scratching the top of her leg, she picked up the swimsuit off the floor. She stepped in and started to pull it up, but stopped. Momma would yell at her to pull it back off so she could put the sunscreen on, so she did. The coconut lotion smelled so much better than that Noxzema stuff she got when she burned. Yuck. Sniffing the fabric made her giggle, there was so much coconut. Maybe she’ll get to dunk Momma again. 
With a soft knock, Momma came up behind her and put her hands on the thin shoulders. 
“Ready, Little Bird?” 
She hadn’t changed. The dress felt soft on her back. Burying her face in the pillow like tummy, The child breathed in a mix of a sweaty boy and flowers. The only smell better than the swimsuit was her. It would turn bitter sometimes and she knew not to sass. It was the only time she’d be mean to her. She never talked about it, but she couldn’t help that and it never diminished her love for her. 
Life was easy with just the two of them. Daddy was fine by himself and wasn’t mean or anything, but they just couldn’t be friends. Once in a while they played a game they called hitters, with them yelling and screaming at each other. Grace would hide in under the bed when it would happen. The monster under the bed would hold her and tell her it would be alright. Daddy usually won, but not always and they both would cry afterward. He left after a while. Once in a while, he’d pick her up to do things. But it wasn’t the same.
Momma picked up the yellow squeeze bottle off the dresser. 
“Okay, Sweetie. Let’s fix you up so you don’t roast. Hop on the bed.” 
Perching primly, the pale face turned up like baby bluebird. A little white stuff oozed out on the long fingers. The treatment started where her hair was. It felt slimy. As the rough hands skated down the pressure points, Gracie couldn’t help curling up. It tickled so much. And she shrieked like a hyena as the raspberries were blown on her tummy. It was the best part. With a hug, Momma told her she was still her little baby and would be forever. 
She quietly flipped over to work on her back. As soon as it was finished, she almost leapt into the suit. Pulling it up, Momma helped smooth the seams around the legs and tied it snugly. She was ready. 
“Where’s your suit?” 
“I’m not going in, Honey. I’m just gonna be on the side with Sarah’s mom watching.”
She didn’t care. It was enough Sarah would be there. She would save Xena in the pool.
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 28.9 Topic: “I [She] Had Been Waiting All Day”
Hard (2 pts): Include the titles of 3 movies DIRECTED by Eric Weston (Hitters, Pressure Point, Hyena)
Easy (1 pt): Mention “Xena Warrior Princess”
Topic-Diana West
Pic guesses-Twittered (in blog), bluebird (in blog), little bird (in blog), child (in blog), Hi, Are you my mother?, conversation, discovery.

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