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The Replacement

The smoke alarm wailed like a siren.

“Fudge!” Mira looked up from her newspaper. How could she have forgotten about the eggs so quickly?

“This is all your fault, Snoopy,” she said as she waved the funnies section toward the stove, fanning a path through the heavy gray air. She turned off the burner and stepped back to cough.

“Guess it’s cereal for us this morning, kiddo,” she said over her shoulder.

Molly didn’t answer.

“Do you want Cheerios or Apple Jacks, Molly?”

Mira turned to look over the counter into the small dining area beyond. Her daughter sat drawing on a sheet of paper, tongue clinched tight between her lips, deep in concentration.

“Whatcha drawing, kiddo?” Mira asked.

“A bunny.” Molly didn’t look up.

“A bunny? Well, maybe your bunny would like an apple for breakfast.” Mira grabbed the fruit basket from the counter and stepped toward her daughter.

“It’s not my bunny, Mom.”

“Oh? Well … whose bunny is it?”

“It’s for Mrs. Thomas.”

“Mrs. Thomas, your teacher?”


Mira could see the girl wasn’t going to let go of her focus until the picture was done.

“Well, looks like you’re putting a lot of work into that drawing, Molly. Mrs. Thomas must be special.”

“She’s sad, I think,” Molly said.

“Sad? Why?”

“I heard her talking to Mrs. Franklin in the hallway. I think she’s going to need another bunny.”

Another bunny?” Mira asked.

“Yes, Mommy.” Molly’s voice was exasperated, and she looked up at her mother. “Mrs. Thomas said the rabbit died, so I need to finish this drawing before school.”

Mira bit her lip to keep from giggling. Sometimes, the funnies just couldn’t hold a candle to life with a seven-year-old girl.

Published inFlash Fiction

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