7 Minutes and 31 Seconds

      “Found ya!”

     “Whatever. How much longer do I have to play this, anyway? It’s already noon.”

     “Mommy said you have to play with me until I get ready for my nap, and I’m not ready!” I cried.

     I really wanted Sayah to keep playing with me. I was feeling a little tired, but I couldn’t tell her that or she wouldn’t want to play anymore. Then my tummy rumbled. So I reached into my pocket and pulled out my jar of golden yummies that I had gotten last night.

     “Dawn! Mama told you not to eat those! Can’t you even remember they make ya sick?”

     “Aw, but I really want to!”

     “I said no, Dawn. Now c’mon, you’re hidin’ this time.”

     “Okay! But can ya count real high? I can’t hide as good as you.”

     “Fine, just get a move on already.”

     I ran as fast as I could. I looked for a place to hide where Sayah would never find me. I saw the pumpkin patch way down by the river. I ran to it and hid behind the biggest pumpkin I could find. I could hear my big sister counting. She’ll never find me here! I thought.

     “…98, 99, 100. Ready ‘r not here I come!”

     I’m gonna be real quiet so she’ll never ever find me! Then I won’t hav’ta take a nap.

     I giggled. Then I waited.

     When I woke up it was nighttime. I saw some stars. I heard Sayah calling me. She sounded sad. Wow, I thought, I musta been out here for a buncha hours…I’m winnin’!

     I felt my tummy rumble again, and I remembered that I was in a pumpkin patch so I thought, Ooh, Punkin! I love mommy’s punkin pie! I tried to bite into one. Eww, yuck! I couldn’t bite into it, but what I tasted was bad. I spit it out.

     Then I felt the little jar in my pocket. Sayah isn’t here, I thought, so I can eat my golden yummies now! I took the lid off and tried to get one out.

     “Wait, golden yummies come back!” I started to cry. I had lost my golden yummies.

     Then I heard Sayah run up to me and stop.

     “I lost all my golden yummies!” I told her. I cried a lot more after I said it.

     “Dawn—“

     I looked up at her. I could barely see, but I think she was crying, too. I stopped crying. I sniffled.

     “Why are you sad? I said.

     “I’m not sad I just…”

     “Saya?”

     “Yes, Dawn?”

     “Can I have a snack?”

     She started crying again.

     “I love you, Dawn,” she said.

     “Love you, too!”

     The sun was coming up, so I could tell for sure that she was smiling now.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

     “14, 17, 16, 17…uh…30! Ready or not, here I come!”

     It was a pretty sunny day. I felt the hard bark scraping my back as I stood hiding behind an apple tree. I was trying to hide where I knew Dawn would find me so we could go inside faster.  I looked up at the cloudless sky as I waited impatiently. Should be any second now—

     “Found ya!” Dawn said as she poked her head around the tree.

     Finally

     “Whatever. How much longer do I have to play this anyway? It’s already noon.”

     “Mommy said you have to play with me until I get ready for my nap, and I’m not ready!” Dawn whined.

     “Great,” I mumbled under my breath. I was getting irritated with my little sister, so I did what any young teenager might do—ramble on in my head about how it’s not fair. Why does mom make ME play with Dawn?! She can jus’ play with Dixie! At least SHE can’t understand her childish nonsense! All she has to do is bark and spin and Dawn would be fi

     I noticed that Dawn was trying to open her jar, and my pessimistic thoughts only grew. Are you kidd’n me? This is what I have to deal with instead of fish’n or play’n with my friends!?

     I was enraged, now.

     “Dawn! Mama told you not to eat those! Can’t you even remember that they make ya sick!?”

     “Aw, but I really want to!” she cried.

     “I said no, Dawn,” I stiffly repeated as I tried to contain my anger, “Now c’mon. You’re hidin’ this time.”

     “Okay! But can ya count real high? I can’t hide as good as you.”

     “Fine, just get a move on already.”

     Dawn ran off with her brown braids flying behind her while I turned around to count. I got to five and then stopped. I had an idea.

     I ran to the barn and grabbed my fishing pole off its shelf. I hurried over to the stream, dug around in the wet dirt for a second, and found a few worms. Then I sprinted up the bank towards the pond—the calmest part of the rushing, refreshing river. I dropped my stuff and then quickly ran back over to the apple tree I had been counting by. I shouted to make sure Dawn could hear me.

