Biographical Non-Fiction posted March 26, 2019

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A genius plan, or so I thought.

The Runaway Plot

by Sally Law

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I thought I had everything packed, all the essentials for my survival. I had made a list just to be sure.

'Barbie doll'...check.
'Barbie's' black and white bathing suit...check.
'Barbie's' one black high-heeled shoe...check.

Silver-plated hairbrush...check. Nope, too heavy. I crossed this off the list and packed a comb instead.

Let's see here. Food and snacks...very important.

'Captain Crunch Cereal.' No, the box is too big. Humph!

Two small bags of 'Frito's Corn Chips.' Double check.

I will wear my coat and sweater because it will be cold on the train, or use them to sleep on when I camp beneath the stars. That was a great idea, and so smart, I thought.

Clean underwear. Check.

My 'days of the week underwear' will be great...a fresh one for every day. Six checks. I had on 'Tuesday' because today was Tuesday.

I crammed it all into my black patent-leather 'Barbie' case. The chips made a crunching sound as I sat on it, securing the latch.

I will say goodbye to Mom, Rob and Suzanne before I leave so they won't worry. I was a very responsible eight-year-old.

I hoped Rob would be home before I left. My older brother oftentimes worked late.

Mom sighted me standing by the back door as she came in from work. I had a dollar bill for some boiled peanuts and a 'Coca-Cola' balled up in my hand.

"Where ya off to this late in the day?" my mother inquired.

"Me and 'Barbie' are running away. We are gonna catch a train and find a new home. I have food, money, warm clothes...and clean underwear--just in case."

"Well, you certainly thought this through, Sal. But, dinner will be ready in a few minutes and you have to eat something. How about you eat with us one last time and leave after dinner. What do you say?"

"That's a good point. I am hungry. Okay, but, I have to leave after that." I replied.

"Take off your coat and stay awhile," said my mom as she helped me with my woolen coat and overstuffed bag.

The pancakes and bacon were wonderful and my favorite weeknight meal, 'breakfast for dinner.' She made that on nights when she felt tired. She was awfully tired these days since the divorce.

How could I leave such a mother? My sister, Suzanne, depended on me, too. She would look for me and cry. Who would hold her when she was scared? Play 'Barbie'? I did all the voices. She would cry...she would cry for sure.

My brother, Rob, will miss me, too. Who would rub his feet when he got home from work? He will have some extra food once I'm gone though. Boys are always so hungry.

After supper, I helped with the dishes as I always had. It was time to say my goodbyes and head out the door. It was getting dark.

My mother questioned my well-thought-out plan yet again. "It's getting dark and this is Georgia. Foxes, dogs and all kinds of creatures come out at night looking for food. Are you sure you don't want to sleep here and leave in the morning...after breakfast?"

There she goes again--making sense, I thought.

I looked outside and saw she was right. The twilight was giving way to darkness even as we stood in the doorway. I could feel the drop in temperature.

I held the handle of my patent-leather 'Barbie' case tightly, wondering what to do.

My mom's eyes were filling with tears as she tucked a stray blonde hair back behind my ear. Suzanne came to the door, dressed in her nightgown and cried, "where's Barbie?"

"I think I better stay the night. It's just too dark now, and I am feeling so tired all of a sudden. Would it be okay if I stayed just one more night?" I asked.

My mother grabbed me and hugged me tight. Suzanne did, too.

I unpacked my bags and stayed awhile--a good, long while.

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Art by cakemp55 of FanArt Review called, Sculpture of Two Children.

Oftentimes is a word. oftentimes, adverb, Definition of oftentimes: OFTEN, REPEATEDLY, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.
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