The Stick Girl: Chapter Five (Part Two)

Aunt Emmy laid down her pencil and rubbed her eyes. She’d been working on her project for the last several hours and was exhausted. As much as she loved drawing, it always took a lot out of her. Emmy didn’t mind; this project had been worth every yawn and every cup of coffee.

She sat back in her chair to examine her work. The glue had set by this time; Callie’s picture was secured in place on Emmy’s large piece of drawing paper. Somehow, when Emmy had worked on the gash her niece had accidentally drawn on her picture, the line had come up without damaging the rest of the picture. Emmy didn’t quite understand it, but she figured it had something to do with the amount of time the lead had been on the paper.

She had a drawing of two stick figures- a man and a girl- a house, a tree, and some grass. That was Callie’s drawing. Emmy had pasted that drawing onto her piece of paper earlier in the night, and after much thought, had started drawing around it.

Emmy drew a hand first. It was a child’s hand, clumsily holding a pencil and hovering just above Callie’s picture. Next, she drew Callie’s profile- the button mouth that was pursed in concentration, the small, wrinkled eyebrows, and the large, bright eyes. She also had a little fun and gave her niece a set of pigtails. In the background, somewhat out of focus, was an altogether different scene. It was of a hospital room. A woman was lying in a bed, and a man- the same man as the one in the picture- was bending over her. The couple was smiling broadly and the woman held a small bundled. You could just see a small nose- a button nose- and a few fingers grasping the edge of the blanket. The man and the woman’s eyes were gazing at each other, and such was the artist’s skill that you could tell that they were sharing a common thought. The man’s mouth was forming a word as he grasped his wife’s hand.

Footsteps and the sound of something dragging on the ground forced Emmy out of her examination of her picture.

“Toothless woke me up, Aunt Emmy!” Callie complained sneakily, holding out the small, stuffed green dragon in explanation. “He said he was really really hungry and needed some cereal.”

Emmy grinned in spite of herself and glanced at the clock. Five in the morning. Oh well. The young woman swiftly drew the cover over her picture and placed it under the Christmas tree before turning to scoop up her niece and swing her into a chair in the kitchen.

“Cereal, huh?” she asked. “And what kind of cereal does Toothless want this morning?”

Callie’s brow was furrowed in concentration when the phone rang.

“I’VE GOT IT!” the little girl screamed as she leapt from the stool and dashed to the phone. “Daddy?!”

Her father’s voice came through the phone. “Hey, Callie-bug!” He paused, as though conferring with someone next to him. “Your mom and I have something we couldn’t wait any longer to tell you.”

As her father spoke, Callie’s grin got bigger and bigger, and before long she was jumping around the room, calling to her aunt, “I’ve got a little sister, Auntie! And she’s perfect! And Mommy is just fine and they’ll be home SOON!”

Emmy felt tears in her eyes as she watched her niece. Suddenly, having been able to hear both sides of the phone conversation, knew just what to title her picture. While Callie was distracted telling Toothless about her new sister, Emmy knelt at the picture and in careful, neat, handwriting, wrote, I Can’t Wait To Tell…

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