     “…98, 99, 100! Ready ‘r not, here I come!!”

     Panting, I happily walked back over to the pond at the start of the river. I picked up my fishing pole, hooked my bait, cast the line, and sat down with a relieving sigh.

     “Dawn’ll never know,” I mumbled with a smirk on my face.

I looked up and saw the lonely sun in the deep blue sky. Finally I can be alone. Just me and the fish and the breeze…

     After about 10 minutes, I still hadn’t caught a fish. So I told myself I should probably go find Dawn. I got up and headed to the barn. I threw my fishing supplies in the corner and walked away sour.

     As I wandered around looking for Dawn, I noticed it getting cooler.

     “Good, I was need’n some clouds for a sunny day like this.”

     Though when I looked up there still wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I stood there puzzled. Then I tried staring harder at the sun, even though mama told us not to, and I noticed something different.

     “What’s happen’n up there? Is the sun goin’ black?! Why would—” I paused and recollected, “Wait…this must be that eclipses mama told us about when she was read’n the paper yesterday. Well it’s certainly not what I had imagined!”

     It was starting to get darker now. Soon, I could barely make out the trees from the corn stalks. I looked up again. The moon was almost completely covering the sun, according to what mama had told us.

     Then I remembered that I still hadn’t found Dawn. I was starting to worry a little bit. I called for her everywhere I went, but she wouldn’t answer. I checked in the barn, by the apple trees, and near the wheat field, but Dawn still wouldn’t come out of hiding.

     “DAWN! CAN YOU HEAR ME?! YOU’D BETTER COME OUT IF YA CAN OR YOU’RE IN A HEAP’A TROUBLE!”

     Why isn’t she answering? I thought furiously, How dare she disrespect me like that! Doesn’t she at least notice the sky is different!? Surely she wouldn’t still be playin’ if—

     Then my anger vanished and my heart skipped a beat as I realized something horrible. Dawn could have fallen into the river.

     I stood there, frozen with terror at what might have happened. I couldn’t keep the images from rolling into my mind.  What if Dawn…what if…she’s—

     But I had to make them stop—for my sister.

     She’s still hiding, I reasoned to myself, She has to be.

     Down by the pumpkin patch the stream had gained the momentum it needed to be a rushing, rocky river. I ran to the water’s edge, paying no attention to the darkness that surrounded me. I only cared about Dawn. My heart started beating intensely as I continued to search and found no sign of her.

     Tears started streaming down my cheeks as I dropped to my knees on the soggy ground by the river. I cried from my heart for Dawn.

     “I’m sorry Dawn! I…I’m so sorry. I should’a been a better sister to you! I never meant for this to happen” I paused with a doleful burst of tears and regret, “I….love you, Dawn.”

     Just as I said that, I thought I barely heard a sound somewhere behind me. I turned around and up by the pumpkin patch I saw four small flickering lights rising above a huge pumpkin. I ran as fast as I could to them. I couldn’t believe it. There was Dawn, just sitting there, crying.

     “I lost all my golden yummies!” she wept.

     “Dawn—“

     I didn’t know what to say. I thought she had…

     “Why are you sad?” she said to me. She had stopped crying and was looking at me with kind eyes.

     “I’m not sad I just…” I couldn’t find the right words to describe what I was feeling at that moment. I just stood there, looking at her.

     “Saya?”

     “Yes, Dawn?” I said slowly.

     “Can I have a snack?”

     I started to sob. She didn’t understand; but she didn’t have to. I’m the one who had learned the lesson, and I’m the one who’s gonna change.

     “I love you, Dawn” I said with tears of joy.

     “Love you, too!”

     The eclipse was over now. The moon had finally left the sun to be free and happy. It wouldn’t let darkness cloud it any longer.

     We held hands as we walked back to our house. I looked down at my sister with a smile.

     “For once, Dawn, I’m glad you eat fireflies”

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“For God said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’…” taken from 2 Corinthians 4:6/Genesis 1:3.

Thank you so much to my Dad who helped me edit this and for giving me hope that I could write a good story, thank you to my Mom who gave me a few pointers, thanks to all of my siblings that read/listened to it, and thank you most of all to God for giving me the verse of inspiration for the idea of my story.  ❤

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