Issue 1

Fiction

Shari Mastalski

Jump


    “Grandma!” Alli's squeal broke into her grandma's thoughts. At the same moment, Grandma was jolted by the sudden absence of television.  “When is Mommy coming home?  My show is over and I'm hungry.”   
    While Alli absorbed the delights of Sesame Street , Grandma had just tidied up a bit.  Alli's room was painted strawberry milkshake, and the curtains were strawberry fields.  The room was filled with all the six-year-old stuff.  It was certainly too much stuff.  There were Cabbage Patch dolls, Care Bears and Rainbow Brites as well as a complete menagerie of stuffed animals and Beanie Babies.  Mixed in were games from Mouse Trap to Uncle Wiggly, Disney World paraphernalia, and, on the shelf, among the Super-heroes, were a few lovely books: Miss Rumphius,  When I was Young in the Mountains,  Little House on the Prairie,  Goodnight, Moon,  and The Child's Garden of Verses .  Grandma giggled to herself picturing Miss Rumphius making the world a better place by scattering those lupine seeds all over the countryside.  “I wonder what Alli will do to make the world a better place?  Does she ever get filled with wonder at things the way I did as a child?  Her world is so full of television and fast food and busy-ness and clutter.  Does she have any time to dream and to discover who she is?  Well, anyway, her mother is right; there's no time for nonsense if you're going to survive in this world.”
    “What are you doing with my toy box, Grandma?” 
    “Look, Alli, under all these dolls and your paints and markers and coloring books, there are a pile of little things mixed in with the dust and the Cheerios.  What are these Cheerios doing here anyway, and where did you get all this junk?”
    “Oh at McDonalds and Burger King and Oh, look, Grandma, here is the motorcycle guy that was in my Kinderegg last Easter!”
    “What is a Kinderegg?” 
    “It is wrapped in pretty paper and has a chocolate egg inside.  And inside of the egg is a yellow and orange thing and inside the yellow and orange thing is a toy.”
    “What do you do with them?” 
     “Nothing.  I put them in the toy box.” 
     “That reminds me of the beautiful egg I got one Easter when I was a little girl.  It was made of snow-white sugar with pink, green and yellow icing flowers.  There was a round opening at one end, and when you peeked inside, there was a world of little things.  Inside the egg was springtime and sunshine and bunnies and chicks and hills of green, sweet grass where everything was so happy and good. I felt like I was a tiny fairy flying into this magical world.”
    “What did you do with the egg?” 
     “It broke.  I cried because the tiny world inside was so beautiful and I wanted to get inside and I believed I could get inside in a way.  Do you know what I mean, Alli?”
    “Grandma, let's go jump in the leaves!” 
     “That will be fine.  You jump and I'll help make the pile.”  Hand in hand, they entered the vibrantly-colorful, blue-sky day.
    “Oh, Alli, aren't the leaves beautiful!  I don't believe there has ever been an autumn as lovely as this one.” 
     “Grandma, let's see who can find the prettiest leaf.  Here's one!  Here's another!  Here's one even prettier!  I don't know which one is the prettiest.  They are all pretty.  Look how the sun comes through the tree.  It looks like the tree is on fire.”  Her eyes were bright and radiant as she looked with excitement and trust deep into her grandmother's eyes.  Her face lit up with a heavenly light.  “Grandma!  Do you feel it?  It's like being inside the sugar egg.  Now take my hand and let's jump together and we'll be in the magic place.  Ready!  One!  Two!  Three!  Jump!”