A bit of « A Treat » for the International Day of the Girl

Today, we celebrate girls and young women everywhere; their resilience, their determination, and the hope they represent.

Therefore, I post here an excerpt of my short story « A Treat », starring 7-year-old Naya:

… A passer-by got too close to Naya and shoved her onto her hands and knees, the purse she had omitted to secure shut spilling its contents onto the well-traveled pavement. Tears sprang into Naya’s eyes, less for the pain of the tiny stones that lodged themselves into her right knee than for the lost money she desperately tried to gather up between people’s feet.

“Oh, you’re such a klutz,” Naya heard from up behind her, both relieved and terribly disappointed to hear her sister’s voice.

She picked up the last stray dime she spotted and began counting her coins again.

“Tie your shoe,” Midge commanded.

Used to obeying her big sister, Naya tossed her money back into her purse, made sure it was fastened, and bent over to knot the shoelace that never managed to stay tied. She then wiped her hands on her shorts and stood up, ready to surprise Midge with her offer of ice cream.

“Ok, let’s go,” snapped Midge, indelicately grabbing Naya by the arm.

“But…” spluttered Naya. “Ice cream…”

“Forget it. I’m not standing in a stupid line to get you ice cream. I don’t care what dad said. The deal was, if I take you to the aquarium, I can go to Colin’s cottage with his family next weekend.”

Naya’s shoulders sank. She hadn’t heard of any “deal”. She suspected her father hadn’t meant her to find out, either.

“I wanted to buy you ice cream…” she replied, barely audibly over the swarm of happy families around them.

“You want to buy me ice cream? Yeah, right,” Midge laughed, readily dismissing her sister’s generosity before reconsidering. “Do you have enough money?”

“I have four dollars and forty-two cents. I lost one of my pennies.”

“Great. I’ll have a butterscotch sundae.”

Naya grinned, pleased her big sister was allowing her to treat her. They headed for the ice cream stand, Midge as usual bulldozing her way there, leaving Naya to scamper after her. As they stood in line, Naya clutched her purse in anticipation at being the one to hand the clerk the payment. …

« A Treat » is part of a short story collection on which I am currently working.

To read a short story about another powerful girl, click to read Son of Sun.